My Japanese woodblock printing experiment has been progressing slowly whilst I let my fingers heal, but I have been managing to move forward in small stages every so often. Last time I introduced the method and tools, so now I’ll focus on the cutting. I had already decided to use a specific photograph for this – something challenging that would help me really get to grips with the process. The first stage was drawing out the image and separating it into three colours. This is the same process I use to establish any other multi coloured print project, so details can be seen here.
Straight on with the cutting next… After carefully cutting around the first element and thinking that I had made a good start, I realised that I had cut around the element instead of cutting the element away!
The technique so far has been to remove a clear channel around the edges in order to control the image quality. I predominantly used the V gouge and small U gouge, along with the straight blade, and will use the larger U gouge to remove the rest of the ‘non-printing’ areas.
I then used the straight blade as a chisel to strip off the high peaks. I intend to cut one of the blocks very neatly like this, and leave more texture on one of the others in order to combine effects.
There’s still more to come…