John Jānis Šteins

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  1. annmaree christian January 22, 2007

    I find this print mesmerising and powerful. I love what you can’t see.

  2. John Steins August 13, 2007 — Post author

    I’m speculating about making a print of another of my favorite musicians.

  3. Heather August 13, 2007

    What does Neko Case have to do with Lou Reed?

  4. John Steins January 22, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks Annmaree,

    Yeah I’m happy with the way this turned out. For awhile I was worried about the balance between dark and light, but it seems to work.


  5. ashley March 19, 2008

    oh this definitely shows her for who she is. an ugly whore. its a beautiful print though! you did a good job!

  6. James S April 18, 2008

    i really like this piece and like Annmaree says its the parts you can’t see are the admiring parts. i love the cross hatching on Lou’s forehead as well.
    P.s. could you possibly send me some information about you and your lino printing work, i’m studying lino printing and your work for my AS art course! Thanks.

  7. John Steins April 21, 2008 — Post author

    Thank you Mia,

    Appreciate your comments and taking time to look!


  8. John Steins April 21, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks James!

    Just let me know what info you require and I’ll be more than happy to assist.

  9. mia April 21, 2008

    wow this lino is interesting, i may only be 13 but the detail is just phenomenal!! i thinks it’s really gd! 🙂

  10. John Steins April 21, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks Ashley. Appreciate your comments.


  11. laura June 22, 2008

    hey, how are you doing (?) ..i love your dad’s work. beautifully. smart.. and, heh, this is the dumbest trumpet i’ve ever seen.. he knows the time.

  12. laura June 22, 2008

    i see why lou reed. . i see why that area on the right side but i dont like the way you did it. the face is perfect, though. stay well !

  13. tara July 13, 2008

    wow. This linocut you have done is very dramatic and captures the expresions on a mans face. there is so much depth. i wonder where you got either the image of this man or did you just start your work?

  14. John Steins July 14, 2008 — Post author

    Hi Tara,

    Thanks for your comment. I used a photo as a reference to draw his image on the lino-block. One of the challenges in doing black and white work like this is to find a balance between the two. In this case I wanted to light up one side of his face and accentuate the wear and tear of all that hard living as a rock star.

  15. WAYNE SCHARF October 7, 2008

    The peel apart film is not exactly going away because Fuji makes a compatible version of it in black&white & color…

  16. John Steins October 7, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks for the heads up Wayne, I wasn’t aware of that. Excellent news since I’m interested in carrying on with the Polaroid pinhole.

  17. John Steins October 11, 2008 — Post author

    This is an atmospheric wood engraving showing evening light reflected on the water.

  18. Rob Ingram November 16, 2008

    I am reading your site carefully as I really like it and intend to steal ideas!

  19. John Steins November 16, 2008 — Post author

    Hi Rob, glad you approve of my efforts and encourage you to ‘steal’ away!! Wasn’t it Picasso who said that mediocre artists “borrow”, great artists steal.


  20. Mark November 17, 2008

    Wow these are great! Were they all hand engraved or did you use a CNC machine engraver? I’m a graphic designer more of computer and digital media, have not done any engraving. I was thinking of getting a cnc wood engraver a small one. Then I could create the art on the computer and send it to the engraver to engrave it on wood, metal, plastic and things of that nature. I saw a small cnc engraver I think it was on, I just was wondering if that is how most people do the engraving now a days. or if artist are still doing it by hand. and also if there is a market for using a cnc engraver to engrave the art.


  21. John Steins November 17, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks Mark. There’s no way I’ve ever used a robot to engrave my blocks. What would be the point of doing that? All of my engravings are done by hand using engraving tools, the old fashioned way, ha ha.

    There are artists who use CNC machines to carve on a wood surface and then go through the motions of hand printing. But for me, that defeats the purpose of printmaking since most of the enjoyment is the actual tactile experience of cutting away the wood, lino or whatever you are working with.

    It’s also a display of manual dexterity and skill as in ‘hand to eye’ coordination.

    That’s not to say there is no place for CNC generated wood blocks for making prints. An artist should be allowed to use whatever tools and assets are available to make art the way they want to make it.

  22. Mark November 17, 2008

    Wow Im looking at some of your engravings, it’s pretty awsome. The detail is beautiful. How many hours do you spend on them? I think I’ll try makeing some by hand first rather then just buy the VE-810 from vision engravers. Although I’m not sure I have the hand dexterity that is needed. Is it anything like drawing or painting?

  23. Mark de Guzman November 17, 2008

    My favorite one is ELIZA looks like a lot of work went into it.

  24. Mark de Guzman November 17, 2008

    They all look like a lot of work went into them.

  25. John Steins November 17, 2008 — Post author

    Eliza is one of my favorites as well. I was lucky not to make too many mistakes on it.

    Basically, you prepare an end grain block – in the case of wood engraving – and you draw your design on the surface and start cutting away the parts that you don’t want to print.

    It’s probably a good idea to practice on some smaller pieces to get the hang of it. At least then you’ll have an idea of doing it by hand and maybe it’ll appeal to you.

    The Eliza print took a couple of weeks of off and on effort. Not sure of the exact hours.

  26. kerry November 17, 2008

    Amazing, John. I thought it was a B & W photograph at first, couldn’t quite believe it was an engraving.

  27. John Steins November 17, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks Kerry,

    Keep it up and my head will swell – bigger than it is already – ha ha.

    I think this engraving looks better on the screen than in real life. But I know what you mean.

  28. Sherrie Y November 18, 2008

    Thanks, John, for an introduction to Eric Bergman. I didn’t know his work, but I particularly like the cactus piece! Oh, great. Some one ELSE to spend my time Googling. 😉

  29. John Steins November 18, 2008 — Post author

    Yeah I really like his work ( and I like your linocuts, by the way). There’s a few other unsung engravers out there that I’ll try and bring forward in future posts.

  30. John Steins November 19, 2008 — Post author

    Someone had left a comment here regarding a heavy cast iron press. Unfortunately it got nuked accidentally in my spam catching utility. If the poster reads this can you please re-do your message? Thanks.

  31. Sharon Russell December 2, 2008

    Makes me think of the story of Bob Frisch wandering off into the green for a few days….

  32. John Steins December 3, 2008 — Post author

    Hi Sharon, yup that’s the story behind this print so many years ago!

    Perched on his outdoor biffy with the door swung wide open, the beckoning lush green foliage overwhelmed him. He gave in to his favorite vice; spontaneous and prolonged hikes into the Yukon wilderness he knew so well. Only this time he didn’t leave word, causing some consternation and worry after a week passed by.

    He said he was “Sucked in by the green”.

  33. Sherrie Y December 8, 2008

    Hi John! Good to know that legitimately acquired engravings are making their way to new homes. Hoorah! And, oooooh… brainwashi….errr….educating students about the glories of printmaking. Brilliant.

  34. John Steins December 13, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks Sherrie! I’m the worst kind of proselytizer of what constitutes a “real” print.

  35. Sherrie Y December 18, 2008

    Makes you want to print your own Tibetan flags, doesn’t it? Thanks for the news of the wider printmaking world.

    And just in case you want more insanity to think about, I’ve awarded you the “Arte y Pico” Award. Details:


  36. John Steins December 20, 2008 — Post author

    Sherrie thanks for the nod.

  37. jane conrad December 25, 2008

    pics are very nice lots of work went into them.

  38. John Steins December 25, 2008 — Post author

    Thanks Jane, I appreciate your comment.

  39. Clever Pseudonym January 1, 2009

    Reminds me of “The Portrait of Dorian Gray.” Well-done.

  40. Janice Cliff January 29, 2009

    hey John…I am curious about your recent photos…are you shooting 120 and scanning the negs? are you doing any digital manipulation? and are they printed on the epson? (the naturalism series) (they are really stunning by the way)

  41. John Steins January 29, 2009 — Post author

    Hi Janice, thanks for the compliment, coming from a pro like you means a lot to me!

    The Dog House Blues image is 120 film scanned and tweaked in PS CS3. The other two are digital photos. Not much manipulation in the Creek image but the Swan is a composite of two photos I took in San Fransisco last year (2008).

    I’ve been liking the square format, hence the 120 look.

    I’m printing on an Epson 4800 Pro and an R1800. The 4800 does an amazing job.

    And I’m totally flattered you’re checking out my recent work.

  42. Janice Cliff January 29, 2009

    this swan feels like it is from some other time period. like before photography was invented! well done.

  43. John Steins January 29, 2009 — Post author

    Thanks, I wanted it to look like an old world painting. From Rembrandt’s time, for example.

  44. Penny February 3, 2009

    I like the flip book – use the format often!

    Lovely work as always, too bad I’m too poor to buy anything … sigh.

  45. John Steins February 4, 2009 — Post author

    Hi Penny,

    Thanks for taking time to stop by and for your thumbs up on the flip book. It’s a bit labour intensive to set up but it does a neat job of approximating the feel of turning pages back and forth.

  46. Katie February 8, 2009

    Ha! How interesting. I think it s a great way to share the book and some of the information it holds. The sound provides an ‘book’ aesthetic that made me smile.

    Just last week I signed an ‘old’ slide projector out of the library to do a presentation. The librarian noted how they are not often used much these days. I explained that for me there is no getting away from the “woook shek-shek” (haha) sound that is part of the observation piece. I digress.

    The book looks like a book, sounds like a book, and now I’ll return to read some of the knowledge contained. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  47. John Steins February 9, 2009 — Post author

    Thanks Katie, You’re quite right about all those sounds associated with ‘old’ technology. I loved the sound of movie projectors and slide projectors. Those noises are like audible punctuation marks.

    Had lots of fun with the book and am planning to do others as well.

  48. Terry Cumming February 18, 2009

    My wife and I bought a framed print of this at the YAW Gallery in Whitehorse the weekend before last. We love it and what a lot of beautiful artwork you do, and for such affordable prices.

  49. John Steins February 18, 2009 — Post author

    Thanks Terry, really appreciate your support. As far as pricing goes, it’s always hard to know what to charge.


  50. Chuck February 20, 2009

    That is a really nice piece.

  51. Florin Stoiciu February 23, 2009

    I’d like very much your idea!!!!
    my name is Florin Stoiciu and I’m a lecturer Ph.D. in Visual Art at the Graphic section from National University of Art, Bucharest/ Romania.
    I teach Traditional and Modern printmaking and I think is excellent course for young and fresh stundents. Maybe after this virtual experience with a book they like to return to the traditional library.
    All the best!
    Lecturer Ph.D. Florin Stoiciu

  52. Frank Haili March 5, 2009

    Hi, it’s very great to share your books about woddengravings ! The form provides a good feel of reading. The informations are good. Many thanks for sharing !

  53. carolyn mohrlock March 9, 2009

    Paul Landacre was my uncle. I would be interested to know if your Growing Corn was signed or his mark? Thank you. Carolyn

  54. John Steins March 9, 2009 — Post author

    This wasn’t my print but rather one that was auctioned at Swann.

    I do own a signed copy of Siesta but am unwilling to part with it at the moment.

    How wonderful that you are his niece! He really is one of my favorite artists.


  55. Paul Constance March 16, 2009

    This is a wonderful way to share a book. Thanks very much for taking the trouble, and please do add additional ones. I am an amateur wood engraver and, like you, a collector of books on the medium. I have for many years lamented how difficult it is to “see” the enteriors of rare and beautifully printed/illustrated books on the web. I don’t understand why libraries don’t do what you have done. Could you describe the software that you used?

    Also, I am fascinated by your description of making boxwood blocks on your own. I am trying to make my own blocks out of castello boxwood, a South American substitute that is comparatively cheap. Would you mind describing the process?

    Many thanks and contratulations on your beautiful website and prints.

    Paul Constance
    Falls Church, VA

  56. John Steins March 16, 2009 — Post author


    Thanks for your encouraging comments. I’m glad that I’m getting a favourable response to the ‘virtual book’ project. Good encouragement for me to carry on!
    I’ll have to get back to you on the software. It’s basically a flash movie that allows you to input images so that they behave like turning pages.

    I don’t mind describing my block-making process. I haven’t posted in awhile so perhaps I’ll make that my next entry.


  57. Sherrie Y March 23, 2009

    Hi John! This is fabulous… and of course I’m curious to know how you did this virtual book presentation. Hope all is well, it’s quiet in your corner.

  58. Rob Ingram April 5, 2009

    Hey John:
    Not that I am into engraving but what a wonderful way to share out of print resources. Good job. How did you handle the copyright issue?

  59. joel April 6, 2009

    Really useful. It’s a great instruction manual and I like the section on kids. My two year old always watches with interest!

  60. Mike Pearson April 10, 2009

    Hi John:

    Just passing this along – I have the proof of your piece entitled “Obsession.” It is of an acoustic guitar player, is signed by you and dated 1977. It was purchased in the Yellowknife area by a good friend of mine who lived and worked in Yellowknife in the mid-to-late 70s. I’m a longtime guitar player and he purchased it as a gift for me.

    I really love the piece and it has occupied a place of honour in all the homes I have lived in during the past 30+ years.

  61. John Steins April 10, 2009 — Post author

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for taking the time to write. And thanks for your remarks about the “Obsession” linocut. I remember when I made that one, it was a bit ambitious for me at the time because of the different colours.

    Good to know it’s still surviving and appreciated.


  62. Ann Kronheimer April 16, 2009

    Thank you for sharing John Farleigh’s book. Having been motivated to dig out my long un-used engraving tools by a recent visit to an exhibition of St Jude’s Gallery in London, and now finding your book on the web, I feel well and truly inspired and equipped to have a go!

  63. John Steins April 16, 2009 — Post author

    Thanks Ann, I’m happy that John Farleigh’s book has inspired you to revisit wood engraving. Hopefully I’ll put some of my other old volumes online, as time allows.

    All the best,

  64. Robbs May 30, 2009

    Very good! Thanks for sharing.

  65. brian holden June 12, 2009


    just starting out with learning engraving and stumbled upon your site purely by accident doing some research and seeing what is being printed these days by others. You have done amazing work.

  66. John Steins June 12, 2009 — Post author

    Thanks Brian, if there’s any way I can help you with your engravings please let me know.


  67. garry tuckey June 28, 2009

    i recently purchased a print of an artist p.spuzak it is 179/550 prints it’s called early morning moose.just wondering if you have ever heard of this artist,please send reply.thanks garry tuckey

  68. Bruce Wauchope June 28, 2009

    So what is Scott Sheerin up to these days? Say hello for me, if you will. Thanks.

  69. John Steins June 28, 2009 — Post author

    Hi Bruce,
    Regretfully I’ve been out of touch with Scott for some time now. I believe he lives in Santa Barbara.

  70. John Steins June 28, 2009 — Post author

    Hi Garry,
    Sorry, I’m not familiar with the artist you mentioned. Is he supposed to be from the Yukon?

  71. Noah July 25, 2009

    That was great, now where is the bookmark button…

  72. Jeffrey Knopf August 4, 2009

    Hi John

    What a find your site is, I entered into the world of engraving about a year ago and I am still finding my way with it and amassing knowledge where I can. The flip book is excellent and has given me a few more tips on how to engrave (I know I will be coming back for more info)

    Thanks again Jeff

  73. Alice Leora Briggs August 11, 2009

    Hello John Steins,

    I have enjoyed looking at your work very much. I am wondering whether you make your own engrain blocks for wood engraving? I am guessing from the comment above that you do. What kind of wood do you favor most?

    Please forgive my many questions, but I am wondering about printing wood engravings on an etching press. I’m not sure about this yet as it may be a ridiculous idea. I figure there must be some sort of housing that I can build for a block to remain in place on the press bed. Have you ever tried anything like this, or do you use a more sane approach…with a baren?

    Again, your work is terrific!

  74. John Steins August 11, 2009 — Post author

    Thanks for dropping by Jeff. Wood engraving is certainly a fascinating occupation and I’m glad you have joined the fray. Unfortunately I haven’t had much time of late to do any new work but hope to this winter.

    If there’s anything I can help with please let me know.


  75. John Steins August 11, 2009 — Post author

    Hi and thanks for dropping by my site and for your encouraging comments.

    Yes, I do make my own blocks from time to time. I have a supply of boxwood that varies in quality but I do what I can to make up something when needed. I have access to a woodworking shop, so that helps.

    Check out this link on my blog where I discuss relief printing on a press

    It works very well as long as your engraving block is nice and flat.

    Don’t hesitate to ask if you need any additional advice.


  76. Jeffrey Knopf August 21, 2009

    Ah to be able to afford to use boxwood, I have been looking out for alternatives for a beginer to use that are cheep and affordable. The best I have found so far is Delrin which is a plastic composit used in the enginearing industry, it comes in a variety of thickness the best being about 20mm, and if you find a good supplier they will cut it to whatever size you want.

    The downside is when staining the surface of delrin I use ohp marker pens that seem to do the job but can also be scrached away very easily. The end prints though are nice an clean just like box.

  77. John Steins August 29, 2009 — Post author

    Hard Maple is a good alternative to boxwood.

  78. Simon August 31, 2009

    That is pretty neat. Is it all computer generated or did you have to paint it? In either case, it is among the most amazing images I have seen.

  79. John Steins August 31, 2009 — Post author


    Thanks so much for your comments. I really like it too and looks great in the larger format.

    It was done using a fractal generator where you change formulas to get an appealing design. Sometimes I’ll rework the images in PhotoShop.

  80. karen October 2, 2009

    I am a middle school teacher. I can’t wait to show the kids this. I have forwarded your work to our art teacher. Love it!

  81. John Steins October 2, 2009 — Post author

    Thanks Karen,
    I think it’s a pretty neat way of representing a physical book online. I hope to do others this way as well.

  82. ArtStudent October 20, 2009

    The line work on the shirt and collar have a great movement!
    I bet the prints from this look great.

  83. John Steins October 20, 2009 — Post author

    Hi, Yes the lines worked out okay except I keep wondering if I shouldn’t have cut away more and lighten his face a bit more.

    Hard to go back if you end up over cutting!


  84. Kaiverrus November 3, 2009

    Very nice work!

  85. John Steins November 3, 2009 — Post author

    Thank you!

  86. Jeffrey knopf November 4, 2009

    Ah but where can I get hard Maple in Britain?

  87. hollants November 24, 2009

    whats the value of an original woodblock print from timothy cole
    i will send you pictures
    hollants patrick

  88. Jacob December 2, 2009

    I also just discovered Landacre around the time you did, or early 2009. He’s great!

  89. dave wesley December 7, 2009

    i really admire your work i’m just getting into engraving and wood working in general I am clueless about where the best spot to buy my first tools for wood burning and engraving [is there a difference between engrave and wood burning] thanx

  90. ed January 6, 2010

    I found Scott, if you want to get back in touch email me [email protected]

  91. Simun January 17, 2010

    I love this one, the atmosphere is really special.

  92. John Steins January 19, 2010 — Post author

    Thank you. It’s one of my favourites as well.

  93. Oliver February 27, 2010

    Very cool…how ya do it??? I wont tell anyone…lol


  94. John Steins February 27, 2010 — Post author

    I’ll never tell! Haha!

  95. Aine Scannell February 27, 2010

    Yeah…..mad ……..maybe they were frightened by it. It was probably way out of their comfort zone.
    Its a very good print. What size is it?

  96. John Steins February 27, 2010 — Post author

    Definitely outside the comfort zone! Anyway, thanks for taking time to comment.

    The image is about 10 x 15 inches and an edition of 25 prints. It’s been out of circulation all this time so I haven’t sold many.

