Woodblock Prints (Woodcuts)
by Ben Bohnsack
3140 State Highway M28 East
Marquette, Michigan 49855
(c) Ben Bohnsack, 2018
All rights reserved.
These are woodcuts, woodblock prints, derived from an ancient Chinese and Japanese art, created by carving a design into wood.
•Carved in reverse so that it is correct when applied to paper.
•Inked with a roller and paper placed on top one sheet at a time.
•Pressure applied with a baren or a wooden spoon to transfer the image.
•As many copies as desired are made of the first color before moving on.
•Further carving adds more details and the process is repeated with a new color, layer by layer, color by color, waiting for each color to dry, until the print is finished.
•With multiple colors two or more woodblocks are usually used, one for lighter colors, one for darker. Sometimes in simpler designs a different woodblock is used for each color.
•By the end the woodblock has been reduced so that only the last details remain and that particular print cannot be produced again.
I spread the ink on a piece of glass,
ink the roller (a brayer) and then roll the ink onto the block.
The paper is placed face down onto the block,
registered accurately by the guides along the bottom and corner,
and then the ink is transfered using a baren and/or wooden spoon.
The same block is used over and over, gradually carving it away as new images take shape and new colors are printed.
Many copies are made of each image and dried on my rack, before the next image and color is added.
And now - It's amost done.
I just need to add the black.
I often mask off the rest of the block with a piece of cardstock cut to shape, in order to keep it clean as I apply the ink and print the image.