HOW WE MAKE OUR WOODCUT PRINTS
From start-to-finish, every aspect of the making of our woodcut print editions is done 100% by hand.
Our collaborative drawings start as pencil sketches on blocks that are later drawn over in pen.
Woodcarving chisels & knives are then used to hand-carve our drawings in low relief.
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.
Generally, we use a new block for every color in our woodcuts.
Blocks are all printed individually, impressions layering to create the finished image.
The heavy, even pressure of the press's roller prints the ink from the block onto paper.
The "MOTH" woodcut is 16" x 22" on Okawara paper, printed from two blocks.
HAND-DRAWN, HAND-CARVED WOODCUTS
Much care is taken in the wood carving to maintain the original drawing.
Pictured is the "THE MOON" woodcut. Above, as a drawing; below, cut & ready for proofing.
The carved sphere of "THE MOON" in the key block was jigsawed from the larger block.
We printed two colors simultaneously on the press. (The 'MOON' was inked in red black, the sky in blue.)
(ABOVE) A detail of the finished woodcut print "THE MOON". Printed from 2 blocks, more info HERE.
HAND-CARVING TINY WOODCUT DETAILS
A detail of the "RUBY RED ROSE" shows the tiny recesses that are carved out to create the printable block.
Many different techniques can be utilized to bring a drawing to life as a woodcut.
MULTI-BLOCK COLOR WOODCUTS
Sometimes we create many blocks to build color in layers.
Multiple blocks layer printed color to create a wide range of hues in the print.
The "BONFIRE" print is made from 5 woodblocks.
After carving the key, we transferred the image and planned, drew, and carved each color block accordingly.
(ABOVE) All 4 color blocks carved & (BELOW) All 4 color blocks printed!
The finished print with the black key detail printed on all of the color layers.
We are always making new woodcut prints!
We snap pictures while we're working & post them to our FLICKR and FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
For special pre-order intro offers on new prints, join Tugboat's mailing list below!
VIEW 7 YEARS OF WOODCUT PROJECTS IN OUR ARCHIVE!