    Glad you like it.

  97. Ingrid February 28, 2010

    Your advice has given me heart; have had little success pulling successful woodengraving prints using my etching press I shall keep trying!
    Thankyou Ingrid

  98. John Steins March 1, 2010 — Post author

    I’m glad to hear that. Don’t give up. Actually the etching press distributes very even and controlled pressure as the roller passes across the block. The trick is to distribute this force across the width of the rollers so that all of it isn’t pressing on the block thereby risking damage.

    You can make up a removable unit like the one shown to accommodate different sizes. Once it is set up you can print an edition in relief quite efficiently.

  99. joyce majiski March 8, 2010

    Hey John
    What fun to see this. Thanks for the kind words….next time you will have to report from Tuktu as you try dragging the 1500 pound behemoth of a Vandercook out of the shop===GOOD LUCK!
    hugs from the south of the Yukon

  100. Elizabeth McVicar March 30, 2010

    I’m delighted to see that “Midnight Light” is available on CD. (I have it on vinyl.) Call me old fashioned, but I don’t shop on-line. If you would be kind enough to tell me the total cost of the CD, with taxes and shipping (to Burnaby, BC), I’d be delighted to mail you a cheque along with my mailing address.

  101. John Steins March 31, 2010 — Post author

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Thanks very much! I’ve sent you an email with all the info.


  102. Gary Pendleton April 23, 2010

    I have never done wood engraving, but I have done wood block printing. I often work in scratchboard. I recently came into posession of some fairly large boxwood branches, some pieces are over 8″ in diameter.
    I am interested in doing some small illustrations using polished rounds.
    Do I need to let the wood cure? I also wonder, since I cant use it all, if the wood might have any value. the wood came from an 18th century home in Maryland. So I guess the wood is English boxwood.

  103. Kath May 3, 2010

    This is great John! i was thinking the poster in the background really adds to it!! Such a simple photo made into something quite amazing!

  104. John Steins May 3, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks Kath, it’s kind of a strange mood isn’t it?

  105. Timothy Keenan June 5, 2010

    Hello John! I’ve always loved this album! It’s a classic!

  106. John Steins July 8, 2010 — Post author

    Hey Tim, Long time no see!! Glad the music still resonates, probably the best compliment ever! Thanks.

    How are you doing anyway?


  107. Neil Peck August 12, 2010

    I saw a nice stash of new Shiva inks in tubes at a garage sale last month. It seemed like they were mainly whites, blues and greens. I passed on them and bought a lot of Daniel Smith intaglio ink that seemed more balanced in its variety of colors. I may have a chance to ask the artist who was selling if she still has them.

  108. John Steins August 12, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks for the info Neil and the offer to ask the seller. I’ve actually got lots of new Shiva inks that need to be used up that were passed on to me by my dad.

    If you feel inclined you can ask what she wants for them. As long as they aren’t dried out I might buy them.

  109. Rob Ingram August 21, 2010

    I am totally wowed. I love the strong colour, simple yet calligraphic lines and, yes, the macabre subject matter.

  110. John Steins August 21, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks for your comments Rob.

  111. Shary Boyle August 22, 2010

    If only I could have been there to see all those fantastic works in one room, beautifully prepared and mounted. i recognize many from Ilgvars home in Toronto, works that are completely unique, fascinating and disturbing in the best of ways. Always his dynamic imagination blazes, all together the gallery must have vibrated with the force of his careful lines, wild colours and haunting images. Congratulations to all of you for pulling it together- and especially to Ilgvars for his astounding work. He is a true artist and a role model for all of us following that path. I send my kisses north through space.

  112. John Steins August 22, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks Shary, I know dad would have been thrilled to have you here. I’ll pass along your greetings.

  113. Allan Greenier October 16, 2010

    A pure joy to read. Thanks so much for posting this John.

  114. John Steins October 16, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks Allen, I have a few others that I’m anxious to add to my library. If only there was more time in the day!

  115. Glenn October 27, 2010

    “Art and the Police” !! What has this to do with art??

    Leave the social commentary to social commentary sites… but since you raised the subject….

    We’ve all had detergent in the eye. Now imagine getting your eyes irritated this way by someone standing inches from your face and that person – or another – pulls a knife, broken bottle, brick, whatever and attacks you with it…

    And don’t tell me that none of that happened because it did. I have friends who are police officers and let me tell you the things they saw – had to put up with – was a magnitude greater than that shown on TV.

    What was the purpose of the “demonstrators”? To bait the police into doing something stupid and capturing it on video. These same idiotic people sleep in their beds at night knowing that, if needed, dialling 911 will bring them the help that they require… from the very same people they fought against during the day.


    I liked your site. I will not return.

  116. John Steins October 27, 2010 — Post author

    Glenn, it has everything to do with art and expression. I’m sure your police buddies will have many hard-luck stories over beers and hate. Had they done their job properly during the G20, respectful of a citizen’s right to peaceful protest much of this would have happened. Truth is our government and our police overstepped their boundaries time and time again. And for that they should be punished for betraying the trust of the very people they are supposed to protect.

    As far as using my site as a forum for “social commentary”, why not? Who are you to tell me what to publish? I have an obligation as an artist to point out the truth. It’s been said that art is a lie that exposes the truth.

  117. Linzi Flower October 29, 2010

    Hi there, I’m a student in secondary/high school and I’m doing some work on you in my art class. I know it sounds silly, but when were you born? & why did you start doing lino prints?
    -I chose you to focus my lino print work on as I love everything you do that I’ve seen. I love the ‘Snow and Trees’ photo that’s on here, Im thinking of getting it printed & put in a frame for my bedroom. Love your work.

  118. John McClumpha October 30, 2010

    Thanks for making this available – not easy to get this sort of info – lots of books have a brief overview of wood engraving technique, but not this kind of detail.



  119. John Steins October 30, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks John, Yes I like the ability to flip through a “virtual” book. Better than nothing at all. Just need time to tackle the others I have waiting.

  120. Carol Qualkinbush November 4, 2010

    The video of Ric Serena’s studio and his demonstration is really fabulous! Thank you for sharing. I had just finished my first reduction linocut and was hunting on the internet to find the proper name and ran across your site. Loved the video and Ric Serena’s artwork. What a marvelous direct style he has!

  121. John Steins November 4, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks for dropping by. Yes it’s a great video, very inspirational for artists living in the digital age. It would be fun to see your work, do you have a link?

  122. Tony Howard December 6, 2010

    Can I purchase this amazing raven image as a jpg or png from you for use on a website?
    Thanks, Tony

  123. John Steins December 7, 2010 — Post author

    Of course. I’ll email you the details.

  124. Rustskipper December 15, 2010

    Hey TriciaKat,

    "Yosegi is a sculpture technique, in which individually carved blocks of wood are joined together. The carving is then completed and the assembled sculpture is finished with lacquer and gold leaf or paint. This is the technique that Genkei used when creating all five hundred rakans at Gohyaku Rakanji (Temple of the Five Hundred Arharts). During the later portion of the Heian period (794-1185), the “single-woodblock construction” (ichiboku-zukuri) was replaced by “joined/multiple woodblock construction” (yosegi-zukuri). This came about do the spread of the Amida faith among the aristocracy, and growing demand for new temples and Buddhist images. The one who revolutionized this new technique of yosegi-zukuri was the sculpture Jocho. Yosegi-zukuri made it possible for sculptures to be made from several pieces that appear to be unable to interlock. This style was not only just a technical innovation but also aided, in the treatment of the Buddhist images’ faces and bodies, the trends and tastes of the times. Sadly, Jocho has only one surviving work, which is an image of Amida Nyorai in the Phoenix Hall of Byodoin near Kyoto."

  125. torreart December 15, 2010

    I don’t think so. an etching is an etching here and in Iran maybe they use other inks but the tools I’m sure are the same ones

  126. Josh T December 15, 2010

    There are 2 techniques you can probably use to do this.

    The first technique is one that I found on this website. It has info on how to create some dark outlines.

    The second technique is by replicating traditional filters. This site has some details.

    Creating a realistic Japanese woodblock print out of a photo would be quite tough and requires a lot more work so I wish you all the best of luck!

    ~ Josh Tam

  127. pickles n ice cream December 15, 2010

    I like my dremel tool, you can get many attachments for it. plus it’s useful for lots of things.

  128. edzerne December 15, 2010

    In wood engraving a "burin" is used to cut the end grain of a hard dense wood [boxwood is very good]

    Engraving Tools

    Sharp Chisels are used to make Woodcuts and typically the grain of the plank is used as a design element.

    Woodcut Chisels

  129. artfulmason December 15, 2010

    Traditionally a very sharp set of chisels used as the clean cut requires little if any clean up afterwards it is however a slower process. A power tool like a dremel with assorted bits is faster in some senses and has a wide range of tools to smooth and sand a burred surface left by the gouge and similar bits used to rapid remove material.

  130. Carol the Undead December 15, 2010

    You can use any kind of ink really- and you can also use acrylics, yes. There are also light colored inks that you will be able to find at your local craft store that will show up on black paper. Play with different mediums. The different consistencies will give the print a different look. That’s half the fun of creating art, exploring and finding out new ways to make an image.

  131. Natalie O December 15, 2010

    A lot of this depends on how bold your linocut is. I tend to use the soft blocks, not the true linoleum mounted on wood, and cut very bold designs (not really detailed with fine cuts). For a very boldly carved block, liquid acrylic paint applied with a brush is easy to use. Speedball makes lots of inks for linocuts, these are readily available at the big art supply companies on-line, some regular art supply stores carry these as well.

    For printing on black paper, try a metallic paint, these will show off really nice on a black background. My all-time favorite is Golden Fluids in the irridescent bronze. It’s a gorgeous color. The other option is an opaque ink or paint (white, grey, etc.)


  132. John Steins December 15, 2010 — Post author

    A single woodblock for use in block printing would be a plank cut from a tree such as cherry wood. These can be up to 12 inches or more in width.

    If a wider dimension is required then two or more pieces will have to be edge glued to make up a larger surface, using carpenter’s glue and clamps.

    Today, many printmakers working with woodcuts will use a block cut out from a sheet of nice plywood, such as Baltic Birch or Shina from Japan.

  133. John Steins December 15, 2010 — Post author

    One tool, the graver, is sufficient for the beginner and will keep you occupied for a long time.

    Some wood engravers will use a dremel tool for amazing results, but it requires an investment.

    If you wish to go the traditional route you might want to look at the online book by John Farleigh where he discusses tools for the beginner.

  134. amybeader December 16, 2010

    I don’t know what the name of the Chinese tool may have been, but one of the names for inking tools today is a brayer. Is that possibly what you are thinking of?

  135. John Steins December 16, 2010 — Post author

    Buddhist monks who hand print scriptures from wood blocks use an ink dauber. It’s similar to a wadded up piece of leather that they rock back and forth to pick up ink on a slab and then do the same on the block to charge it with ink.

    Not sure what it’s called though.

  136. guess who at large December 16, 2010

    Hi! It’s not illustrated but they claim to have one here:
    373. Clare Leighton
    "Breadline" (BPL 198)
    wood engraving, 1932, signed in pencil,
    edition of 100, very good condition. 12 x 8"
    It’s a beautiful piece. Good luck!

  137. captsnuf December 16, 2010

    i really cannot thing of any similarities, a lino-cut is a carving and then it is used as a stamp.
    a stencil is is cut from vellum or the likes and used to fill in with paint or some such on your canvas or wall or whatever.

  138. John Steins December 16, 2010 — Post author

    A typical use of stencil in printmaking would be silk-screening where you press ink through a fine mesh onto the paper below. Of course only the areas of the mesh that are blocked with stencil material will not allow ink to pass through.

    This allows for a design to be printed, typically on t-shirts, etc.

    Some amazing art is producing using this stencil technique.

    There is no similarity between a linocut and a stencil. A linocut is printed by rolling ink on top and then laying paper down on top. Or a linocut could be pressed down on to fabric or other surfaces int a manner similar to a stamp.

  139. John Steins December 16, 2010 — Post author

    You can see an image of the wood engraving here;

  140. John Steins December 17, 2010 — Post author

    You can make an intaglio etching without the use of dangerous acids within the confines of an apartment.

    You’ll need the following: the copper or zinc plate for your etching, a shallow metal tray larger than the metal plate, a battery charger and some water with salt added to it.

    First of all, prepare your plate for etching as you would normally using the various methods available, with the only difference being that the underside of the plate is coated with acid resistant material as well, such as asphaltum.

    Fill the metal tray – this could be a shallow baking tray – with water and some salt added to it creating a saline solution.

    The idea here is to suspend the plate to be etched in the solution without it coming in contact with the metal tray. To achieve this, build up four little cones out of wax or plasticine in the tray on which to rest the plate.

    Furthermore, the plate is placed upside down onto the plasticine rests. A small sacrificial corner of the plate is scraped clean, exposing a bit of metal.

    One alligator clip from the battery charger is attached there. And the other clip – positive or negative – is attached to the edge of the metal tray.

    Making sure the the entire underside of the inverted plate is in contact with the saline solution turn on the battery charger.

    This passes a low current of electricity through the saline solution creating a chemical reaction between the exposed metal of the etching and the solution. This causes the exposed metal to erode and dissolve into the solution making an etched surface for printing.

    Depending on a number of factors it could take all day for an etch. The main thing is that it’s safe to use in confined spaces without the proper ventilation for using acids.

    This is just a quick summary. I’ll post something more in depth later on. In the meantime don’t hesitate to ask me for more details on this process.

  141. Tina R. December 17, 2010

    I think Arabic people did but I am not sure.

  142. kears10 December 17, 2010

    Graphic design will offer you more flexibility. You could work in print, online, advertising, etc. You will have the opportunity to work for small studios or large corporate companies depending on your interest. In a small studio you maybe able to focus on a smaller more creative artistic project. Or if your passion is corporate identity, branding or environmental graphics a larger studio or corporate job may be a good fit. And as graphic designer, you could always contract out your services, which can often be fairly lucrative.

    Printmaking could be a skill you learn as a graphic designer. And you could always do that on the side and build that business.

    You need to be passionate about what you do however. See if you can try a entry level graphic design and printmaking class to see how passionate you are about each.

    Best wishes.

  143. infernomanor December 17, 2010

    Graphic design is a much better major. Then you can work in advertising or similar areas.

  144. godsgirl December 17, 2010

    You can work for a newspaper or magazine. Or you can work for a printing shop. I would take courses towards a well rounded journalistic/graphic design/printing career, then you should have plenty of opportunities to find work you will enjoy.

  145. John Steins December 18, 2010 — Post author

    A woodcut print falls under the category called relief printmaking whereas engraving belongs to intaglio printmaking.

    The most notable difference between the two is that a relief block is printed in much the same manner as a rubber stamp or those potato prints you did when you were in school.

    Whereas, in intaglio the lowered surfaces take the ink with the raised surface of the plate wiped clean. In other words, it is the exact opposite of relief printing.

    Intaglio, such as etching or engraving involves incising or cutting grooves and channels into the surface of the plate, usually copper or zinc. When the design is finished etching ink is applied to the surface and then wiped clean forcing the remaining ink into the incised lines on the plate.

    A sheet of dampened etching paper is placed on top and the whole affair is passed through the rollers of an etching press much like a wringer washer.

    The immense pressure causes the dampened paper to pick up the ink in the lowered sections of the plate.

    The terminology does create a bit of confusion with the term “wood engraving”. This is another form of relief printmaking.

    The term “engraving” is used to distinguish this technique from other forms of relief prints since specialized tools are used and the woodblock surface is orientated to the end grain rather than the plank grain.

  146. MOZ December 18, 2010

    The minimum:
    A wood block to carve.
    A sharp pen knife or some small wood chisels
    A sharpening stone, because the knife and the chisels will dull.
    A brayer roller (2 if you can afford it)
    A small glass sheet
    some ink.

    Draw your image in reverse of how you want it to print, and carve it into the wood block. Remember that the parts you cut away will not print.

    You then need some printing ink, a small glass sheet, a brayer roller, and some paper. Lay the wood block on a firm surface, like a counter top, or really sturdy table.
    Put some ink into the glass sheet, rolling the brayer to distribute the ink while charging the brayer. Then cover the surface of your wood block with a thin and even coat of ink rolling the brayer back and forth.

    Then carefully place your paper on top of the wooden block, and gently but firmly press straight down and burnish with the back of a spoon.

    You then carefully peel the paper off of the block, setting it aside to dry.

    You can get as fancy as you wish, but this is a very old technique, and it need not be complicated or expensive…

    Have fun!


  147. llama December 20, 2010


    As a print major myself I think its admirable to try and combine the mediums you are working with into a cohesive piece. I have had thought about innovative ways of hanging my prints, and to be honest It can get a little distracting, especially if the prints were not designed that way, as lets say as opposed to a wall installation or an artists book.

    If the prints were made in and of themselves they should stand alone, because they were conceived as pieces onto themselves. If you try to embellish the work by adding other things, be it objects or other mediums it could belay insecurity about the work. Let the pieces stand on their own. ALTHOUGH, you should definitely design a set of ceramics works that address the printed pieces, conceiving this body of work as a response.

    Its also important to remember that you are in an intro class and the primary focus will be on your technical skills, quality of your printing and the clarity of image. Your content will certainly be critiqued but generally in intro courses its the tech stuff they focus on most.

    You sound like your on to a great start, and you should address your questions with a sample of your work so when you begin to plan your next piece and ask for help we can give you advice based on the work your doing, its hard to give suggestions when we dont know what the work looks like.

    good luck, llama

  148. John Steins December 22, 2010 — Post author

    Good question.

    Drawing skills are no longer required by today’s art students, so you’re safe.

    The post modern deconstructionist period that we are slowly retreating from, teaches young artists to put aside drawing skills in favour of using visual props and gimmicks to convey some philosophy or idea.

    Ugly is good, pretty is bad.

    Excellence in draughtsmanship on its own does not pass muster in the art world today.

    Hopefully, the navel gazing philosophers posing as artists will fade into the background and allow the re-establishment of fundamental drawing skills as a virtue rather than a quaint concept of the past.

  149. enn December 25, 2010

    If you know of a person with a good shop, you could get to work milling your own wood.

    Dry, seasoned white fir is best. It’s the kind they use for scroll saw work. If you know of somebody with property with a stand of white fir on it, make friends and volunteer to help clear downed trees. Then you could store nice lengths of trunk for drying and seasoning and future milling.
    Western Red cedar is also nice if you can get it.

    I knew a man with a shop up in the mountains – he had a fallen cedar tree he took chunks off of and then milled (used a series of saws) to cut the wood into the pices he needed. He had a chainsaw for cutting lengths off the trunk, then used a table saw to cut the edges to shape, and a planer to get the board flat.

    You want to mill your boards to at least 1-1/2" thickness for allowing for depth relief in your cuts. Anything thinner than 3/4" will crack as you carve.

    Oak is too dense. Pine board is okay but can have problems with sap. Fir is best – it’s what they use for making white paper and for craft projects.

    Good luck to you in finding what you need.

  150. oruboris December 25, 2010

    It was the first time anywhere that art really began to belong to the masses– well, not *all* the masses, since the peasants had no disposable income, but for everyone above that class, it opened a major door. Prints were much cheaper than originals, and it became possible for people accross the empire to see the work of a particular artist that would have been confined to his own small area prior to the advent of printing.

