"WOODEN CHAIRS" Woodcut Print in Progress, Carving a Woodblock

From start-to-finish, every aspect of the making of our woodcut print editions is done 100% by hand.
We draw original images directly onto blocks of plywood and carve the drawings out in low relief using hand tools. We generally use a new block for every color in our woodcuts. Blocks are all printed individually, impressions layering to create the finished image.

"TREE SWING" Woodcut Blocks by Tugboat Printshop

To print our finished carvings onto paper, the blocks are evenly rolled up with ink. Paper is placed on the inky woodcut surface and the paper & block are sent together through the press. The heavy, even pressure of the press's roller prints the ink from the block onto the paper.

The Decemberists Woodblock Show Poster by Tugboat Printshop.The Decemberists Woodblock Show Poster by Tugboat Printshop

We are Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth, a husband & wife artist team working together to create original woodcut print editions. Tugboat Printshop is the name of our collaborative projects in printmaking.

Our drawings start as pencil sketches on blocks that are later drawn over in pen. Handheld woodcarving chisels and knives are used to carve our drawings out in relief. Pictured is the "
FOREST" woodcut (now sold out) above as a drawing, below almost carved. This print is now finished and can be VIEWED HERE.

Much care is taken in the wood carving to maintain the original drawing. A detail of the "GALAXY MAP" block below shows the tiny recesses that are carefully carved out to create the printable block.

DRAW, DRAW, DRAW, CARVE, CARVE, CARVE! Every step in the making of a print requires time, patience, and skill.
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We create multiple blocks for many of our woodcuts to allow for a wide range of printed color. (BELOW) Blocks for the "BIG, BAD WOLF" print (2 total blocks, 4 printed colors), now available in our ONLINE SHOP.

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The "BONFIRE" image is made from 5 wood blocks (SEE BELOW). After carving the key block, we transferred the image to additional woodblocks. We plan, draw & carve each color block accordingly. The finished blocks layer printed color to create a wide range of hues in the print. We particularly love how each printed color has its own streak of color in the "BONFIRE" sky!



((ABOVE) All 4 color blocks for the "BONFIRE" woodcut CARVED...(BELOW) All 4 color blocks PRINTED...

Bonfire Woodcut Print by Tugboat Printshop (Life of Leisure)...Bonfire Woodcut Print by Tugboat Printshop (Life of Leisure)

Bonfire Woodcut Print by Tugboat Printshop (Life of Leisure)...Bonfire Woodcut Print by Tugboat Printshop (Life of Leisure)

AND...the first proof with all of the printed color! You can READ MORE & PURCHASE "BONFIRE" in our PRINT SHOP!

Bonfire Woodcut Print by Tugboat Printshop (detail)

If you'd like to see more photos of our woodcut making process, visit AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, FARM BARGE, MAMA BEAR, GARDEN, or BONFIRE in our ONLINE SHOP to see the detailed start-to-finish making of these prints!

TUGBOAT PRINTSHOP'S FLICKR PHOTOSET has a seven year photo history of our projects.

© 2006-2014 Tugboat Printshop | All visual media © Tugboat Printshop. All Rights Reserved.