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.

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