    It began a conversation about art that hadn’t been possible before. At one point, a traveling merchant might have written to a partner that he had seen a new style of art in Edo that he enjoyed very much. After printing, the merchant could actually send the art for next to nothing, along with some words about it: ‘Don’t you just love this new style from Edo? It perfectly captures both the energy and elegance of this new age. I think we could profit from copying the clothes they are wearing here, and have commissioned several prints for the shop in Kyoto to promote the style’.

    It also became possible for people to view images of culturally important places and people– Mt. Fuji, etc– that many would never have had a chance to see in person. As such, art quickly became a major component of what gave the average man and woman a sense of ‘Japanese-ness’, of being part of the empire as a whole, concerned with the thoughts and trends and styles of the entire nation, not just their own province– art was a glue that helped bind the culture together.

  151. Plus 44 December 25, 2010

    Both techniques result in contrasting inked and non-inked areas, and are generally best suited to bold, rather than shaded, designs.

    However, linocut is produced by removing the areas of the lino where ink will *not* be transferred to the final image, whereas stencils are produced by cutting away the areas where ink will go through the stencil and be retained on the final image.

    As a result, linocut allows the creation of images where non-inked areas are non-contiguous (not attached to each other), whereas the non-inked areas in a stencil need to be attached to each other, or else, positioned manually, on every instance.

  152. Max December 26, 2010

    One brand name is Graphix RubyMask.

  153. Jody December 26, 2010

    It’s a technique for printing used widely throughout East Asia and had originated in China. It was used first to decorate textiles and later on paper.

    The best known type of Japanese woodblock art print is moku hanga.

    Wiki has a huge article about it. And a picture. Check it out.

  154. bpgagirl22 December 26, 2010

    And I don’t suppose you’re an art student though well you should be, asking all these questions. Good luck in the arts. You should go far.

  155. loveleighartist December 27, 2010

    The "master" or original is called the plate. A series of identical prints is still called a series. However you would number each according to the order they were pulled: e.g. 1/16, 2/16, 3/16 etc.

  156. JGinCowtown December 27, 2010

    "Plate" "Stone" or "Screen"

  157. William C December 27, 2010

    It’s called the matrix.

  158. Roy Makoto Oshita December 28, 2010

    The head of your fish reminds me of old Japanese paintings/prints of ghosts or evil beasts which represent some supernatural force. One could also draw from this art the concept of “being able to do more than one thing at a time”; the opposite of which would be “the guy was so inept that he couldn’t chew gum and walk at the same time!” Just imagine a fish that can swim and pedal simultaneously.

    There are numerous other projections one could make such as: The condition of being bipolar (formerly manic-depressive) and Love vs Hate. MAYBE, it’s just an interesting, beautiful, and unusual painting! In conclusion (at last!) this type of in art can act like the psychological aperception test (MAT) in which a somewhat ambiguous picture is shown to a client and is told to tell a story. Questions are asked by the psychologist go like this (What do you think is going on? What does the fish represent? The bicycle? Where are they going? What happens next?). Sooner or later the psychologists sees certain themes that appear after multiple pictures are presented. Cool huh!

    Nice art, Roy Oshita

  159. ekko313 December 28, 2010

    speedball art makes some nice kits and sells a wide variety of supplies, you can check them out at
    Alot of their stuff is also available at Michaels Art and Crafts-inyou have one of those stores near you.

  160. moore850 December 28, 2010

    There are screenprinting "basic kits" available at any local art supply store. They can get pretty expensive, easily approaching $100, but they should at least have the screen, an ink spreader, the resist chemicals, and some templates or samples.

  161. Neil Peck December 28, 2010

    A great piece of social realism. The suject is powerful and just as timely today as in the great depression. The lines of downtrodden humanity stretching out to who knows where.
    The buildings in the background show great control of the multiline tool. I’m just beginning to use them in my engraving and it is really tricky to maintain even pressure on a long cut. The figures in the foreground are supple and lively. I can only dream of becoming that skilled at cross-hatching.

  162. Mr Price December 28, 2010

    Durer’s works, like most prints of the time, aren’t large – about A4 – but most were his own. Yes, it takes time to make a wood engraving, but that’s the nature of making art.

  163. ukquilter December 28, 2010

    Well, they would have been book size (whatever that means). Have a look at the British Museums print catalogue and see if there are any sizes included.

  164. John Steins December 28, 2010 — Post author

    Thanks for your observations Neil. This beautiful engraving can’t help but to inspire and encourage us all. You correctly point out that the subject matter remains relevant and equally poignant today. A timeless work by a master of the graver.

    I might have to disagree with the idea that the building shading was done with multi-line tool. I would wager a pint that a single graver under the dexterous control of Ms. Leighton was the culprit.

    To further support my argument let me quote from her book Wood-Engraving and Woodcuts; “There are two sizes of this tool (multiple tool). It should be used very sparingly and should be avoided altogether until one can manage without it! It is apt to enslave the artist, as it gives a clever effect with very little trouble.”

    I hope to make her book available as a flip book in my library section.

  165. John Steins December 28, 2010 — Post author

    Roy, thanks for your comments regarding my father’s drawing. I am replying on his behalf since he is unable to do so himself but he thanks you just the same.

    He lives with myself and my wife at the moment and we are very happy to have him around although his creative energy has waned a bit lately.

    He gave me permission to display his work on my website, so I’m in the process of adding more of his art as time allows. Hope you’ll come back periodically to see what’s new.

    In any event I found your analysis very interesting, especially the bipolar reference. I really think this would translate well as a Japanese print.

  166. Neil Peck December 28, 2010

    If you’re ever in Olympia, Washington, look me up for that pint – I owe you! It’s strange, but I think my computer monitor at work really accentuated the hatching in one direction. I’m using a different computer at home and I can see the cross-hatched shading on the buildings much more clearly. The flip books on your website are great!

  167. Yamster December 29, 2010

    To spread beliefs of the time, such as humanism.

  168. roseytobear December 30, 2010

    You can contact the 3M company for advice as to what type of respirator that you would need to use. Another thing you must be aware of, just because you buy a certain type of respirator, they come in many different sizes and you need to be fit tested before donning one of these. 3M is an excellent choice because they will go in great detail with you about the proper respirators as well as tell you where you might be able to go to be properly fit tested. Just type 3M company into your search engine and it should give you the home website. Good luck.

  169. QUILL December 30, 2010

    Most old books were printed on a type of paper that time and exposure to hostile agents – the sun, water, excess heat, &c – cause severe and irreversible deterioration.

    If the plates are not too badly marked with water damage and/or foxing – the brown spots that mar some old engravings and book pages – then a fairly standard home scanner with simple scanning options such as variable resolution, lighten or darken the image produced by your scanner, vary the colour intensity, etc.

    I use an HP1610 all-in-one to scan from and after checking the product of its setting might make some adjustments to get the best image.

    If necessary, I manipulate the images, using Photo-Shop. I have version 8, and while it is a bit of an antique it works very well.

    Saving the files as bitmap – filename.bmp – delivers the best resolution and sometimes liven up a dark or faded image.

    Good luck.


  170. Penguin December 30, 2010

    Are you talking about transferring an image?
    There are a couple ways.
    Two of the easiest are using cheap contact paper or acrylic matte medium.
    Make a copy of the image on a copy machine or printer. With the cheap contact paper, peel the contact paper and put it directly on the image. Make sure you rub it down hard with a wooden spoon or something similar. Place it is a small basin of water for about 10 minutes. You should then be able to just roll the paper off and the image will stay. It will be light but it will be there. And the more of the paper you roll off the more contact paper will remain and you can just stick it on something!

    The acrylic matte medium you can get at any art supply store. This will work on canvas or board but not paper. Put down a fair amount of the medium on the canvas or board. Place the image face down on top and rub it down with a spoon. Let it dry for 24 hours. Then take a sponge and rub the paper off. Again you will left with the image on the board, but it will be fairly light. This method will also leave the image in reverse so keep that in mind. This one also takes a little more practice to get right

    Hope that helps. There are definitely other methods of transfer but they start getting more complicated. Also, all methods of transfer will leave the image lighter than it was, except of course just photocopying it.

  171. Kristie December 30, 2010

    It’s not wood, since then it would become a woodcut. I think it would be safe to say it was originally engraved on copperplate.

  172. galileo_ali December 31, 2010

    A wood cut uses wood

    A linocut uses linoleum (sometimes mounted on wood) as the surface which is done in relief to produce the print.

  173. misspelled_sam December 31, 2010

    A woodcut is more raw and you can usually see the structure of the wood in a print. A lino gives a fine print with thin straight lines.
    woodcuts are mostly made by expressionism artists because of the raw looks it gives. Lino is not often used by artist, but more at schools, because it’s easier to cut in, it’s softer than wood.

  174. kay oh January 1, 2011

    well i took an art course where we used linoleum plates and etched out the print with linocutters. it was a high school course, so there were no acids allowed obviously. and linocutters are easy to find and come in a huge variety of sizes. i found it was very easy and looked great in the end. i mean, it all depends on what you want to do with the print. but based on the type of printmaking you’ve mentioned, this is the best i can find for you:

    "Both zinc and aluminium can be etched in this bath that uses copper sulfate, salt and a weak acidifier. All chemicals are inexpensive, are locally available and can be disposed down the drain… With a pH of around 3.5, plates can be removed with bare hands if desired…. An interesting observation is that this etch bites metal to expose a crystalline structure, making aquatinting unnecessary for sugar lift and other techniques; there is no open bite." also recommended by a friend of mine is drypoint. "Drypoint — Similar to etching, but the lines are simply scratched into the plate manually, without the use of acid. The hallmark of a drypoint is a soft and often rather thick or bushy line somewhat like that of an ink pen on moist paper."

  175. John Steins January 1, 2011

    This happens to be one of those wonderful images that so aptly describes man’s transition as an earth bound creature to one reaching out beyond the limiting atmosphere and exploring what lies beyond.

    To paraphrase a Wikipedea entry on this; supposedly the astronomer Ernst Zinner claimed that the image was a work from the German Renaissance. He was unable to find any version published earlier than 1906. Further investigation revealed that the work was a composite of images characteristic of different historical periods, and that it had been made with a burin, the engraver’s tool, only used on wood for wood engraving from the late 18th century onwards.

    I somehow doubt that a burin was used to make this print as opposed to regular woodcut gouges and chisels. The determining factor would be whether or not the block was cut on the end grain or not.

  176. LM January 1, 2011

    The suitable type of wood for woodblock was easily available in in Japanese forests. One color for each carved block. For an example Google the Japanese artist Torii Kiyonaga. A century or two ago he specialized in showing Geishas in the garden, performing, pouring tea, singing, dancing embroidering, practicing calligraphy . Geshias were not prostitutes but well educated highly paid performers and entertainers.These prints were very popular and in their day were a cross between a advertisement of individual geishas charms, and a classy pin up poster (but not cheap looking).True artistry and grace were the geishas main seductions

  177. thursday January 2, 2011

    It’s democratic because unlike paintings, that can only be owned by one museum or collector, prints are printed in multiples and able to reach a broader audience. This was a very important element in the 1600’s and 1700’s when printmaking was a way to spread political and social ideas like with Hogarth and Goya.

  178. bob n January 2, 2011

    Because the prints are usually cheaper than any original work of art (though some are still expensive)

  179. AnnOnnyMouse January 2, 2011

    Several artists produced works with that title, but I see you mean Dürer’s woodcut. ‘Christ in Limbo’, as it sometimes called as well, is included both in his Small Passion and Large Passion series, this website gives all the illustrations and sizes:

  180. Jenn January 3, 2011

    It’s typically considered a studio class. It’s not important that you take printmaking since it’s a different art medium entirely. But if you’re interested in learning it, then why not take a basic printmaking class and see if it’s your thing. Occasionally painting majors will change their major to printmaking after taking a printmaking class, just because they find that the art form suits them better.

  181. Puppy Zwolle January 3, 2011

    It depends on what you want.

    But here is something to consider: Unlike most art classes printing needs pretty specialist equipment so this may be a unique chance to learn this. To learn the basics of printing is a must for any artist I believe. And it’s great fun.

  182. Orla C January 3, 2011

    It’s very very useful to be able to do, printmaking. I would strongly suggest you do the basics and see how you go.

  183. Colin January 3, 2011

    printmaking is not a necessary class to have but it has certainly changed the way i make work. everyone i know who has taken a class in printmaking absolutely fell in love with it. if your really in doubt go to the print making lab in between classes and go have this chat with one of the professors there. they can tell you what you might get out of there class better than anyone here can do.

  184. It's That Guy January 3, 2011

    The Chinese invented it. Woodblock printing wouldn’t have been so hard to invent, but the Chinese also invented paper and ink, so printing kind of follows logically after that. 8^)

    The purpose? It was a way of reproducing text, what did you think?

  185. Eulali Maturey January 3, 2011


  186. Kannan Shenmugam January 3, 2011

    I’d say 1837

  187. Nyeleti January 4, 2011

    Its origin can be traced to105 AD during the Han Dynasty.

    Please see

  188. John Steins January 4, 2011

    No similarity at all, other than that they are both printmaking processes.

    Woodcut involves making grooves and gouges in a piece of wood in order to develop the design where the surface is inked and printed to produce an edition.

    Drypoint is one of many techniques under the heading of intaglio. A drypoint tool is used to scratch the surface of the copper plate which throws up a microscopic bur. When printing ink is wiped on to the plate this bur catches enough ink so that it will print when passed through an etching press. The down side of this method of printmaking is that drypoints usually yield very small editions due to the fact that the pressure of the press will eventually flatten out those burs thereby reducing the quality of any subsequent prints.

    Some printmakers will electroplate the fragile drypoint with nickle in order to strengthen the surface for longer runs.

    I shouldn’t be hard to distinguish between a woodcut print and a drypoint.

  189. Rosey 2ooo January 4, 2011

    You can use the drypoint process on acrylic to make etchings and print onto wet watercolour paper.

  190. John Steins January 4, 2011 — Post author

    Not sure about the Charles Burchfield but here’s a few examples of Lankes’ work.

  191. Neil Peck January 4, 2011

    The beauty and sincerity of Lankes’s prints is so inspiring! They really have the look and feel of wood engravings even if they are done in side grain. I count A woodcut Manual among my first and most important influences.

  192. Danielle G January 5, 2011

    I’ve used this printmaking technique to make t-shirts and bags. (typical screen printing, but you may be able to use it for printmaking)

    You’ll need and embroidery hoop, paint brushes, and some thin, sheer fabric.

    Then, whichever parts you don’t want paint to go through, use a waterproof glue, such as modpodge.

    Then, apply the paint using a paint brush. Depending on the type of fabric you use, its good to work it in the areas you want it to go through with a stiff brush/stenciling brush.

    The only down side is, if you plan on using more than one color, there’s only so many times you can wash the fabric out and re-use it.

    The link below is where i found it, it has details/pictures.

    Best of luck!

  193. sk January 5, 2011

    It all depends on what type of prints you want to make mono-types, lithographs, etchings and so on… Your fist step is to reseach why type interests you the most and then you can decide how to start printing at home. These forms of art have been around for years and most artists are poor or lacking funds to star,t so if there is a will there will definitly be a way for an artist to do their work!!!

  194. rockestertm January 5, 2011

    Potato printing, wood block carving and printing, foam core carving and printing. 🙂

  195. aurora January 5, 2011

    yes. Use meat trays that you cut the edges off of and do a drawing and then place the drawing on top of the meat tray and then press into it with the pencil. Works great. I am an art student and have been teaching art to children for 6 years now. Also, I have done these amazing monoprints using crayon shavings and wax paper over them and them ironing them to the paper. It looks soo amazing. Also try layering cardboard shapes of objects at different times to create a multiple color relief print. Good luck. Also you can buy linoleum blocks and just use a roller and your body weight to press it turns out great. Just don’t try it with anything larger than 8 x 10.

  196. John Steins January 5, 2011 — Post author

    Agreed. Just have to find the time to scan his book and check for permissions, etc.

  197. John Steins January 5, 2011 — Post author

    I believe it measures 27 x 38 centimeters or approximately 10.5 by 15 inches. A few years ago I had the thrill of viewing and handling a very large collection of Dürer’s prints archived at the National Gallery of Canada. I also have some amazing reproductions of his engravings that were produced in pre-war Germany.

  198. Marie January 6, 2011

    I enjoy ceramics the most. If you’re the type of person who really likes working with your hands, this is the perfect medium. Some people like handbuilding best while others like throwing pots on the wheel. It depends on what type of piece you want to end up with. Typically pieces in ceramics are both functional and decorative.

  199. thepostwardreamx January 6, 2011

    Either ceramics or photography — maybe even printmaking.

    I love ceramics because it’s just so fun! Clay, glaze, kennels and paint. What more could you want? Hehe, I just like it because it’s a 3D way to express yourself.

    Photography I like. Some classes make it more of a technical class versus the actual art of photography.

    I did monotype printing in my art class last year. I liked it, it was sometimes difficult though. Not with a woodcut or engraving though.

  200. ali k January 6, 2011

    Commercial Art and Photography will be better for you
    cuz ceramics needs strong hand and a lot of time you have to be pacint
    also printmaking needs a lot of hard time

  201. Destin January 6, 2011

    Commercial arts because you can take photography classes anytime.You can find those classes everywhere especially on the internet and it’s not that expencive either.But commercial art classes are more complex and they are harder to find.

  202. sarah p January 7, 2011

    Josephine press has a workshop every tuesday evening. The cost is $100 for 4 sessions (3 1/2 hours). They are in Santa Monica. They have a website and its best to call the owner. You might be able to take a class at SMC, the man who owns Josephine press teaches a couple classes there but they fill up quickly.

    Armory is Pasadena has a printmaking class but it is only monoprinting. I have tried to get information for Self Help Graphics for years and it is kind of hard to get in contact with them.

  203. Byram January 7, 2011

    PCC in Pasadena has great classes at night- reasonable prices and good for all levels of skill. Also, you can sign up with Self Help Graphics for classes- not sure of schedule. There are great weekend classes posted irregularly on the website for the Los Angeles Printmaking Society-

  204. FlyingScooter January 7, 2011

    the Swastika

  205. John Wagstaff January 8, 2011

    Actually, this question has been the subject of debate for centuries.

    It is thought Dürer officially remained a Catholic throughout his life, but he was certainly sympathetic to Luther’s attempts to reform the Church. Some even say he died a good Lutheran.

    As you mention, many of his earlier works focus on Mary and the saints, while his later, Lutheran influenced, works have more scriptural subjects.

    The Reformation era was a turbulent time, and in Dürer’s day it was still hoped and believed that the differences between the Lutheran and Catholic parties would work themselves out in the end. The Lutheran Augsburg Confession makes a very strong argument that Luther’s teachings were in no way inconsistent with the Catholic teachings prior to the corruption of it during the Middle Ages. Many Lutherans at this point did not consider themselves as a separate demonination, but as a reform movement within the Catholic Church.

  206. gypsy_girl January 8, 2011

    Durer was born Catholic, however, became influenced in later life by the writings of Martin Luther.

  207. Chrispy January 8, 2011

    According to the website below, he was Catholic.

  208. leantimes January 8, 2011

    Durer was a Catholic, but was a major proponent of Renaissance humanism. Renaissance humanists believed that the liberal arts (art, music, grammar, rhetoric, oratory, history, poetry, using classical texts, and the studies of all of the above) should be practiced by all levels of “richness”. They also approved of self, human worth and individual dignity.

