The following is a step-by-step look at the techniques involved in the creation of a white-line woodblock print:
First, a sketch is made with pencil on the surface of the block. I use shina plywood, which I get from McClains.com.
Tools of the trade: assorted V-gouges and an antique doorknob, which is used for rubbing the back of the paper. Its smooth surface and weight are perfect for use as a printing tool!
In cutting the block, there's always a degree of interpretation of the original drawing. Often, shapes are edited for ease of printing, or to improve the design.
The block, partially cut. Case in point: here, I hadn't resolved the drawing of the column. I wasn't crazy about those curlicues at the sides, so I cut the rest of the block while I thought about that area.
I've begun printing the block, brushing water-based Akua colored inks on the block, one section at a time. The paper is attached at its left-side edge with a strip of masking tape anchored by push pins. Between inking of shapes, the paper is lowered onto the block and rubbed (with that doorknob!) on the back to transfer the ink. I also place a sheet of waxed paper between the paper and my rubbing tool, to keep the print paper from getting dirty or tearing. You can see how I resolved the design of the column by simplifying it. Isn't simple always better? 'Tis a gift.
Getting there! You might think this part might be tedious and time-consuming (all those little shapes!), or you may choose to think of it as a meditation on color and form. Think zen.
The block itself asserts its own voice; striated patterns of the wood's grain lend their own charm to the design and add to the overall effect.
I couldn't resist another closeup!
The finished print: Object of Desire #3: Turkish Bowl. Thank you for visiting!