Friday, January 9, 2009

Woodcut Print: Catch of the Day

This is one of my early woodcuts. I believe I was living in Newport, Rhode Island when I did this, although it might have been a bit later. With a Dad in the Navy, I spent a lot of my formative years around water, and even though I love the desert, I miss the ocean!
I have always been fascinated by the relief printing process - the oldest and most direct process for producing multiple prints. I started with a simple pine plank, and carved away everything that was not part of the image. The resulting carved plate is then inked with a rubber roller or "brayer", and paper is applied face down on the block. The back of the paper is burnished to transfer the inked image onto the paper.

The prints produced in this fashion are true "prints" - really multiple originals produced by the artist's hand. In today's world of ink-jet reproductions, artists are fortunate to have such a versatile process for reproducing their work ... but those reproductions are not accurately called "prints", although that term has become commonplace. They are "reproductions", and while there's nothing inherently wrong with them, they should not be confused with prints made by hand in any of the various methods for that. Since the original run of prints from this block only numbered 4, I may decide one day to issue some reproductions of the image by the Giclee process if I see the demand. If you would like to give me some feedback, I'd appreciate your dropping an email to me at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com.... or you can call me anytime at the studio, at (505) 296-1400!
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