  209. Paula The Librarian January 8, 2011

    The Last Supper is just as much a Lutheran topic as it is Catholic or Fundamentalist Christian. Lutherans also have the cannibalistic theology of consubstantiation (the communion wafer is both the body and blood of Jesus and truly bread at the same time). It would be hard to distinguish Dürer’s affiliation just by the subjects he chose for his art.

  210. Lolly P January 9, 2011

    Try Xpedx in Provo or Salt Lake City. I think I saw them there when I was oooohing and ahhhhhing over the paper!

  211. tigris January 9, 2011

    I would guess you mean expressionist woodcuts by German artists.
    You should look up particularly Käthe Kollwitz, but also:
    Ernst Barlach, Max Beckmann, Heinrich Campendonck, Marc Chagall, Lovis Corinth, Otto Dix, Lyonel Feininger, Georg Grosz, Erich Heckel, Hannah Hoch, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Emile Nolde, Max Pechstein, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

    Basically it was a medium which was in favor with artists of "die Bruecke"
    I had a short look and couldn’t find a good website within 5 mins, though there appears to be a book about the subject. I would guess you would get the best info if you go to the library and see what books you can get about expressionism and about a number of individual artists and what you can find in there.

  212. Dsonuvagun January 10, 2011

    I don’t know, but if they had to spell it out like that it was probably during those puritanical times. When you first described it it reminded me of Albrecht Durer’s "Harrowing of Hell" and "Angel with the Key to the Bottomless Pit", or even "The Conversion of St. Paul". But Durer was earlier . . . and never needed to spell things out.

    Good luck on your quest.

  213. trulyscrumptious January 10, 2011

    I remember having to do something in a histoy lesson as a kid. Upstairs is heaven, Middle is limbo, and Hell is bellow. Those in limbo are awaiting judgement by God. I believe it has something to do with the middle ages. Sorry, I don’t know who drew it.

  214. Beth January 10, 2011

    I think you might mean the Dutch Hieronymus (or Jerome) Bosch. But he was a bit earlier.

    MC Escher, also Dutch, did a lot of modern cuts that LOOK old and were modeled on some of Bosch’s work. You might look through his images as well.

  215. cillamcgowan January 11, 2011

    Today there are very many categories and subcategories of printmaking. However, we can basically break these into four major areas or principals. These are Relief, Intaglio, Lithography and Serigraph.


    Relief is the oldest form of printmaking. The earliest relief printmaking on paper goes back to the woodcuts of China, dating back to the 8th Century. Woodcuts appeared in Europe much later, in the 15th Century.

    The basic principle of relief printing is to create an image on paper from the raised surface of the matrix. The artist draws onto a surface (the block or matrix) and then cuts away the areas that are not to form part of the image. These areas are the negative parts of the image, or the spaces around what we see generally consider to be the image. Thus the ink only reaches the areas the artist does not touch. The block is inked and a piece of paper laid over it. The artist then either rubs the paper using their hand or a hard, smooth object or runs it through a printing press. The image produced on the paper mirrors that on the block. Woodcuts and linocut are the most common examples of relief prints.


    Intaglio is the precise opposite of relief printmaking. In this process the artist carves the image onto the matrix and then rubs ink into these carved lines, making sure that the untouched areas are cleaned of ink. In the intaglio process the paper is previously soaked in water. When it is laid over the matrix and the squashed through the printing press, the soft paper is pushed into the grooves of the inked lines, thus transferring the image onto the paper. Many intaglio processes involve creating the grooves with acids that eat into a metal plate. Variations of the Intaglio technique include Engraving, Etching, Aquatint, Mezzotint and Aquatint.


    The distinct advantage of lithography is that a large number of prints can be made form any single matrix, without the image deteriorating in quality. Lithography was invented by Aloysius Senefelder (1771 – 1834), in Bavaria. The concept of lithography is based on the mutual incompatibility of oil and water; the capacity of limestone to absorb and retain water and the disposition of oily substances to adhere to limestone. The highly polished nature of the surface is receptive to the oil that is spread over it. Senefelder discovered that by chemically treating the surface of limestone, and drawing onto it with a grease crayon, only the areas touched by the grease crayon would take the printing ink. Therefore, by drawing onto the treated stone in this way, inking it, covering it with a damp paper and running it through a printing press, the image is transferred exactly onto the paper. Nowadays the technique is applied using a metal plate.


    All serigraphic prints are based on the concept of stencil. The stencil technique uses a thin sheet of impenetrable, durable material with a design cut into it. This is placed over a receiving surface (paper, canvas, etc.). Thus the paint or dye applied over the surface of the stencil only reaches the receiving surface where the design has been cut away.

    The techniques of stencil developed into Screen-printing in the UK in the 1920s. However, it did not become widely used until the 1960s, when Pop Art had its debut with Andy Warhol.

    Nowadays Silkscreen or Screenprint is the most commonly known form of serigraphic printmaking. This technique is used in many day to day objects, such as posters, T. shirts, printed fabrics and wallpaper design. The most famous use of this technique can be seen in the works of Andy Warhol

  216. stracciatella72 January 11, 2011

    Deviant Art has a good resource of stock photos available for use and usually, you just have to message or e-mail the photographer and ask to use their image (or whatever stipulation they put on their images, like just informing the photographer that you used their photo). Use the browse option, Categories> Resources> Stock Images> Model> Male> Nude> Formal, Classical (or All. Here is a link straight to that ).

    You could also search with their search bar, but then you run into professional photographs and can run into copyright issues (some won’t let you use them, others do not belong to the deviant but a client or something, etc.). Using stock images is just a little easier.

  217. Tom K January 11, 2011

    According to YOUR link, it is the work of Filipe Vigarni de Borgona. (first link)
    Also found a book review that you may find of interest. (second link)

  218. Tiamat January 12, 2011

    Here’s a ton of information on how to choose and design your chop:

    Once you have your chop designed, you can either cut your own stamp from wax or linoleum, or take your design to any office supply store and request that a stamp be made using the image. Hope this helps, and good luck with your art!

  219. Herbli January 12, 2011

    Yes, it’s very legit. Looks like a militarized samurai sword, what experts call a katana. The one fact is many antique family heirloom katana blades were re-gripped and carried in military scabbards, so some GI bring-backs were 400 year old museum quality blades placed in plain military trappings. Secondly, the one way to identify your blade is to remove the grip and see the markings on the tang that name the maker and help determine age. Your jpg’s are not helpful and not detailed enough. It may be worthwhile to get your sword professionally appraised. You may want to go to one of the military collectibles or sword groups on Usenet and ask them. There are several online sites discussing this topic also. Even if it is a 1930’s made common military blade, your sword is valuable. The engraving on the tang is what had the collector drooling. With your new info, Google your friend Mano Masayasu. See the link.

  220. G January 12, 2011

    THis would have been a sword carried by an officer. Can’t tell from the photos what the scabbard is wrapped in but the handle is braided silk over ray skin. A great many swords were manufactured in Japan around ww1 and as a rule are not very valuable. If this is a factory made sword it will have a crysanthemum flower stamp on the blade. It looks a little too ornate to be a factory blade but i didn’t see a hamon (temper line) so I can’t be sure. If it is an older family sword the identifying marks will be on the tang. ( the part of the blade under the handle)

  221. thetsugiosan January 12, 2011

    This is definitely the real deal.

    I’m squinting to read this, but it looks like it reads:

    Bishu Ju (Mano) Masayasu Kitau Kore

    The signature seems legit, too. The marks on the other side should be enamel and are just notes for assembly.

    Masayasu forged and signed blades are generally accepted to be gendaito (traditionally made with traditional materials) as opposed to showato (Showa period blades that can range from machine made, oil quenched to traditionally made with modern steel). To Japanese sword collectors, gendaito are the WWII period blades that are most desirable. Showato are just WWII weapons, not so much works of art.

    The hamon on this particular blade should be a slim band, either perfectly straight (suguba) or undulating in a regular pattern (gunome) about the width of one of the straps of ito (handle binding cord). It may appear hazy in this condition, and will probably be ever so slightly lighter than the rest of the blade. This one seems to be in Japanese army mounts, and it differs from most gunto in the fact that the second, removable hanger is present. A nice little extra that isn’t often seen.

    Do not remove any rust on the blade or tang in any way! If anything, just get some sewing machine oil and 91% rubbing alcohol. Use the alcohol to clean gunk off of the blade and apply the oil to prevent more rust. Do not do this to the tang. The dark rust there is a very good thing. It helps verify the age of the sword.

    To look for others like this one, search Bishu Ju Mano Masayasu Saku Kore. You should find a few more like it. Keep in mind that sometimes the Mano was written, but sometimes it is only implied.

    Please contact me if you need anything else! I love studying old swords.

  222. January 13, 2011

    Thus fundamentals of both are the same – design. Color, composition, negative space, typography… they all play a role in both printmaking and graphic design. I do both myself, and I would say this:

    Graphic Design: More computer-oriented, and more potential to make lots of money.

    Printmaking: More "real-world" oriented, but the career path leans towards fine art which is harder to get by in.

    Personally, if you can somehow do both, I would focus on Graphic Design and minor in Printmaking. Why? As a graphic designer, you spend lots of time in front of the computer, but as a printmaker, you use your hands to make real things. I’ve found that after a while, making things on the computer that don’t actually exist bugs me… work can be wiped out easily by a hard drive crash, but with printmaking, what you create has a much longer lifespan.

    Hope that helps!

  223. classmate January 13, 2011

    An artist carves an image into a flat piece of wood, then applies ink to the carving and presses the inked woodblock against a sheet of paper to create the print.

  224. kerangoumar January 13, 2011

    ok, here is where confusion can come in.

    technically speaking there are woodcuts and wood engravings, both of which use a block of wood.

    woodCUTS are cut into the grain which presents its lengthwise surface of a soft wood wich as pine to the printmaker;
    wood ENGRAVINGS are engraved with special tools into the END GRAIN of a hard wood such as box

    both are referred to as woodblock prints but that is vague.

    use the proper terminology and all sorts of other info follows naturally:

    wood cuts are generally tho not always rougher looking, with broader lines and a softer appearance. they often are mad eto include colours

    wood engravings have the hard edge look of other engravings and can include greater precision and much more detail.

    wood cuts are easier to cut and correct if mistakes are made

    wood engravings when past a certain point are almost impossible to correct.

  225. t d January 16, 2011

    the Impressionists believed in working directly from their subject, something which is difficult with printmaking, except etching, of which Whistler produced a good varity.

    Guaguin used the roughtness woodcuts to sevoke the primitive; Tolouse Lautrec used the reliatively new medium of Lithography to produce posters in large quantities, and gained from the flatness of the medium.

    Japanese prints were a major influence on Degas, Gauguin and Van Gogh, especially re. their use of pattern and flat colour.

  226. braich_gal January 16, 2011

    i’ve thought about this before and i plan to get a tattoo(though not anytime soon) of "The Archer"…it’s a centaur with a bow…and it looks really cool…besides, i’m a sagittarius and The Archer stands for that. It would probably be on my back but i’m reconsidering the position to be on my arm instead…all depends!!!

  227. Dominus January 16, 2011

    I have two. Both are in the style of Chinese calligraphic brushwork pictures. I had to search all over for someone who did that specific sort of work, as not many artists seemed to know how to thin the ink out so it would look right.

    One is a horse, and the other is of a tiger; the horse is my Chinese astrological symbol and the tiger is the symbol of my love.

  228. Jack P January 17, 2011

    A first class in printmaking would be uncomplicated. You would likely be using wood blocks which are really easy and it probably won’t even be wood. Draw it the way you see it. It doesn’t have to be a photo image. If that’s what you want then get a camera. Don’t be afraid. Take the class and have fun!

  229. Michelle Androu January 18, 2011

    Thank you, this is very helpful and mirrors many techniques and advise given to me by Stanley Palmer. He is NZ’s most established printmaker and I am about to work doing woodcuts in his studio. Is this illustration above your own work? It’s beautiful.

  230. John Steins January 18, 2011 — Post author

    Hi Michelle, I’m very happy that you’ve found this info useful. It makes it worthwhile to do the work of finding and posting it.

    Right now I’m posting chapters from Ian Macnab’s book on wood engraving. I have quite a library to put online.

    Best of luck with your work and no, that isn’t my work, it is a Paul Landacre engraving.


  231. echinopsis . January 18, 2011

    To make a collagraph you need to make the printing plate first from fairly thin material like cardboard, netting, doilies – whatever you can get your hands on, then the printing plate needs to be sealed. Now you ink the plate, lay a piece of paper on top and either rub the back of the paper with a spoon or run it through a printing press, preferrably with a layer of felt on top of the paper. Here’s a good description for beginners:

  232. echinopsis . January 18, 2011

    To make a collagraph you need to make the printing plate first from fairly thin material like cardboard, netting, doilies – whatever you can get your hands on, then the printing plate needs to be sealed. Now you ink the plate, lay a piece of paper on top and either rub the back of the paper with a spoon or run it through a printing press, preferrably with a layer of felt on top of the paper. Here’s a good description for beginners:

  233. Answers1 January 18, 2011

    From the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Art and Letters. You may want to contact the director for more information about Sylvia Walters Solachek…

    James Watrous and Friends:
    The Legacy and Influence of James Watrous
    November 12, 2004–January 9, 2005

    Opening reception with talk by Art Hove
    Sunday, November 14, 1–4 p.m.

    A tribute to James Watrous, one of the most influential figures in Wisconsin visual art. Watrous taught art history and art at UW–Madison from 1934 to 1976, where he helped shape the departments of art history and art and mentored many students who went on to great accomplishments. Through art work, photographs, and text, this exhibit brings to life Watrous’ many roles and his legacy. Artists shown include Nancy Eckholm Burkert, Robert Burkert, Robert Grilley, Doug Safranek, Sylvia Fine, Dan O’Neill, John Wickenberg, and Sylvia Walters Solachek.

    Related Presentation
    Tuesday, November 16, 7-9 p.m.

    Academy Evening featuring Millard Rogers, a close colleague of James Watrous and the first director of the Elvehjem Museum.

  234. John January 19, 2011

    After fully soaking and draining a sheet of fine etching paper the cotton fibres soften making it pliable enough to pick up even the finest lines from an intaglio plate when passed through the etching press.

    You can clearly see the difference between printing dry and wet. The later giving the best quality especially if the etching plate is pre-heated making the inks more liquid. Wetted paper is much more receptive to the inks.

    Blotting paper is used sometimes to interleave between wetted paper sheets to take away excess moisture before printing.

  235. moore850 January 19, 2011

    Looking at expired auction results, we can see prices ranging from $70-$90. I wouldn’t expect to get more than that unless you can authenticate and they are rare somehow. To get a realistic figure, contact a professional art auction house (or Antiques Roadshow).

  236. ramashka_ramesh January 19, 2011

    The idea of art advocated by Expressionism is diametrically opposed to Impressionism. Expressionist painters did not stick to realistically reproducing impressions and representing beautiful forms. On the contrary, to them art was not representing nature as viewed through a subjective take on it; unlike the Impressionists they gave priority to their own emotions, representing motifs as "profoundly felt" and thus intepreted.The basic elements of color, dynamics and emotion occur in virtually all Expressionist works of art. However, even black-and-white Expressionist prints radiate their creators’ energy and dynamism. It was in fact the "harsh" medium of woodcut that became the Expressionist vehicle of choice.
    You can do it with words, you can do it with pictures, or you can do it with both.

    For those interested in doing it just with pictures, there are two books in print right now on woodcut novels and wordless books that are absolute must-reads. First, for an overall sampler and history of the form, get David Beronä’s Wordless Books: The Original Graphic Novels. Beronä is the Library Director of the Lamson Library at Plymouth State University, and he’s been researching woodcut novels and wordless books for twenty years.

  237. Sun_Goddess_Sunny January 21, 2011

    I think it’s really cool!! How much is it?

  238. Diahann January 21, 2011

    The yudu sells for around US$200

    I bought one and I love it. It paid for itself in two months. I sell the T shirts that I print to groups and clubs.

    The ink quality is excellent (and you can use other water based inks if you need to save costs)

    You can hack the system easily to save costs and maximize production

    Joining is a must, there are tons of expert yudu’ers there.

  239. artful January 21, 2011

    You need to find a conservator. He or she should be able to tell you how to preserve your book, what it will cost and whether the intrinsic value of the book is worth the effort. The conservator should also know what you can do as far as scanning is concerned.

  240. Sara B January 21, 2011

    if you really want to preserve it, look up a book doctor (I know it sounds funny, but there are also doll doctors who do the same thing for vintage toys)

    The problem lies in the glue that holds the book together. It is old and not as flexiable as it once was. It needs some medical help!

  241. Tim D January 22, 2011

    Specifically what kind of printmaking were you thinking of?
    Etching, engraving, woodcut, linocut, monoprint, screen printing etc.

  242. dream123 January 23, 2011

    Generally speaking, not really.

    I don’t know what medium you are working in. Each type of ink is different.

    For each ink line, there is usually some kind of thinner, retarder (slows drying), or other kind of modifier, that is part of the product line and can help enhance the qualities you want.

  243. hushcolours January 23, 2011


    Here is a direct link for the Printmaking forum at Wetcanvas.
    You can also enter search terms at top of page.

    Kind regards,

    José (TheArtInquirer)

  244. Pizza Eating Ganesh January 23, 2011

    I recommend that you get it appraised by an antique shop (a reliable and trusted one). Woodblocks are usually awesome and aesthetically pleasing and can probably sell for a proud sum (depending on the artist/condition).

  245. Hannafate January 23, 2011

    To make a woodcut, you will need:

    Wood. Obviously. A nice smooth, even grained wood with a flat surface. You can buy prepared boards at the Art Supply store. Basswood is a good choice, since it cuts easily, but is strong enough to get quite a few prints off of before it mashes down. Harder woods will make more prints, but can be difficult for a beginner.

    Paper. You may wish to try several different types of paper. The most popular paper for small woodcuts is rice paper. Ask someone at the Art Supply store for suggestions. If you do not have access to a press, you will want to use a soft paper that does not need to be wetted. You can "press" these softer papers with the back of a spoon.

    Ink. There are nice oil-based inks designed specifically for printmaking, but you can use other kinds of ink. Egg tempera can be a lot of fun, as well as opaque watercolor. The water based inks are easier to handle, but don’t clean off of the wood as nicely as the oil based ink. Again, ask at the Art Supply store for specifics.

    Ink thinner. If you get the oil based ink, you will need this to clean it up.

    Carving tools. You should be able to get a set of gouges and chisels fairly inexpensively. Some people like to use Exacto knives, but it can get pretty tedious. If you are using a very hard wood, Exactos won’t cut it properly.

    A brayer. A brayer is a rubber roller, rather like a paint roller. You use it to spread the ink evenly on the cut surface of the wood. You can use a scrap piece of glass or plexiglass to roll the ink on.

    Space to work. You will want room to roll your ink out, next to your wood. You will need elbow room while you ink the wood, and press the paper on it. Then, most importantly, you will need a place to hang up the paper while the ink dries.

    Go to your library and check out books on making woodcuts that have good step-by-step illustrations. You can also find video tutorials online, but the books seem to be more useful.

  246. JGinCowtown January 24, 2011

    Absolutely – dry rosin is sifted onto a plate as a fine powder and heated to melt the particles to the plate forming a resist. Other materials such as some spray paints can be applied as a mist, dried forming a resist. Plate is etched in acid pitting wherever there is no resist.Resist is removed and areas are then burnished and finessed to enhance the bite. Wherever there was resist or burnishing the ink does not remain when the plate is wiped.

    c situationally
    a,b and e are all based on incission of linear marks by one means or another and are therefore considered linear
    A by blade
    b by cutting through a surface "resist"
    e by needle-like stylus

  247. Ruth51 January 24, 2011

    Hi! This is a very interesting art form, which is the oldest form of printmaking, particularly by the Japanese. Woodcut is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges.

