Saturday, 31 October 2015

That 20:20 time of year!


After having had to take some time off from printmaking, I'm back and have just completed my 2015 edition for the 20:20 print exchange. This year I submitted prints with Prospect Studios, as I've done most of my recent work there. It's a hand-printed multi-plate woodcut, called 'The Low Road' based on a Scottish landscape:

I've chosen to adapt a 3 plate woodcut initially developed in Lucy Schofield's fantastic Japanese woodblock printmaking course, which I really enjoyed in September at Hot Bed Press in Salford. It was cut in the traditional Japanese fashion with a knife, called a 'hangito'. I've added some development phases below so that the transformation from the Japanese style is obvious.

My unfinished 3 block Moku hanga Japanese woodblock print was painstakingly cut in the correct fashion with the hangito knife held like a dagger to create a 'living line' (image size 14 x 10mm). The image was cut into 4mm Japanese ply, with kento registration marks, and inked up using water-based ink onto Japanese paper. It looked pretty good (though unfinished) at the end of the course on ozuwashi paper:


Course info on the link, in case you're interested:
http://www.hotbedpress.org/courses/japanese-water-based-woodblock-printing-mokuhanga/

I liked the image but wanted to add overlap colours (not a Japanese thing to do) to add interest. I also decided to add gradations and worked up a prototype to see what I could achieve with the same 3 woodblock plates. Once I was happy with the prototype (first image below) I finished cutting the final plate, removed kento marks and built up my 20:20 edition colour by colour. This is how the image built up - colours 1, 2, 3 and a border:

Below you can see the key plate, entirely cut with a knife and surrounded here by a mask to keep the 20:20 image clean. And finally all the 20:20 original woodcut prints, hand-printed at home, drying in my dining room 'studio'!
 

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