Block drawn in
reverse & partly cut,
inked up, printed &
print being removed.A Relief Print is made by cutting the image out of a flat surface, usually wood or linoleum. The remaining raised areas then form the relief block to which ink is applied by means of a roller, then a sheet of paper is pressed against the inked surface of the block, using either a printing press or hand burnishing. Only the raised part of the block deposits the inked image onto the paper.
Linocuts are worked into Hessian backed linoleum which is relatively soft and easy to cut, but is not suitable for fine line work. It can be mounted onto wood if required to give additional support.
Un-mounted linoleum is ideal when cutting the block into smaller pieces for printing in more than one colour at a time.
Wood Engravings are worked into the end grain of a block of wood, usually box or fruit wood, in which very fine detailed work can be engraved.
When Relief Printing in colour, various methods can be employed - these may be used on their own or in combinations to give the desired effect.
Separate blocks can be cut or engraved for each individual colour, with each colour being printed separately, or on other occasions one block may be used to print more than one colour. The block being cut out like a jigsaw, each section inked separately, reassembled and printed in one operation. As the inks used are transparent, further colours can be achieved by overprinting one with another.
Another method is to use one block for the entire print. The complete edition is printed in the first colour which may utilise the entire block or show areas of white - or whatever colour of paper! (Remember prints may be produced on paper other than white.) Then more of the block is removed and a second colour is printed on to the first, carefully registering one upon the other. This process is continued until the final printing is complete.
Woodcuts are worked into the side grain or plank of the wood with the cutting generally following the direction of the grain. The grain itself, if sufficiently pronounced, can be utilised into the design.
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