    The areas to show ‘white’ are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in ‘black’ at the original surface level.

    You may view 13,500 images referring to woodcut printmaking at this link. Click on the thumbnails of what interests you for a larger photo and to go to the information page on which it is posted:

    One must have patience when carving woodcuts! Thanks for asking this question. Best wishes!

  248. jplatt39 January 25, 2011

    Grade 8s in the united states should be handle linoleum blocks. You can get them at Michaels or some other craft store. You draw on them, cut away the parts you want white, and roll ink on them then press the paper down. You do need a carving tool set rather than a knife:

    Of course potato prints are fun and they might say they are kid stuff but you can do a lot with them. Use butter knives — you can cut nicely with them.

    If you or the school is feeling especially well-heeled or you know a good craftsman or both look up silk screen printing. It’s not as expensive as other forms of printing, but not as cheap as even linoleum blocks.

  249. bob n January 25, 2011

    I agree with the above contributer, Linolium blocks are good. You can also start with glue prints (Elmers glue on a tagboard sheet, let dry, ink and print) or string prints is a variation (glue soaked string on tagboard, let dry, ink and print) Monoprinting is fun (glass or finished masonite, put tempra and mix with a little dish soap, spread it around the board or glass, draw into it and print it up) It is good for only one copy becauses it gets squished each time. Card board shapes cut out and glued on a backing of tagboard, ink and print (it is easy for younger kids to cat than linoblocks and safer)

  250. John January 25, 2011

    For me, this line – ‘Beyond the gate lay an entire mysterious land. Forgotten about. Abandoned. Fled from.’- Conjures more atmosphere than the rest of It put together…It lacks description which forces the reader to use their imagination (the key to writing horror), a few key points (‘Fled from’ is absolutely brilliant, I’m already seeing people running, screaming from the place) sets the mood…try not to over complicate your writing; for example, you don’t need to describe the ‘sword in one gauntlet’ – you’ve already mentioned the armour, most people will take it for granted that there’s a sword there because there usually is…

    I’m not saying make your writing simple, just don’t bog it down with unnecessary description; It’ll make your story flow much, much better…

    Hope I made some sense…

    Enjoy your writing!

  251. Will Erica's son January 25, 2011

    I think you would be best to go to a specialist shop or just look around at yard sales. you might get lucky but I think you will have trouble finding it.

  252. mackbarak January 26, 2011

    There are more, and more accessible, ways of printmaking now, and papers to do it with. Japanese prints into Europe at the end of the 19thC established prints as a "respectable" and collectable art form, distinct from mere reproductions (which were anyway more limited by available techniques then). The emergence of the middle class created a market of people who wanted wall decorations not limited to "holy" pictures. In modern times, artists (and galleries) find the sales of a multiple work, at consequently reduced item prices, both easier and more profitable than trying to sell unique originals, which must command higher prices on fewer sales, so artist and gallery can eat! So the market is cultivated, and effectively feeds on itself.

  253. subversiveelement January 26, 2011

    not only is it a different medium for the Artist to explore. But the image can be made in multiples and sold accordingly. Since (most)prints are not unique the price is generally more reasonable for most buyers.

  254. Pem January 26, 2011

    Some of the greatest ukiyoe artists were Utagawa Hiroshige and
    Katsushika Hokusai (His work " The great wave off Kanagawa is one of the most famous ukioye prints)

    Have a look into their work! 🙂 You will also discover the influence that these Japanese prints had on great Western artists such as Van Gogh and Monet.

  255. Maturin January 27, 2011

    They are both techniques that have been around for a long time so traditional (but they are still used by some contemporary artists).

  256. Lidybeff January 27, 2011

    Hi Tim,

    Etching is a complicated and exacting art.

    My advice to you would be to seek out some lessons with a printmaker. This is one medium where you really need the hands on experience, as there are many variables and much of it is difficult to learn from books.

    Is there a printmaker’s co-op in your area? If so, drop by and introduce yourself, you might find a receptive and helpful ear.

    I learned for many years under a master printmaker, and he was still correcting me (rightfully) after all that time. You will be working with metal plates, acid and some complicated procedures. Please don’t try to do this alone, get hands on help from someone who knows what they are doing.

    Presses are extremely expensive, so try it for a while and be sure that it’s for you before you invest in a press.

  257. Debonair January 27, 2011

    Yes I do have an idea. But first ,etching is a form of relief printmaking. In wood and lino cuts you cut into the materials with a tool/knife.blade. In etching on metal you cut down( or "bite",as some say) into it with acid..Etching is an old process not used very much commercially for printing anymore .Because of the drawing aspects it is a good subject in the art schools Steeped in tradition and a very fine medium it does however require an investment in equipment,and not just the cost of the press.. Dangerous,a little because of the use of acid to etch the metal. A friend wanted to give her high school students a taste of etching as a printing medium. But high school students being children acid use was out of the question,just because of the fumes alone,never mind the acid burn potential for children that like to goof around too much Then she found out about using plexiglas sheets, and a stiles.used to scratch/draw into the plexiglas. All the same stiles techniques could be used line drawing,cross–hatching whatever. Everything is done just as you would using zinc or copper plates drawing,inking,printing Just no acid needed. She was able to borrow a table mounted printing press. With a roller adjustable for thick wood and lino blocks and for the sheets of plexiglas, Felt blankets had to be used just as with a metal plate. They inked those puppies up and you couldn’t tell the difference between those prints and prints made using metal plates. the art supply company, Dick Blick sells a small table top printing press.I don’t recall the dimensions of the bed However the length of 19 inches comes to mind,but not the width…They also sell the felt blankets, inks, whatever else that is needed. I think that the price was a little over a hundred dollars(US) but under two hundred(US) but don’t quote me on this, it has been a few years since this all happened Here is the link:.

  258. John Steins January 28, 2011 — Post author

    Originally, editions were limited to how many quality impressions could be pulled from a plate such as an etching or especially fragile drypoints. Obviously the artist and publisher wished to preserve the integrity of each print in the edition, so that the last one looked exactly like the first one.

    From a collector’s point of view, a 1/50 print is more collectable than 10/50. Also, the knowledge that only 50 are in existence adds value in the mind of a collector.

    In terms of durability, a wood engraving block, if treated properly, can withstand thousands of impressions without degrading. There are Thomas Bewick blocks from the 1700’s that produce impressions today that are as fresh as the day they were first printed.

    The question of wether to limit an edition is sometimes a constraint which can be perceived as being artificial, contrary to the populist idea of producing multiples for the masses to enjoy.

  259. old lady January 28, 2011

    Salvador Dali was an artist, but a very eclectic one. He used anything at all to achieve his art. Graphic reproduction is simply a technique that lets you reproduce things. An artist creates something – that’s an original. Then the artist may reproduce it and sell the reproductions, or someone else may reproduce it and sell the reproductions. Dali didn’t do much in the line of reproductions — he and his works were all originals, and some of them were pretty far out. Like his famous moustaches….

  260. msbenett January 29, 2011

    The primary advantage of printmaking as a medium is that it allows images to be easily disseminated, and thus shared with a wider audience. It is also a cheap way to reproduce images, and this was especially important in the years before photography was developed. The ease of distribution and affordability of the medium helped printmaking to become extremely popular and used in a variety of applications.

  261. Douglas W January 29, 2011

    The biggest advantage of printmaking is that you can print the images several times. That way you can put a lower price on it and sell more of them, in the long run you can make more money this way. If you are not worried about the money, you can give a print to all of your family and still have one for yourself. Also, prints look diffetent than anything else. Etchings are more line based, while monoprints tend to be more based around color. Woodcuts have a very unique look to them that is expressive and textural, and it comes from the natural grain and hardness of the wood.

    To really understand the advantages of printmaking, you have to try it and see how you like it. It’s not for everyone.

  262. deepu_is_confused January 30, 2011

    Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of the same piece, which is called a print. Each piece is not a copy but an original since it is not a reproduction of another work of art and is technically known as an impression. Painting or drawing, on the other hand, create a unique original piece of artwork. Prints are created from a single original surface, known technically as a matrix. Common types of matrices include: plates of metal, usually copper or zinc for engraving or etching; stone, used for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts, linoleum for linocuts and fabric plates for screen-printing. But there are many other kinds, discussed below. Works printed from a single plate create an edition, in modern times usually each signed and numbered to form a limited edition. Prints may also be published in book form, as artist’s books. A single print could be the product of one or multiple techniques.

    hope that helped!

  263. Andrea E February 3, 2011

    Hi, The twisted etching needle is used to inscribe lines onto a metal plate, usually copper or zinc. You can scratch directly onto a plate which when inked and printed would create a drypoint intaglio print, or you can paint a resist onto the metal plate which you can inscribe lines into and then immerse into an acid bath. The acid etches the inscibed lines deeper into the plate. When inked and printed this creates an intaglio etching print.
    I have not used the brushes for printing the Moku Hanga Japanese techinique of woodblock printmaking. Here is a website though, McClains, which has a lot of the supplies for a variety of printmaking techniqes including Moku Hanga, also books and they have a website gallery displaying a variety of prints, some made which that technique.

    Andrea Emmons,

  264. Caryl Peters February 4, 2011

    Thanks so much for posting this. I have several how-to books on wood engraving but always find something new in each one I read. This is a wonderful service for those without access to libraries or all-inclusive bookstores.

  265. John Steins February 4, 2011 — Post author


    Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment. It’s good to know that other engravers find value in these old texts. And you are correct in saying that there’s always something new to discover. As time permits, I’ll be adding more.


  266. Caryl Peters February 6, 2011

    I like the engraved embellishments you created for the book – where did you find the one-inch blocks? For one of our books using George Walker’s engravings, I digitally selected a portion of an engraving to use in this manner (with George’s permission, of course), but I like the idea of creating something original. What do you mean by “I used Ornament as a reference on which to base these images”? I’m new at this. Caryl

  267. John Steins February 6, 2011 — Post author

    Thanks Caryl!

    I have a lifetime supply of boxwood stored in my woodworking shop. Not all the bits are of perfect quality but one inch square pieces are easy to find and polish up for a wood engraving. I don’t worry about them being type high since I print them on the etching press.

    I really enjoyed doing that project for Michael’s book. I selected small passages from my cover art to use as a basis for the spot illustrations. It really got me excited to make larger abstracts along the same lines, which I am gearing up to do. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a new engraving.

    If there’s anything I can assist you with, please let me know.


  268. jishows February 6, 2011

    Can you understand Japanese?
    If you can, Gensoukoubou will help you. It has 20 small rental studio, and you can rent many tools of woodwork, chasing, etc. It is situated in a large shopping mall "Lalaport Yokohama." And, there is Tokyu Hands, too. I think you can get everything you want there.
    I think you had better phone before going because it is a bit far from Tokyo. It is at Kamoi station of Yokohama line, and it costs about 1 hour from Tokyo station.

  269. Irene Butcher February 9, 2011

    Great idea, I’ve only just started doing lino and wood prints and value any more lessons. I am also a stuggling artist who took up printmaking a couple of years ago but can no longer afford the lessons so I am experimenting with various techniques that don’t involve using acids. I think engraving will be next it seems quite similar to drypoint which I love doing at the moment.

  270. Irene Butcher February 9, 2011

    How would I get hold of a rubber litho. blanket?

  271. Irene Butcher February 9, 2011

    I really like this image, especially the angle you’ve used and the ‘flow’ of engraved lines. Also you captured the light very well and even though it is an engraving, it’s not too focused on detail which is good.

  272. Irene Butcher February 9, 2011

    I am a big fan of photography and love how you’ve done this. I would love to see an engraved version too.

  273. John Steins February 9, 2011 — Post author

    I’m so glad this is of use. It’s a bit labour intensive to get things scanned and converted to text.

    I would encourage you to keep plugging away at doing wood blocks and wood engravings. I think it’s more affordable and certainly more portable than intaglio printing.

  274. John Steins February 9, 2011 — Post author

    If you search eBay you’ll find a reliable guy who sells these reconditioned rubber blankets. His username is lgsstorage.

    They’re not very expensive and work quite well as a buffer between the block and press.

  275. John Steins February 9, 2011 — Post author

    Thank you! I like the way this turned out as well. Another “experiment” in how to approach a subject in a wood engraving.

  276. John Steins February 9, 2011 — Post author

    Thank you! Yes, that would make for a good engraving. Probably a fair sized one too, maybe around 8.5 x 11 inches.

    Will have to work on that.

  277. John Steins February 9, 2011 — Post author

    There are many ways to transfer a drawing onto a woodblock.

    The traditional Japanese method is to glue the paper face down onto the block with rice glue (nori-made from rice flour) and when dry, moisten the surface a little and slowly rub away the paper fibers until only the pencil marks remain on the surface of the wood. This method also ensures that the drawing is in reverse.

    Or you can photocopy or laser print your image, lay it down on the wood block and with a cotton ball or some wadding tamp the back of the paper with laquer thinner or wintergreen oil. This will dissolve the toner enough to absorb into the wood thereby transferring the image.

    Downside of this method are the toxic fumes, so it’s best to do this outside wearing a respirator.

    Another method is to scan your drawing into a computer and print it out on some wax paper with an inkjet printer. The inks will sit on the surface of the wax without drying in time for you to place face down on the woodblock. Burnishing the backside with a spoon or other burnisher will transfer the drawing on to the surface.

    The other option of course is to simply draw you design directly onto the block.

  278. David February 9, 2011

    David Hockney is known for his use
    of water in many of his paintings.

    I also picked Richard Diebenkorn’s
    Ocean Park series. Although he died
    in 1993 he is still an important contemporary
    painter and his work is beautiful.

    Diebenkorn’s work is abstract and
    Hockney’s more narrative.

  279. Neil Peck February 11, 2011

    Oderless mineral spirits and a T-shirt transfer hot iron will transer a Xerox or laser print with far less toxic fumes than laquer thinner.

  280. Jille N February 14, 2011

    I am currently in a printmaking class and these are a few of the artists that we have studied this year. Most printmakers dabble in different types of printing. I am in an intaglio class, so most of these artists do etching or litho

    Chuck Close- we know him for his awesome realistic paintings, but he did prints too
    Sue Koe
    Louise Bourgois
    Vija Clemins
    Richard Fheiman
    Art Werger
    David Sully
    Jim Dine
    Mark Dion

    Historical printmakers
    Albrecht Durer- probably the most famous, and really incredible
    Rembrant- didn’t only paint
    Ingres- might be difficult to find some

  281. derfini February 14, 2011

    Durer was one of the earliest fine artists to exploit print medium. The great Japanese artists Hiroshige and Hokusai are certainly worth looking at. Eric Gill was very fond of woodblocks.

    Lithograph, etching, copperplate, aquatint, woodblock, monoprint, lino cut.

  282. John Steins February 18, 2011

    Actually there is no difference between monotype and monoprint. Monoprint is the more common name given to a printmaking technique that produces a one of a kind image using printmaking equipment and techniques.

    Essentially a monoprint allows the artist to approach an otherwise process oriented method in a more painterly fashion. She can paint directly onto a sheet of plexiglass or copper with brushes, rollers or stencils, further altering the marks with solvents and texture producing elements. A paper is then laid on top of the whole affair and either rolled through the etching press or burnished in some other fashion. The resulting image is a singular print that can no longer be exactly replicated using the same matrix because any interference on the plate will make the next impression considerably different than the first.

    Therein lies the fun and element of surprise when you first peel back the paper to see what happy accidents have happened to enhance your image. Other approaches include laying paper down on an inked surface and then drawing on the back of the paper to pick up ink according to the pressure of your pencil or stylus. Of course chine collé is also an important element used in making monoprints or monotypes.

    Monotypes can be combined with traditional methods such as lithography, woodcut and intaglio printmaking.

    One of my favourite monoprint artists is Aiko Suzuki.

  283. aidan402 February 19, 2011

    A binder portfolio can include small 2-dimensional art and photographs of larger or 3 dimensional art. Usually 12 – 24 items makes a good portfolio. However, the tools you use to create (the tiles themselves, etc) are never a part of a portfolio. A portfolio is for showcasing your finished product.

    Even if you are currently enrolled in AP Art or an arts program, consulting with a college admissions counselor can give you guidance with your portfolio in advance, as different colleges accept different types of material. some may accept a digital portfolio, others reject it.

    The site below is excellent as a general resource for preparing your portfolio.

  284. sweets February 19, 2011

    do you know anyone who is an admissions advisor? I would ask them. or your guidance counselor at school.

  285. Antonio February 19, 2011

    You should keep a classic portfolio of all media that you have done. In addition to linoleum and wood prints, you should have pastel, charcoal, watercolor and oil work. If you do pottery, you can have pictures of that. Even pencil drawings and clothing designs are fine.

    The art schools are going to judge you on your potential, original thought and talent. Give them everything you can.

  286. helene February 19, 2011

    I would include the finished prints, and leave out the teacher’s comments. The person evaluating your portfolio will come to their own conclusions about your work.

    The person evaluating your portfolio also knows how prints are made, so there’s no need to include your wood blocks or preparatory drawings. Those are unnecesary filler. Your portfolio is supposed to contain your BEST work, not unnecessary filler.

  287. hullaballoo February 19, 2011

    If you’ve got time, you should take A4 sized high quality (computer print offs even) photo’s of your very best finished works in a clear plastic paged folder to your portfolio day.

    You can discuss the processes for each one on the day (if they require or you instigate) to display your working knowledge of the processes.

    That way, they see what you are capable of (your best finished works), and they will see that you are knowlegeable, by you talking enthusiastically about the processes involved in producing your works.

    Good luck.

  288. angela l February 19, 2011

    They incorporated (Van Gogh in partic) the vivid and bright colors of the Ukiyoe masters who painted with a loose brush stroke; also they adopted the idea of cutting off a scene , as well as the use of silhouettes, these features occurred in photography, but it became valid in the paintings of the Impressionists when they observed similar elements in Japanese prints. They also copied the way these masters used a black line to surround images. Also very influential to the Impressionists was the Japanese handling of flat space.See paragraph starting "Japanese compositional devices…"

  289. AK February 23, 2011

    What kind of printmaking process are you using?

    For silkscreen, its easiest to work with broad expanses of color, so focus on dramatic, interesting shapes and a strong composition: a building in sharp perspective or a face that’s half in shadow are examples.

    For linocut or woodcut, it’s bit easier to add texture in the way you gouge the surface (much like brush strokes on canvas): something with an interesting texture or a repeating pattern, or shading done through hatching and crosshatching will bring a lot of life to these prints.

    If this is your first time doing printmaking, I would guess you aren’t venturing into techniques like aquatint, etching, engraving, or lithography. If you are trying one of those methods, let me know which and I’ll give you some pointers.

    I’m also guessing that your teacher is trying to expand your creativity by eliminating obvious or overly used motifs. If you have an idea you really like that features something that’s been declared taboo, sketch it out and make a strong case for why you think it would be an interesting composition and a compelling piece of art. If you’ve put some thought into it, that is, after all, a teacher’s end goal, so even if you don’t get your way, they will be impressed and happy to have made an impact, and I bet you see the difference in your grade.

