HOW DOES TUGBOAT PRINTSHOP MAKE WOODCUT PRINTS?
Tugboat Printshop's woodcut prints are all made by hand using age-old printmaking techniques.
Tugboat's unique handling of the traditional woodcut process has evolved through artistic practice,
always maintaining a high standard of quality.
Images are drawn directly onto blocks of 3/4" birch plywood, first in pencil and then in pen.
When drawings are completed, the blocks are carved low relief using sharp hand-tools & knives.
Prints are made by applying pressure to paper laid on ink (much like stamping).
Before editioning, ink colors are mixed. Fine paper is hand-torn to size.
Even layers of oil-based ink are applyed with hand brayers & rollers.
Paper is placed on the inked block, which is then hand-cranked through a printing press.
Pressure transfers ink from block to paper, creating a printed impression.
WHAT MAKES A WOODCUT PRINT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TYPES OF PRINTS?
Woodcut makes a distict printed image, different than a screenprint or digital (giclee) print.
Crispness & clarity of line is very sharp and without pixelation or distortion.
There is a sculptural history in the carving of woodblock drawing.
The woodgrain of the woodblock's surface is a visible element in the printed image!
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A WOODCUT PRINT?
The time it takes to make a print depends on the image complexity & color scheme.
Drawing images is our longest task.
As a loose estimate, a print like "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" took roughly 4-6 months.
The "OVERLOOK" woodcut (key above/print below) took a bit longer than that; more info here!