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Pressure + Ink: Relief Process

Relief print making origins started in hand-printing

meaning no press was required.

You are able as an artist or a commercial printer

printing text able to transfer the image

by hand by use of a baren. A baren is a small

object that allows you to apply even pressure

larger than that of your hand.

In this case the block has been inked, and

a thin sheet of paper is laid over top of the block.

With gentle pressure, apply to the block.

You can transfer the ink to the sheet of paper.

A baren is typically used on thin sheets of paper.

The heavier weight papers that most artist use today

are too thick for hand to be able to apply pressure all the

way through that sheet for an even transfer of the image.

You can check the impression to ensure you got a cool even pull.

Wood cuts use a flat piece of wood in a case that we'll

demonstrate today. There will be a cabinet grade

plywood which is extremely dimensionally stable,

but still has a beautiful grain.

The grain of the wood and wood cut is one reason that

artists utilize the material.

The grain provides a different effect, in the black areas

of the print.

Contrast to something like linoleum cuts,

where the black ares are totally flat.

A wood cut, the grain will affect just how heavily black the

black areas of the print can be printed.

The grain has a visual effect that can often be used to an artist advantage.

When cutting on a wood block, you use a different set of

tools much similar to that of a wood carver or a

a cabinet maker.

These tools provide the artist and the opportunity

to have a variety of marks, widths, and

depths from which to work with.

In relief print making a wood cut block is prepared first by

toning the block with an Indian ink wash or

a wash of a jet black film ink.

This provides a black ground on the surface

from which to easily see to removed areas

of wood, to reveal the drawing in a way that

allows the artist to understand what is happening,

and where their drawing is going.

Once the block has been stained or toned,

the drawing can be transferred through with

the aid of an iron oxide or carbon paper transfer.

Once that paper transfer has been made,

the artist now has the choice of deciding which

form of white line or black line composition

to utilize.

White line is revealing the image through thin

white lines in a black field. That would be

cutting away those white lines to leave the upper

area or black field to take ink.

The opposite way of approaching the image area

is what we call black line. Which is removing

the majority of the information or wood to reveal

thin raised black lines to accept the ink for

transfer to paper.

It is the balance of white line and black line

that creates a sense of depth or three-dimensionality.

Often an artist will have a shift of white line

to black line to be able to reveal a more

representational or dimensional space.

Once the image has been cut into the block,

the block is prepared for printing.

Ink is rolled over the surface of the block,

placed on the press, and past through transferring

ink to paper.

Linoleum block printing or a liner cut is a

form of relief print making. It relies on

linoleum very much similar to what would be in

someones home. A linoleum tile, as being a very

flat consistent surface, that you can gouge away

the non-image area. Linoleum block prints

provide a very specific look, which would be

something that has a flat black area.

The type of linoleum block print making that we do

today is very affordable and accessible.

The materials are easy to use and easy for people

to begin understanding the basic concept of print

making. Because of it's affordability and ease

of use, it can be used by a variety of different

people all across the world. To have a very quick

transfer of an idea to a block that can then be

replicated to print making.

Approaching a linoleum block print has very

similar to that in approaching of a wood cut.

The material in itself can be toned just like

a wood block is toned, to provide a black ground.

It makes it easier to see what it is your cutting.

Linoleum in of itself, in a material,does not necessarily

need that, because it's fairly easy to see what

it is that your doing.

You can lay out your drawing ahead of time

with a marker, or also a carving, or iron-oxide

transfer. In this case I will approach the block

with the material blank and develop the image as I go.

Also like a wood cut, if I remove material, I can not be replace.

Whatever I cut away will be white.

Whatever remains will be black.

The tools we use for linoleum cuts are very similar

to those of a wood cut. The difference is the

type of metal that's used. Linoleum is a much

softer material and does not dull the tools

nearly as quickly as wood dulls the tools.

A high carving steel is not necessarily required

for doing linoleum cut. You can see the different

shapes here. A V gouge and U tip. Very similar

to that of a wood cut.

These are the tools that we use for linoleum cuts,

and the tools that we have for wood cut are

very specific. Anything that can remove material

is a tool that can be used. An artist may use

a crowbar, screwdriver, a nail, and all of

these things that mark or [mar 05:53] the surface

will provide image area.

Once you drawn a basic image on the linoleum

block you can begin cutting. In this case

I've used some simple text but remembering that

this will be printed in reverse. Everything on

the block must be backwards.

So for printing a relief block, that's a linoleum

cut, it's the same approach as to printing a wood

cut. We want an even application and anchor across

the entire block. In this case, because the surface

of the linoleum will print a flat black.

We're insuring that we make a very even

application with no texture.