  290. Lynn Kenneth Pecknold February 28, 2011

    John, I am having a Wordpress Website Template being designed currently and am impressed with your flipping book plugin. I first used one at the ISSUU URL above for a Suite of Prints related to Printmaking.
    Best wishes, Lynn.

    Would love to hear how you are doing. I will pass on your website to my daughters. My eldest daughter teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

  291. John Steins February 28, 2011 — Post author

    Great to hear from you again Lynn. Thanks for your supportive comments!

  292. Jordan April 6, 2011

    Some nice etching press pictures. Thanks for showing your steps on how to do that!


  293. Katie Smith April 7, 2011

    Good job in engraving letters in boxwood blocks. This is not an easy task I believe since I have tried to do it before but was unsuccessful. I think I need more practice.

    Katie Smith

  294. marsha April 7, 2011

    Great John! Thank you for sharing John Farleigh’s book. Very Useful information. I am now interested to try wood engraving. 🙂 its takes me courage try this kind of art.

  295. Rachel April 9, 2011

    It would be awesome for engraving monogram letters too. Nice work indeed!

  296. Karen April 11, 2011

    Love these songs, perhaps I’ll just cross the road and come and buy a CD

  297. John Steins April 11, 2011 — Post author

    For you… special price!

  298. John Brisson April 15, 2011

    I have just recently revisited your website and, once more, find so much great infomation. I have done quite a few traditional linocuts but this is the first time I’ve seen this done. I want to try using it in the future.

  299. John Steins April 15, 2011 — Post author

    Hi John, Thanks for visiting and for your comments. Yes the “jigsaw” method can produce really good results. Let me know how you make out.

  300. Irene Butcher April 30, 2011

    I love your website and have linked it to mine. I am faily new at printmaking and have attended lessons on etching which I enjoyed enormously.
    I now have to carry it on at home as I can no longer afford the classes. However I’ve had some success using drypoint or mezzotint methods and the use of my table top printer [a present]. I do miss doing soft-ground etching which suits my style of work, but I’ve made a note of the method using a battery charger and saline solution to do etching as it sounds like a very good and inexpensive method to use. I will let you know how it turns out when I’ve tried it.
    Thank you,

    Irene Butcher

  301. Irene Butcher April 30, 2011

    I’ve been experimenting with woodcutting, using plywood and it is quite fun!
    It really makes you focus on the design and encourages you to simplify your ideas. Working in black and white is very dramatic which I enjoy although I do find it harder to achieve the more subtle tones I have yet to try different methods of mark-making to achieve this. I would be interesed to hear more on this subject.


  302. John Steins April 30, 2011 — Post author

    Hi Irene,

    Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging comments. Yes, the battery charger method can produce good results but I think the bite isn’t as crisp as with acids. Look forward to see your results.

  303. John Steins April 30, 2011 — Post author

    Irene, Yes, I think I have lots to say about woodblocks. Hoping to find time to write a piece on the German Expressionist woodblock period. Some amazing graphic work was produced during that time.

  304. Barbara May 6, 2011


    Just wanted to thank you again for the informative talk you gave, and to say how much I enjoyed reading ‘About’ you. You certainly are talented in many areas. Your art is amazing and I’ll visit often to keep up with your latest works.

    All the best!

  305. John Steins May 6, 2011 — Post author

    Thanks Barbara,

    Thanks for coming last night and I’m glad you got something out of it. Hope to see you at the opening.

  306. Karen Paul May 7, 2011

    Hello John
    I am the granddaughter of Eric Bergman and stumbled across your posting under wood engraving. Pleased to see appreciation of his work growing – especially through the Internet now that the images are in the “public domain” – >50 years since his passing in 1958. If you ever have any questions please just ask. I can say that we know of 7 prints of Beethoven’s 9th – even though the edition was planned to be 25. He never printed out the full editions for his body of work – about 100 wood engravings and a handful of colour block prints – I suppose planning to go back to it at some point. Unlike many other artists, the orignial wood blocks were not scored. Beethoven’s Ninth won an International print making award.

  307. John Steins May 7, 2011 — Post author

    Hi Karen,

    What a thrill to hear from you! I’m such a huge fan of your grandfather’s work. I really think that Canadian wood engravers such as Eric Bergman need to be celebrated more than they have been. I’ll contact you via your email address.

  308. Jon May 13, 2011

    I have 7 Landacre pieces. I too have this one, but interestingly it is titled “Fiesta”, not “Siesta”. I have looked at the title with a magnifying glass to see if it was just a sloppy “S”, but it is definitely an “F”. This print is not numbered. It gives a whole new meaning to the image. Have you ever seen another Fiesta?


  309. John Steins May 13, 2011 — Post author

    Hi Jon,

    That’s great! When I first acquired it I looked high and low to see another copy, with little luck. Awhile ago I was contacted by an archivist who also has one but was titled Siesta. This is a beautiful engraving and I feel so lucky to have it. I believe Swann Galleries in NYC have recently auctioned one of these.

    Thanks for letting me know there’s another Siesta or Fiesta out there. Wonder why they’re not numbered?

  310. Bernadine Fox May 27, 2011

    Hi John,

    I am a great great (great?) niece of Timothy Cole and a visual artist myself. I ran across your blog post about him and just wanted to thank you for giving him such a great write up. I don’t have any of his originals at this point. But, I do collect images of his work from a variety of sources. I did not know he did the Mona Lisa too. Would you be so kind as to send me a digital image of it? Thank you,


  311. John Steins June 4, 2011 — Post author

    Hi Bernadine,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sorry for the late reply. How cool that you are related to Timothy Cole! I was so lucky to acquire the Mona Lisa image which I will send to you.


  312. Brian W. Thair June 5, 2011

    Turn your drawing over and stick it onto a window. Trace the drawing on the back of that sheet. Blank wood block, carbon paper sheet and your drawing, face down. Retrace the reverse/back drawing and you’re done. If all you did was to use carbon paper behind your face-up drawing, the prints will be reversed.

  313. Brian W. Thair June 5, 2011

    The Green. It is an opaque block to my vision in the summertime. The GREEN is all there is. Winter strips the forest buck-naked for survival. While I can see further, I don’t believe that my vision is any better.

  314. Mary Jane Henley June 8, 2011

    This is very helpful information, and the rest of your blog is delightful.

    I looked at the rubber blankets on ebay and am going to buy one. Before I do, I want to make sure you use 4-ply since I see they have others available.

    Thanks so much!

  315. Brian W. Thair June 16, 2011

    I get 1.5″ thick, cut stone slab fragments for free. Some 10″x20″. Smoothing and polishing with water & local abrasive has gone far better than expected. Stone-cut prints, here I come.

  316. Susan Mullins June 30, 2011


  317. Le gendre July 13, 2011

    Dear sir, this process is very interesting i use also maple, lemon tree, orange tree but boxwood is the best one i think. When we cut boxwood in autumn (low moon)and try to be careful with the drying, we avoid many problems.

  318. Neil Peck July 23, 2011

    I just heard the news of her death and I thought of this print. I guess she died from all reasons that moved you to create the image four years ago. Life is short…

  319. John Steins July 23, 2011 — Post author

    Yeah, what a drag to be cut down at such a young age and with such promise.

  320. Jan Armstrong July 26, 2011

    Hello John, Over many years I have been searching for information about a woodblock which I have and your website is the only one which mentions woodblock printing in St. Gallen (St. Gall) Switzerland. About 35 years ago I lived in Zurich, Switzerland and during that time a good friend gave me an old woodblock which he had hanging on a wall. I was quite curious about the block and he told me it was used as a silk press in St. Gallen in the old days. I just love the pattern of tiny flowers etched on the rectangular block which measures approx. 14 inches x 9 inches. It is 1.5 inches thick. The etched panel is about .25 inches thick. It is attached (glued?) to 2 other pieces of different type timbers. There are 2 semi-circular slots carved out on the back of the block which seem to be large enough to hold 4 fingers in each slot to lift the block up. The only information on the block consists of 2 numbers – 2941 is cut in on the side edge and 1091 is written on the back. That is about all the information I have and I would really appreciate it if you could tell me a little about it or lead me in the right direction to discover its history. Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you, Best wishes Jan Armstrong, Sydney, Australia.

  321. Danielle Monroe August 10, 2011

    DO you have this in a bigger size? I would love to have this in the lobby of my office. If so what would the price be?

    LOVE this by the way!!

  322. mahder tsegazeab August 30, 2011

    whats the size of this piece

  323. Rodrigo Siqueira August 30, 2011

    Hello John,

    I would love to have the higher resolution of the engraved Mona Lisa by Timothy Cole.
    I was lucky to acquire an engraved version by Sanchez Toda, the Spanish engraver famous for creating many postal stamps and bank notes in Spain, long ago.
    The scan of his Mona Lisa is in my site:

    I am collector of engraved stamps.

    Rodrigo Siqueira

  324. Jason Mushung September 2, 2011

    I have my hands on an original proof by timothy cole of moonlight by blakelock. It’s a limited edition signed proof. If you have any information of this work, or any interest in it. Feel free to contact me 1-734-693-1510

  325. Irene Butcher September 10, 2011

    I like it, it works very well .. it is a very tricky subject for engraving but well done. I like the composition, you really get an idea of the scale of the Aurora by adding the trees and landscape in the foreground.

    Look forward to seeing other attempts at this subject.

  326. John Steins September 10, 2011 — Post author

    Irene thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate the feedback. Yes, it definitely helps to have included the foreground shrubbery, etc. Otherwise, the sense of scale would be lost.

  327. evelyn September 14, 2011

    I love Copper Joe. So wise, just like me! Thanks Again.

  328. evelyn September 14, 2011

    Thank You; We Artist will save our envirement from complete distruction

  329. evelyn September 14, 2011

    Naturally Excellent

  330. rk September 22, 2011

    Interesting site and info. Odd that you make no mention of centuries old wood block printing on fabrics in India. Take a look at the hand printed gorgeous fabrics from Rajasthan, India. It’s an ancient art and has amazingly intricate designs, no comparison to the simpler ones from some other places.

  331. Irene Butcher September 30, 2011

    Love it! You are very lucky to have so much on your doorstep to inspire you.

  332. Julie Williams October 11, 2011

    Loving it. I’m writing an essay on Thomas Bewick, due in late Nov. so your thoughts on how to approach a wood engraving are very helpful, as I have to explain how Bewick understood the potential and the limitations of the medium.Your work ‘Southern landscape’ is gorgeous by the way – will look thro more of site and see what I can find. Many thanks 🙂

  333. John Steins October 16, 2011 — Post author

    Thanks and best of luck on your essay!

  334. Catherine Burns October 16, 2011

    I have this original woodcut for sale. Please call me for more information (510) 654-7910. Thanks.

  335. Tots Grins October 21, 2011

    A late comment, happened to stop by. I am glad to see that Ilgvars is still active. He was a good friend of my late father Ervins, and my brother and I have some of your dad’s work from the 60s and 70s.

  336. John Steins October 21, 2011 — Post author

    Tots, thanks for dropping by. I think I met your father a long time ago.

  337. ellen andrews November 27, 2011

    I have New York Breadline

  338. Scott Boyce January 31, 2012

    Hi John, my Circumpolar neighbor-
    Today I picked up my/your/her (since Kim bought it for me as a gift) Undulating Spirits from the framing shop and promptly hung it in my vestibule. It looks great! I now have three pieces of yours in my home.
    One Saturday night a few winters ago I was wandering home at 3 am, taking the scenic route with a friend along the Dvina River embankment, and we happened to see some Northern Lights. Here in Arkhangelsk, this was something of an event. The next day I got an email from Ian in Whitehorse, he was writing to tell me he had witnessed an especially spectacular display of Lights the night before… Wild, eh?

  339. John Steins February 1, 2012 — Post author

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for your message and glad you have that piece on your wall. It’s certainly one of my favourites (he said, unbiasedly!). One of these times Paula and I will have to make it over to your neck of the woods, sounds so exotic.


  340. John Brisson February 13, 2012

    Over the past ten years I have really learned to love printmaking. This is why. What a great print. Simple yet so much to take in!

  341. John Steins February 13, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks John! Did this on so long ago when I worked as a security guard at an abandoned gold mine in the Klondike. Had lots of time between doing the rounds for printmaking and noodling around on the guitar.

  342. John Brisson February 14, 2012

    You’re pulling my leg, Right??

  343. John Steins February 14, 2012 — Post author

    No, I’m not. In the late seventies I had a juicy contract for above mentioned security guard work. The guardhouse was a small house with all of the amenities, I didn’t live there but commuted from town every morning. During my shift I had lots of time to do other stuff, like practice my chops and make prints.

  344. John Brisson February 14, 2012

    Okay now…that is really cool! Really do love all of your work.

  345. Mary Storm March 8, 2012

    I have a signed print 25/60 of “Yesterday”. My parents both took art instruction from Paul Landacre. He signed the print To Kay and Bert 1940. It is fun to learn more about him and his work.

  346. John Steins March 8, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks Mary,

    Great that you have that print, how lucky. Thanks for sharing that.


  347. Valerie Greeley March 10, 2012

    Hello John,

    I have written a blog post about wood engraving and in particular the work of Joh Farleigh. I have included a link to your site, I hope this is ok with you?

    Enjoying he music too!

    regards, Valerie.

  348. John Steins March 10, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks so much Valerie. Of course it’s fine to link to me. Glad you are writing about Mr. Farleigh, I enjoy his work so much.

    And glad you are hearing some of my music.


  349. Quill March 15, 2012

    I love the contrast from Sharecropper. Unlike Sharecropper, President Obama’s eyes have a wonderfully unfixed hollow gaze like he’s overwhelmed and exhausted. May be a more telling capture of the end of his term rather than the beginning.

  350. John Steins March 15, 2012 — Post author

    Quill, thanks for taking the time to post. Yes, the reference to Sharecropper was too hard to resist although I think I would treat the subject a little differently if I were to do it again. American politics is fascinating if not entertaining, although it might be safe to say President Obama will be returned for another term unless the Republicans pull a rabbit out of hat.

  351. Gretchen Janssen March 17, 2012

    I love the print as shown in the first one! Do you have any for sale? This arrested me.

  352. John Steins March 17, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks Gretchen, I’m glad you like the print. I can provide a very nice digital reproduction for $75 or $250 for an original. I think I have one or two left in the edition.

  353. Joanna Finch March 18, 2012

    Hello John, I’m delighted to have stumbled upon you- and Scott- in the same night. I had the pleasure of attending the concert in Faro when you and Scott played in 1981, I think it was. Your playing was the highlight of the festival for me. I was absolutely transported.

    This album has remained one of my favourites- it is timeless and rich with Canadian imagery. Thank you for having it available in CD form. I have a signed record, but I don’t own a record player anymore. When I listen to your playing I am transported to a very important time in my life.

    I’d like to buy a CD- I’m like Elizabeth- I don’t buy online…even though my music is sold that way too. Could you please send me one?

    Thanks. I love your art as well, by the way. I especially enjoy your woodcuts and the portraits photos. If you’re ever on Vancouver island I would welcome you and show you around.

    All the best,

  354. John Steins March 18, 2012 — Post author

    Hi Joanna,

    Thanks so very much for “stumbling” upon my site and for taking the time to write. Thanks also for the kind words. Yes, it’s been awhile since Farrago but I have visited Faro quite a few times over the last few years. Now that their mining boom is over it’s becaome a very agreeable community situated in the most beautiful location.

    I don’t often get to your neck of the woods but I will certainly let you know when I do. There’s another fantastic part of Canada that needs to be explored!

    I’ll email you directly about the CD.


  355. kim matthews April 4, 2012

    Adore, adore, adore!

  356. John Steins April 4, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks Kim! Appreciate that.


  357. A.L April 13, 2012

    There is this rather curious method of “etching” a plate which involves powdered sulfur and some olive oil. The sulfur is mixed with the oil into a paste, and painted onto the parts of the plate which you wanted to etch. this paste is left on for a few hours, after which it is washed off, leaving a very delicate etch .

  358. Annette April 19, 2012

    I make my own paper plus take photographs, I would like to incorate both so my question is “how can I tranfer the image to newly maked textured paper?”

  359. Nei May 2, 2012

    John, what kind of glue do you use making your boxwood blocks? Will regular carpenter’s wood glue do or is there some traditional 18th century glue that works better?

  360. Justin May 17, 2012

    Dear John

    I am an art student at Agincourt Collegiate Institute and i as arts students we’ve been given an assignment to choose an artist that we’re are interested in, i have chose you and i was wondering if you could answer some basic questions for me such as your Birthday, your education in art, where you worked etc.

  361. Genie June 6, 2012

    I have 6 original woodblock prints of Timothy Cole which are signed and dated 1858. I do not know their value. Mother & Child, The Sisters, The Hay Wain, a Gainsborough and Lord Hathfield.

    Anybody know where I can get them valued or know of there value.

  362. John Steins June 6, 2012 — Post author

    How fortunate that you own those Timothy Cole prints. A good place to start in terms of evaluation is Swann Galleries in New York. They specialize in prints and works on paper and conduct auctions regularly.

    Hope this helps.


  363. Jimi June 23, 2012


    If all the teasures of the human creative endeavours over all time were the plums hanging on one tree, we may imagine what; maybe 1,000 plums and that is alot to keep track of, and this would include a Tommy Thompson and for me a David Blackwood and Joni’s Blue but it would also include this musical journey of yours so long ago. Having owned a copy since it’s inception year it has always registered it’s independant place in my memories and feelings.

    How is it that you have not revisited your musical journey and created another work? This somewhat mystifies me. Best to you..J

  364. John Steins June 24, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks Jimi, yes it’s hard to explain why I haven’t returned to composing music for the guitar. Listening to encouraging and humbling words like yours certainly gives me pause. I suppose it’s never too late. My guitars are in their respective cases waiting to be opened up and played.

  365. Steve June 26, 2012

    here is my address i’d love to regarding tools
    [email protected]

  366. Charlie Saul July 5, 2012

    Dear John

    Just a quick note to say What a fantastic website that I love looking through, and some great work.

    I was also looking for some information.

    I am considering producing some small woodcut / softcut versions of my larger prints (check out the Tree Canopy series on my site. I only use one tool, a V shaped tool to simply cut along lines that I have drawn and then remove the rest. It is the control of cutting a perfect line that interests me the most, not any mark-making. What a BORE I have become haha!

    Could you recommend a wood engraving tool which would enable me to cut straight lines, and then i just ‘remove’ the negative ‘space’ with a broader/same tool. cheers!

    Really looking forward to hearing from you – all the best


  367. Irene Butcher August 5, 2012

    I loved my etching classes and although I can’t afford to take any more classes right now, I have discovered mezzotint and drypoint techniques which I love and best of all I can continue to use without the use of acids.
    I have invested in a table top printer, but if I want to print larger editions I know I can use drop in centres [where you can pay a small amount to either use the facilities for yourself or pay a little extra for help]Taking classes was well worth it and a wonderful way to gain confidence as well as the knowledge needed to work in this exacting medium.

  368. Jimi September 12, 2012

    This is stunning work. I don’t buy much art these days but when the mood hits me I may return for this. J

  369. andre September 16, 2012

    Hello John

    How much your Bird Dog engraving sells for in today’s market?

    Thank you kindly

    Andrei I

  370. Rick Freeman October 8, 2012

    That is so interesting that Mary Storm has a print of “Yesterday” from her art student parents! My mom has one of those prints (well, it’s mine now!!), and she doesn’t remember where she got it, but she was an art student at the Art Center and at Otis sometime after 1940. Small world.

  371. Leland October 29, 2012


    I am printing on a smaller etching press than the one that you have and I am going to try this setup on my press. Are you still using a tympan with the rubber litho blanket, and if so, how thick is the tympan? Also, could you say something about how you start your initial pressure adjustments when setting up to print? Do you just crank the top roller down hand tight with everything ready to print and go trial and error from that point?

    Thanks very much.

  372. John Steins October 29, 2012 — Post author

    Hi Andre, My apologies for the delay in replying. Yes the Bird Dog print is available for purchase and is $80 USD.

  373. John Steins October 29, 2012 — Post author

    No, I am just using the rubber litho blanket although I still am experimenting with a tympan which is simply a piece of matboard. I find the pressure adjustments certainly vary between the use of the rubber blanket and the cardboard. The rubber being more sensitive and not requiring as much pressure. As far as setting the initial pressure goes is a bit tricky because one certainly doesn’t want to damage the printing block. I’ll set everything up and then lower the roller so it rests on the carrier blocks then I’ll give it a few turns for a bit of pressure and advance the press bed. If I’m feeling too resistance when it reaches the block I’ll back off a bit and run it through. From that point you can better judge the balance between inking and pressure. Hope this helps.

  374. John Steins October 29, 2012 — Post author

    Hi Charlie,

    Wow, I’m so sorry for missing your kind message! And love your work by the way.

    I’m afraid that a wood engraving tool may not be what you need for plank grain woodcuts and sof-tcut material since it is a specialized tool intended for end-grain engraving alone. I think a sharp gouge will do the trick. In your case since precision is part of your designs you might even use a carefully placed square edge to follow along.

    Have you ever considered using MDF (medium density fibreboard) board. It cuts beautifully in any direction, the surface is tempered producing a crisp, sharp line and when sealed with shellac before printing will make very nice impressions. It’s inexpensive as well.


  375. Leland October 29, 2012

    I just ran a couple of prints using your approach and they printed beautifully. These are woodcuts on birch ply and a few of the delicate lines filled in after the first print so I’ll have to experiment with the pressure and the inking to see if I can regain those lines before I pull the edition. These are the first prints off of this press and only the second or third time I have printed woodcuts on a press and the results are quite good all things considered. Thanks again for taking the time to share your ideas and procedures. And by the way, you’ve some really nice work on here in your gallery.

    Best regards,

  376. John Steins October 29, 2012 — Post author

    Glad to hear you are getting promising results. I find the toughest to find a balance between inking and press pressure. I just purchased an old Chandler & Price platen press, so we’ll see how that goes.

    Thanks for your kind comments.


  377. Leland October 30, 2012

    Glad to hear about your purchase. Good luck with it and maybe we’ll see some of the results of your efforts with that press in the future!


  378. Valters November 14, 2012

    Manaa iipashumaa ir Ilgvara glezna – Puukjis. Paardoshu 5k

  379. Lefty November 26, 2012

    In the old days, it was done by hand but can be more tedious this way. I use computers because I am used to it. When it comes to hand-drawn or cartoons, it is better to do it manually.

    A good practice is to make a drawing manually and then scan it into the computer for further manipulation and changes. I think it’s more fun and satisfying to add color than manually. At least this way you are free of a painting program telling you what a brush stroke should look like. So, follow your heart. It’s amazing what some artists can do with a simple graphite pencil, never mind a tablet and stylus.

  380. Lynn Kenneth Pecknold December 6, 2012


    It is always a pleasure to check out your site and see printmaking at its finest. I appreciate your work a lot and have fond memories of friends from Dawson City. I am now retired from teaching and work now on my dreams – making art whenever I can. Best of success to you with the new press. Lynn

  381. John Steins December 6, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks Lynn for those kind words especially from a worthy artist like yourself. As a printmaker with a perverse desire to work in a vacuum where there’s no other printmaker within hundreds of miles it was so uplifting to have you show up in town so many years ago offering me encouragement. As I am working at our own little art school right now I’m trying to carve out some time for my own work. I’ll keep you posted.

  382. Bob December 8, 2012

    Try using U-Ship to get your press shipped to you.

  383. John Steins December 8, 2012 — Post author

    Thanks, I’ll look into it. I also have hire someone to build a crate for it.

  384. Michel Legare December 31, 2012

    Many thanks for the scanning. The booklet is so nice that I could not help me to order a copy from Abebooks. I will no doubt never practice woodcut printing, but I wish to assimilate the technique in such a way to to make illustrations which imitate woodblock printing, but with ink, pen and paper… or with Photoshop or Painter. Best wishes from Quebec for the New Year 2013.

  385. Hugh Ekeberg January 8, 2013

    An excellent method using a laser printer:

    1) Get some grease proof paper which is sold in rolls in the cooking section of the supermarket. This paper can stand a lot of heat since it is used to line cake tins or placed in baking trays.

    2) Cut a piece of the grease proof paper and tape it onto some copy paper for support. Use masking tape not plastic packing tape.

    3) Put the grease proof paper and the support paper through your printer and a nice beautiful crisp image will result on the grease proof paper.

    4) Lightly spray your block with some spray adhesive. Then gently place your printed design face down onto the now sticky block.

    5) Burnish or rub the back of the grease proof paper and the toner will instantly separate off and adhere to the tacky block. Wait for the adhesive to dry then engrave.

    This is similar to the photographic method used by the great Timothy Cole.

    You can experiment by darkening the entire image and it’s background in your image editing program or darking the block to some degree first then placing the image.

  386. Bob January 10, 2013

    John, Thanks for sharing these manuals, they are very interesting and informative.
    Much appreciated!

  387. Mellissa Read-Devine January 11, 2013

    Thankyou so much for this article. It has been very useful and I have come up with great results.

  388. R. Hudson January 14, 2013

    The Leightons are wonderful. What are their prices? Thanks

  389. John Steins January 16, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I have no Leightons for sale, I wish I did. These are reproductions to illustrate her amazing virtuosity as an engraver/printmaker.

  390. John Steins January 17, 2013 — Post author

    My press has arrived to Point Roberts, WA. Now I will have to find a way to get it up to the Yukon. Not to mention muscling the thing into my studio!

  391. Ruth Lee January 24, 2013

    Hi. You have answered so many questions for me in this post. I am a textile artist with an interest in digital and traditional printmaking techniques. I want to buy a small press initially to print laser etched wood blocks onto unusual surfaces. I had considered a platen type press but may want to develop intaglio techniques at some point. Your comments have reassured me that an etching press would be OK for relief style work. Having used a wonderful old Columbian press with great results in a university print department that of course would be first choice for relief printing but sadly limited funds and space really makes that a non starter!

  392. John Steins January 24, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Ruth,

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post. Yes a Columbian press would be just the thing but as you say the cost is prohibitive for most of us “starving artists”.

    However, a good etching press can do the job as long as there are carrier blocks to help distribute the pressure. And of course you have the versatility of doing intaglio work.

    Wishing the best!


  393. Jenny January 28, 2013

    Beautiful John!

  394. John Steins January 28, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Jenny!

  395. Neil Peck January 28, 2013

    John, it’s good to see you getting back to engraving with this beautiful image. I really appreciate your discussion of letting go of the background and having a frame versus floating the image. I may feel more free to try some different things myself.

    Your website was one of the first I found when I began wood engraving. Both your own work and the wonderful content on your website have been important influences and inspirations to me. I stand ready to pay up with a pint of Olympia’s finest ale if you ever get down this way.

    — Neil

  396. John Steins January 28, 2013 — Post author

    Neil, thanks for your encouraging words. The last few years have been pretty tough on my creative output so now I’m hoping to get things rolling again, hence my small print.

    Your engravings are very well done, good to see another engraver hard at work on his letterpress.

    My wife and I will be in Vancouver the week of Feb. 18th, although I’m not sure if I can make it down to Olympia. Would be nice tho.

  397. Angele January 29, 2013

    Hi John,

    Thanks so much for the information. I was wondering what ply rubber blanket you are using?



  398. John Steins January 29, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Angele, Glad you found this information useful. I am using the 4 ply rubber blanket (.077″ approx.)

    You can find them here;

    I should add that I also use the wool etching blankets on top to help distribute the pressure.

    All the best,

  399. Richard Lomax February 6, 2013

    Thanks very much for making this book available.

  400. Elizabeth Whelan February 13, 2013

    Hi John, Thanks so much for this post! I have a Conrad press which I love, but I have lots to learn about printmaking. After reading your post I purchased a rubber blanket from LGS; tried it out today with excellent results. Now to improve my carrier system! I hope some tweaking will help with the occasional paper slipping problem.
    Thanks again for sharing your process!

  401. John Steins February 13, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Elizabeth, Yes the slippage of the rubber mat while being pinched between the rollers can be an issue. I ended up simply hinging a section of the rubber on the carrier to make sure it stays in place. Mind you this works well for my smaller wood engravings. A larger matrix might be different.

    Just the same I’ve had good results with those discarded litho blankets.


  402. Elizabeth Whelan February 13, 2013

    That’s an excellent idea, I’ll try that! I really like the even pressure I get with that rubber blanket, better than the felt ones by themselves. And I think roller pressure and my not-so-great carrier are contributing to the paper issue. All signs point to operator error… I didn’t name my press ‘Patience’ for nothing!

  403. John Steins February 13, 2013 — Post author

    I actually use the felt blankets as well, somehow it seems to give a better result.

  404. Imants Lapins March 3, 2013

    Love Your Father’s work , I have 2 of them.
    Great loss to our group.

  405. John Steins March 3, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks for dropping by Imants, Yes I miss him every day but luckily his vast collection of work isn’t lost and will be celebrated.

  406. Liza Paizis March 8, 2013


    I stumbled upon your amazing art when I was researching Paul Landacre. Your prints are stunning. I myself am an etcher and have not been able to master what you are doing.
    Your images are beautifully composed and rendered; I love the black and white starkness of this with the delicacy of the red berry and eggs….
    I love this particular print, and hope to buy it in the near future when I sell some more of my original artwork.

    All the best
    Liza Paizis

  407. John Steins March 8, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Liza,

    Thanks for taking the the time to look and write. It’s always encouraging to get positive feedback, especially when it comes from an accomplished artist like yourself. I lucked out with composition of Bird with Berry, wish everything I did was as balanced.


  408. Peter M Ullman March 9, 2013

    I have a copy of sultry day that I purchased at an estate sale a few years ago…I absolutely love it and it has really stroked my interest in paul landacre…his work is amazing!!!!

  409. John Steins March 9, 2013 — Post author

    Yes, Landacre is by far one of my ultimate favourites. His technical mastery is unparalleled and I love the way he draws, which underscores the foundation of excellent art; ability in drawing and draughtsmanship is the underpinning of good art, regardless of medium. I’m very lucky to own a copy of “Siesta”.

  410. Jenny March 20, 2013

    Beautiful! A question for you John: What did you start engraving first? Did you begin with an outline of the trunk and roots?

    Since you like deadlines: You have 6 days to create a wood engraving for my house!

  411. John Steins March 20, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Jenny for your ongoing positive support. It means a lot. I actually started with the leaves paying attention to the residual cut-lines around them for textural interest, etc. Any way you do it is nerve wracking, ’cause you don’t want to ruin it.

    What would you like commissioned for your house? Haha.

  412. Neil Peck March 20, 2013

    Those residual cut lines proved to be very effective! Very nice work especially in six days. I wonder if engraving gets any easier for full time artists who engrave every day? It may get harder as one’s standards rise faster than technique improves…

  413. John Steins March 21, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Neil. I don’t engrave every day, wish I could though. I think after years of practice one develops a sensibility in their approach to making a relief print, regardless of the material used.

  414. Annie B March 22, 2013

    Beautiful! I still have trouble using woodblock for commercial clients. I can never make the deadlines! Hats off to you.

  415. John Steins March 22, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Annie, I’m a big admirer of your work!

  416. Tom Stella March 22, 2013

    Great information & work! Thanks!

  417. paul bendall March 27, 2013


  418. John Steins March 27, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Paul, that’s very useful information. I must have a lifetime’s supply of box that’s been drying for 25 years. Not all of it is primo quality but certainly enough for some good blocks.

  419. paul bendall March 27, 2013

    Hi again , it’s very interesting to find out reading further regarding your engraving for the center for action & contemplation and the block used was made by T.N. Lawrence son. The company I mentioned I worked for, was the same company I was there making blocks from 1991- 2001.I I wonder if I made your block.

  420. John Steins March 27, 2013 — Post author

    Paul, there’s a chance you made the blocks handed down to me by my late father. Although I have a sneaking suspicion he acquired them in the eighties, if not earlier. The blocks were absolutely gorgeous with a beautiful surface on both sides, splined and glued.

    They are very precious to me, so I have to think hard before actually committing to making a cut.

    Perhaps you could offer some advice on resurfacing blocks that have had their edition pulled. I have a stationary belt sander as well as a 12 inch disk sander, but I worry about overheating the surface and causing check marks in the wood. Perhaps a router and jig could be used to clean up the surface with a final sanding to get polished surface.

  421. Tom March 28, 2013

    I am a big fan of engraved graphics.
    Do you have a hi-res scan of Mona Lisa by Timothy Cole?
    I would like to convert it to a vector image for plotters.
    Something like this:

    If you can provide a scan , please contact me directly at
    [email protected]
    Thanks a lot in advance!

  422. paul bendall March 31, 2013

    Hi John,although I did make a few blocks surfaced on both sides I didn’t make any in the 80s thats a shame almost a connection.On the subject of resurfacing your blocks is a difficult one as you are aware you don’t want to over heat the surface of the block, when I was making blocks we had a machine called a backing down machine which milled the blocks to type high , which was also used to resurface blocks ie, remove the engraved face, prior to then sanding and final hand finishing/polishing. if you have a good bandsaw (looks like you have) with a good sharp blade and a sliding guide just like the one you have in your photo above but swivelled round you know what I mean! try it on a small piece of boxwood to see how it cuts watch your fingers though .Use a wider blade if you have one to keep a straighter cut.

  423. John Steins March 31, 2013 — Post author

    Hello Paul, yes that’s a shame but it’s still very cool that you made blocks for TN Lawrence.

    I’ve already experimented with slicing off a thin veneer from a finished boxwood block and gluing it to either a hardwood or plywood substrate. The latter doesn’t work very well unless it’s very good quality plywood like Baltic Birch, etc. Otherwise the plies tend to split apart over time, even if the block is balanced with a veneer on both sides. Hardwood option yields better results for smaller blocks.

    The backing down machine you mention must have been like a router set at the correct depth?

  424. Dave Bruner April 4, 2013

    I have very good results using unmounted linoleum(artist grade) between etching press roller and the paper. I position the linoleum side down, toward the wood engraving block. This gives firm,even pressure with just enough give to prevent damaging the block.
    I get my unmounted linoleum from Blick. I use their Golden Cut Linoleum. One sheet lasts through thousands of prints.

  425. John Steins April 4, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Dave for the tip. I never thought of that before but it makes sense. I have some of that gray lino material so I will give it a try as well.

    Your engravings are quite beautiful by the way.


  426. David Harrison April 5, 2013

    Thanks for the great idea, John. I have cadged half a dozen *large* blankets from a commercial print works. Now to trim them to size and, oh yes, buy the etching press!

  427. John Steins April 5, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks for your comment David, hopefully you can find a reasonably priced etching press. If set up properly it will yield good prints.


  428. Tom Marshall April 13, 2013

    Thank you from a complete novice. It is guidance such as this that one really looks for. Obviously books cannot mention all of the little tricks and hints, they can only cover the ‘broad canvas’.
    Very pleased to have found your site.

  429. John Steins April 13, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks for your comment Tom. I had hoped to make more videos on the way I make wood engravings. In the meantime this short clip does give an idea on how to approach the medium. Best of luck in your own practice.

  430. Marty Reinhart April 17, 2013

    Found a signed engraving title “Corn Pulling” today and knew it was done by a gifted artist. The level of detail is truly amazing. I stumbled on your posting of “Bread Line” which reflects an urban sensibility that I had not seen in the more rural images my web search conjured up till I reached yours. Am I right in thinking that to create these powerful works, the artist needed to remove material, like working in reverse to achieve the desired effect in the print. Again, truly amazing! Thanks so much putting it out there.

  431. John Steins April 18, 2013 — Post author

    Marty, thanks for your comments. The detail that can be achieved with this medium is astonishing. Unfortunately it doesn’t translate completely to the digital screen, only real live viewing does it justice. The “thinking in reverse” conundrum becomes a problem when the artist looses track of the positive space versus the negative when engraving a block.Happily, the quality of the drawing will lessen chances of getting confused. Clare Leighton’s work lives on as a shining example of wood engraving mastery.

  432. John Steins April 26, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Jimi. Appreciate that.

  433. Nicholas Wilson April 29, 2013

    Hi John

    This information is very useful to me, as I work both in relief and intaglio. I was especially interested in the photo of your press set-up that showed the rubber blanket somehow attached around the top cylinder. Could you please elaborate on this ?

    Best regards,

  434. John Steins April 29, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Nicholas,

    The rubber blanket is only draped across the roller even though it appears as if it’s attached. I’ve modified the way I print in relief this way by including the etching blankets as well. I think they they provide some nice cushioning and hopefully distribute the pressure as well. Combined slightly dampened paper I’ve had good results printing my delicate wood engravings this way.

    Hope that helps clarify things.


  435. Neil Peck May 4, 2013

    A very nice abstract image!

  436. Neil Peck May 4, 2013

    My mother recently told me that Clare Leighton was a good friend of my grandmother, Adelyn Breeskin, and lived with her for a while in Baltimore. Funny the things we never knew we wanted to know about from our parents and grandparents. However, my mother tells me that she received several Clare Leighton prints from her mother’s estate. She consigned them with a print dealer in Seattle and some of them have been sold, but she thinks that there may be one or more still available. I may have to see about recalling those…

  437. John Steins May 4, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Neil!

  438. John Steins May 5, 2013 — Post author

    Neil, that’s very cool. Such a neat connection. I hope you get to recall whatever prints are unsold.

  439. Neil Peck May 31, 2013

    This kind of study, creating an image with toning and cross hatching, is an important part of developing one’s wood engraving technique!

  440. John Steins June 1, 2013 — Post author

    The only problem is that it can be too mechanical and not very artistic. Although Paul Landacre was able to translate his beautiful drawings with a strict technical approach.

    W.J. Linton encouraged the use of the graver as a drawing tool rather than a mechanical cutting tool for the purpose of making facsimiles.

  441. Neil Peck June 1, 2013

    Agreed…good engraving starts from good drawing, which is what I need to work on the most.

  442. john dauer June 7, 2013

    Just found your site. Your wood engravings,and the work
    of your father, are wonderful..
    Speaking of Nepotism, I just bought a painting by Timothy
    Cole’s son, whose incredible name was Alphaeus Philemon Cole. (1876-1988)!!! At the time of his death he was the guaranteed oldest man in the world,(and certainly the oldest artist). He did my oil on canvas when he was only 95. It makes this 80 year old feel like a kid again. Ink promotes longevity. Keep up the good work.

  443. John Steins June 7, 2013 — Post author

    Hi John,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and the info re: Timothy Cole’s son. I’m not exactly a spring chicken either but trying to stay healthy helps. As does pursuing a creative life. I’m glad you like my father’s work, I hope to post more of it as I am able.


  444. Bernie June 8, 2013

    I’m about to harvest some very old apple and pear trees with the hope of getting some reasonable engraving blocks out of them. Have any of you had any experience with apple & pear engraving blocks? Any tips or tricks I should know about?
    Any advice much appreciated!

  445. John Steins June 8, 2013 — Post author

    Luckily I have lots of boxwood to use so I haven’t had to look to far for a alternative. A friend did give me a nice chunk of apple wood from his orchard which I’ve been meanings to try out. So, unfortunately I have no advice to give except that I’m sure it will give a nice crisp line since the annular rings are pretty tight on those slow growing trees.

  446. Bernie June 10, 2013

    Thanks John. I’ll give it a go and let you know how it turns out. Cheers,

  447. Chris June 14, 2013

    A very powerful image that uses the ‘ limitations’ of the medium to great effect.

  448. Angel July 14, 2013

    Hi John.
    I live in Florida USA and have a Wood Block Printing that i want to sell to get funds for my son college ! here are are the link with the pictures of the art work.
    Can you please advise how much this beautiful art will cost ?
    Thanks, Angel

  449. John Steins July 14, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Angel, That’s a very nice Batik. Unfortunately it’s difficult to appraise since I don’t really know anything about the artist, etc. Have you considered offering this artwork to buyers on eBay or some other auction site?

    Hope you raise all the money you need for your son’s college.

    Best wishes,

  450. Angel July 14, 2013

    I’m Think to put on ebay , but i have no idea what i’m going to asking for !

  451. Neil Peck August 29, 2013

    Beautiful artwork in a beautiful setting!

  452. John Steins August 29, 2013 — Post author

    Thanks Neil, it was loads of fun!

  453. Margaret Gosden September 8, 2013

    Hi John,
    I have been a printmaker since the mid-1960s. My heirs will not know what to do with my many etched plates and woodcut blocks, and I do not know either. Can you please advise how such artifacts can best be left, or disposed of, particularly if the image is still valid and printable, the designated edition not completed?
    I am finding these published question and answer emails extremely helpful. What a great resource!

  454. John Steins September 8, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Margaret,

    That’s a good question that many of us are faced with. One option you might consider is to make arrangements with a local museum or art school. Your plates and blocks could be used as a teaching aid or fund raising with the incomplete editions.

    At the very least I hope you can digitize all of your work along with photographs of your woodblocks, etc.

    Another avenue you might consider is to sell your blocks individually as works of art, which they are of course. You can prepare them in such a way that they can’t be used for printing.

    In this way, you’ll know that they’ll be left with people who appreciate your work.

    Of course you could destroy them, but that seems sad to me.

    I’ll give it some more thought since I have a similar issue.

  455. Vivian McIntosh September 25, 2013

    Wish you were teaching…

  456. John Steins September 25, 2013 — Post author

    Aww, that’s sweet Vivian. Maybe we should open a printmaking/graphic arts department at the school.


  457. Steve Fruitman October 16, 2013

    Played Sunfall on my program – you can find the playlist

    got the vinyl. I think Sherry Hassard gave it to me a long time ago

  458. John Steins October 23, 2013 — Post author

    Hey Steve, Thanks very much for including Sunfall in your playlist. Rally appreciate it.


  459. paul bendall November 1, 2013

    Hi john,
    not spoken to you for a while these computers are not my thing, modern society dictates we must use them,” the advance of machines and men eh!”
    I have been busy trying to get my block making venture off the ground.
    I have had for about the last ten years a large amount of lemonwood sections I bought with the intention of going into production on a small scale to supply wood engravers .I have written in the past to such engravers and did make some blocks for an artist but he has since stopped due to illness in the family a few years ago now.
    I just cant seem to get my foot in the door so to speak all I need are a couple of wood engravers like yourself to use some of my blocks.
    It seems a very snobbish attitude in this country if your’e not a name nobody wants to know even though my name was known to them as a block maker. It’s probably becoming the same the world over.
    I know you make your own blocks along with your many other talents I was listening to your music very impressive I thought! I too play guitar not so much these days though.
    I wouldn’t think you would need any blocks making but I would be most grateful If I could send you a sample block for your thoughts and may be to pass on my details to other printmakers if you thougt they were good enough for sale.
    Regarding the backing down machine you mentioned the last time we spoke the key ingridient to the finished block has been puzzling me for years how to get them to type high, I have now found a way. To date it is still working which is why I can start to produce blocks.
    The backing down machine at Lawrences was a horizontal spinning wheel with two cutters pointed lozenge shape set at about 45 degrees a flat bed where the block was clamped in, as the wheel spun the bed would engage when the capstan was locked on and move in under the wheel on a worm gear. I used to set the cutters with an old 10p piece the diameter being 23.5mm.
    Hope to hear from you soon.
    regards paul.

  460. John Steins November 1, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Paul,

    I’d be honoured to try out one of your blocks. I think you’ll provide an exellent service to wood engravers everywhere.

    I can’t say I’m that good at making my own blocks but the challenge does interest me. You know how hard it is to make a perfectly flat type high block.

    I’m happy to offer any support that I can.


  461. paul bendall November 2, 2013

    Hi john,
    That would be great ,this is the most encouragement I have had many thanks.
    If you could give me an address to send the parcel to then it will be winging its way to you.


  462. paul bendall November 2, 2013

    Hi john ,
    just thinking obviously you don’t know me and if it was me I wouldn’t want to give out my address over the internet;is there a p.o .box/mail box I don’t know the term you would use over there that I can send to.


  463. John Steins November 2, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Paul,

    Everything is laid bare on the internet, the days of personal privacy have long since been abandoned. Anyway, I wish I had something to hide, but I don’t, since I wear my heart on my sleeve as it is.

    My address is on the contact page;

    Box 192
    Dawson City
    Yukon, Canada
    Y0B 1G0

  464. paul bendall November 3, 2013

    Thanks John,
    why didn’t I look there first too impetuous to read further I’m afraid!!

    I will pop one in the post.



  465. Hugh Ekeberg November 13, 2013

    I am also aiming for this rendering style. With long lines of varying thicknesses and stipple.

    I found watching the fantastic claybord tutorials by Michael Halbert on Youtube to be really helpful. The processes are similar in preperation through to final artwork. Just the tools are different.

    Thanks for the post.

  466. John Steins November 16, 2013 — Post author

    Hello Hugh,

    Yes I’ve long been fascinated by scratchboard art and the varying line thicknesses used to give shape to the subject matter.

  467. paul bendall November 16, 2013

    Hi john
    did the block arrive safely I posted it on Thursday the 7th .


  468. John Steins November 16, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Paul,

    No sign of it yet. Sometimes it can be hit and miss with our post.

    I’ll certainly keep an eye out for it.


  469. John Steins November 27, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Paul, I received your beautiful lemonwood block the other day.

    Did you get my email message?


  470. paul bendall November 28, 2013

    Hi john,
    sorry not got back to you sooner. Iam glad you got the block .feel awfull that the block has reacted in such a way of course you can cut it into smaller pieces.I suppose it has had quite a journey and now residing in a different climate. It left here being in a temperature fluctuating between two or three degrees at night to about seven or eight in the day. I keep them in my small block built workshop with a dehumidifier continuosly on. The timber itself has been seasoned since feb ’04 .
    What temp’ are you at the moment?
    I know when I worked at Lawrences I did have a couple of occurences of the same thing happening when the blocks had been in the store cupboard for a long period, do you have any ideas how and why it could come apart on the glueline I use an epoxy resin used for boat construction its called” west systems”.


  471. paul bendall November 28, 2013

    Hi john,
    I will send another block cut from a different piece and see how it reacts.


  472. Ivor Jones December 4, 2013

    I have followed your discussion on block-making with interest. I recently cut a boxwood log into slices on a bandsaw with a view to (eventually) making engraving blocks for my own use. I can see the problem is going to be how to produce blocks of completely uniform thickness. My bandsaw doesn’t cut absolutely straight. I find I can achieve one flat surface using a sharp block plane, but I imagine this will deform further during the drying process. I would appreciate any advice on getting both surfaces parallel. I couldn’t justify buying specialist machines, and I haven’t got room for them anyway. I used to know an architectural model-maker who made blocks of uniform thickness using an end-mill in a drill press, but the wood he used was french lime, which is quite soft.
    John, I like your idea of using a plywood substrate, as this gives stability and obviously allows thinner sections of valuable boxwood or lemonwood to be used. I don’t think professional blockmakers use this method, so I guess there must be a reason they don’t.
    For glueing up blocks, I’ve no experience of this, but I would think one possible problem with using West epoxy is that it produces a very hard glue-line, which offers more resistance to the engraving tool than the surrounding wood, and might even print as a line. Also, if I remember correctly, west requires minimum 16 degreesC to set. Would a better alternative be polyurethane glue? This is the stuff that looks like honey and goes foamy when set. It used to be sold in the UK as Balcotan but now goes under various names. I think it’s the same as Gorilla Glue. This is completely tolerant of damp air and low temperatures, and would make a much softer glue-line.
    For me, as I only want blocks for my own use, achieving a perfect surface is not as important as I imagine it was for commercial engravers.( I recently saw an exhibition of prints by Naum Gabo, some of which he had engraved on round blocks cut from a table leg!) However, I can see that a block of uniform thickness is essential, particularly if one is going to print on a press.
    Apologies for long-windedness!
    Best regards
    Ivor Jones

  473. John Steins December 4, 2013 — Post author

    Paul, I’m happy to say that the block you sent me has settled down and has returned to being perfectly flat on both axis. Unfortunately the glue line separation remains.

    Just the same, the finish is really beautiful and am looking forward to making something with the salvaged halves.

    Thanks again for your generosity!

  474. John Steins December 4, 2013 — Post author

    Hello Ivor,

    Welcome to the conversation!

    It seems block making is quite the challenge to get right. I’ve had some success with gluing a thin wafer of boxwood onto a hardwood substrate such as cherrywood. My experiments with regular plywood failed because of de-lamination problems over time. Only Baltic Birch plywood has worked thus far. I think the key is to balance the substrate with an equal boxwood layer on either surface. I’m not sure how well this would work with larger blocks.

    I’ve used epoxy and Cyanoacrylate adhesives with success, except the latter emits objectionable fumes. I’ve never tried Gorilla glue, although it sounds feasible.

    Now that I have a small letterpress I will have to ensure that everything is type high and perfectly flat whereas previously I either burnished by hand or ran things through the etching press where it doesn’t matter if the block height is exact.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your block making experiences. I’ll have to check out Naum Gabo’s engravings. His sculptural work looks great.

  475. paul bendall December 5, 2013

    hi john ,
    thanks for your reply good to know the block has regained its form still a shame about the separation. I hope you dont mind me sending you another block, I would like to, for my own piece of mind and that I promised you a complete workable block. If it fails again I will know they don’t like cold climes c’est la vie.
    You wont get it till the new year want to leave it glued a while before sending.


  476. Catriona December 22, 2013

    I’ve just bought a little press for printing my linocuts, and the rollers are made of rubber. I’m new to using a press, so I’m trying to figure out what blankets I need to get. Do you think that as my rollers are rubber I might not need blankets at all?

  477. John Steins December 22, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Catriona,

    Congratulations on your new press! Can you tell me a little more about it? I’m intrigued that your rollers are made of rubber, usually these are made of steel.

    Let me know and hopefully I will be able to offer you some advice.

  478. Catriona December 22, 2013

    Here it is – I haven’t received it yet, so what you see here is all I know.

  479. John Steins December 29, 2013 — Post author

    Hi Catriona, sorry for the late reply. I looked at your press, and it looks like it will do what you want it to although it does seem rather light duty. I think you should employ some kind of blanket, perhaps even the rubber litho blankets I use, just to help distribute the pressure a little bit.

  480. Catriona December 31, 2013

    Thanks. Yes, it’s here now and it’s light duty but I’m enjoying getting to know it. I’ve ordered a 3mm etching blanket and until that arrives have been using an old baby blanket (mostly to protect the rollers).

  481. florian boulais January 11, 2014

    Oh wow!!! That is such a shot. Do they have anything else than communist propaganda pornography?

  482. Neil Peck February 13, 2014

    Hi John,
    I made it to the show and saw your print there. It was a fine show. Congratulations!

  483. John Steins February 13, 2014 — Post author

    Hi Neil, Great that you got to see the show. Guess it’s high time I got cracking and made some new engravings. No excuses, I have lots of blank blocks crying out for me to start cutting! Hope the same is true for you as well.

  484. Nancy Walter February 16, 2014


    Love this great old book. Thanks for sharing!

    I loved the video of the super large printing… one of these days I swear I need to do that. Looks like so much fun… and I LOVE the large format!

    At first, my (Griffin) press seemed so large, as I had a small press that only takes a quarter sheet. But now it seems small… once things are framed etc…

    I digress. Does that large print event happen annually? And also, have there been artists in residence… I think you mentioned one…

    I will be traveling across Canada… taking time off! (Sort of)… and although I am not sure I’ll make it to Dawson City… it is appealing. So remote!

    Let me know thanks
    Warmest regards,

    Nancy Walter

  485. John Steins February 16, 2014 — Post author

    Hey Nancy, Thanks for dropping by and for your encouraging comments. The flip book is a lot of fun but a bit labour intensive, I have a wish list of other books that I’ll get around to.

    The steamroller event was a blast with 17 other artists taking part although there’s only the two of us, Joyce Majiski and I who practice. It might happen again during arts fest here in Dawson on the August 17th weekend.

    If possible, don’t hesitate on coming up here for a visit, let me know and I’ll do what I can to help. If you look up they have a really nice residency program. And I’m thinking of starting one of my own for printmakers.

    Checked out your work, very nice!

    All the best,

  486. Bernadine Fox February 16, 2014

    Hi John,

    I just came across your reply to my comment. Sorry for taking so long to reply.

    I would love to get a digital copy of the Mona Lisa. I presume that that was what you meant by a copy. Can you send it via email? Timothy’s son was not the only incredible name in his/our family which also include Octavian, Corlolanous, Orlando and Sylvanus to name a few. My great grandfather was Alphonso Orlando Percy Cole.


  487. paul bendall February 25, 2014

    Hi John ,
    Hope you are well thanks for the Christmas card I’ve put it with my other prints sent to me when I was at Lawrences.
    Sorry I haven’t been In contact been A bit lazy.
    As I said I will send you another Block but I am waiting until your humidity level is relitively the same as here; I’m pretty sure that was the problem with the last one I sent.

    All the best ,

  488. Buddy Marion June 9, 2014

    I have approximately 1000 boxwood bushes with 2-7″ bases. These were 5 ft. bushes that were tipped for wreathes last Fall. The bushes are not dead but I am not going to nurse them back for the next 3 years. I intend to cut them down at the ground level. I realize the wood is useful and rare for carving, etc… Are these bushes useful to you or to someone before I simply burn them. Thank you, Buddy Marion

  489. nancy June 22, 2014

    Mr. Steins, I LIKE YOU.

  490. Evan Charney August 5, 2014

    Hi John,
    I am a printmaker and have used a Conrad etching press for wood engraving, and can appreciate the problems! Your carrier sounds like an excellent idea. One question: in the picture the engraving block is slightly higher than the surrounding carrier surface, so press cylinder would not seem to contact the sides and distribute the pressure. Does the rubber blanket make the difference?

  491. Julia October 31, 2014


    I also have a copy of Siesta, inherited from my grandparents, who were from California.


  492. Anita McCreery Benson Bradley November 17, 2014

    Paul Landacre was also my uncle, married to Margaret McCreery, my father’s half sister. Who is Caroline? I possess two woodcuts and will part with them some day.

  493. Robert Downey (No ... not THAT Robert Downey) December 12, 2014

    Hi John

    It’s been a few years since your cats used me and Philip (Craig) as a climbing device at your apartment in Yorkville.

    I’ve looked for you many times over the years since Ottawa and now … here you are … I think. The last email here is dated 2012, so I don’t know how often you check this site out … or worse, if you’re still with us.

    If you get a moment and are in the mood, please contact me at the email address supplied. I’d love to hear from you.

  494. Marianne December 26, 2014

    Could you tecommend a way to duplicate a woodcut block itself? My sister created an iconic woodcut in 1971 and she would like to produce a copy (mould) of the original to hang in her home. She gave the original away many years ago and she can no longer create art due to a stroke. She would also like to do more editions from the original, but wants to preserve the current patina. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  495. Parinte David December 28, 2014

    I want to buy wood boxwood

  496. Alisannah Machaya January 27, 2015

    Hello, I am currently doing an art project on initiation and was captivated by your lino printing technique and some of your artwork. if you wouldn’t mind replying to this message it would be an honor to ask you a few questions and advice concerning your lino work.

  497. John Steins January 27, 2015 — Post author

    Hi Alisannah, Sure I’m happy to help. What were your questions?

  498. Ryan February 11, 2015

    Please contact me as soon as possible John. I have a linocut from 1958 from I. Steins and would like to talk to you about its’ origin. I also admire your work. Hope to hear from you soon.

  499. Deborah May 14, 2015

    Thank you very much for the info John.
    Wonderful artist Paul Landacre I discovered recently.

  500. pat martin August 8, 2015

    Malcolm Lowry’s incredible book Under the Volcano. John, you came to my wedding in Dawson many years ago and gave me as a wedding present one of my most valued pieces of art. Strange that Barbara and I went on to live in the cabin on Gabriola Island where Lowry lived. It is there he wrote October Ferry to Gabriola. I’m going to buy a few of your woodcuts. I am a big fan of prints. Phillips, Bergmann, etc. You hang on my wall with them now. Happy to know you John. Pat Martin.

  501. John Steins August 9, 2015 — Post author

    Great to hear from you Pat! Long time no see! I’m a big fan of your hard work as a parliamentarian keeping everyone honest. Can’t wait for you to form our next government!

  502. Jeremy Lee August 10, 2015

    I have a Paul Landacre print it looks to be a second printing it has a Roman numeral 2 with a 18/150 in the far right corner followed by the title both in pencil. It is signed on the bottom right corner by the artist.
    It is is excellent shape -and I am looking to sell the picture. Can you provide me with some insight or direction on how to go about doing so?

  503. John Steins August 10, 2015 — Post author

    Hi Jeremy, So great that you have a Landacre print. A good place to start would be Swann Galleries in New York, they specialize in works on paper and handle lots of his work. At the very least they could give you a valuation.

  504. Rene September 1, 2015

    Hi John

    This is a great post – thank you! I was wondering if you have any issues with the carrier indenting the paper as it is rolled through the press? I’ve used “runners” along each side of the press bed to distribute the pressure but they have to be wider than the paper otherwise I have two strip indentations on each side! (I was printing lino or gomuban).

    Thank you!

  505. John Steins September 1, 2015 — Post author

    Thanks for your post Rene. Yes I do run into that problem from time to time although I find that using that blue rubber litho blanket as a tympan seems to help somewhat. And if the block is just proud of the bearers it may not pick up the indent. Otherwise I try to iron out the crease if it’s really bad.

  506. Debbie September 3, 2015

    How do I transfer a traced image from tracing paper onto oil treated crackled dark wood?

  507. John Steins September 3, 2015 — Post author

    Hi Debbie, Thanks for your question. One method for transferring a drawing to a dark surface might be the use of white “carbon” paper. Mclain’s Art supply in Portland sells different coloured versions of this so the outline of the drawing will contrast nicely on a darker surface. Hope this helps!


  508. Debbie September 6, 2015

    Tks for the advice but have tried, chalk on the back of the tracing, a white pencil crayon, all types of carbon paper nd stenciling.I come from a small town in South Africa nd our shops here haven’t heard of anything called saral, graphite paper or even a ponce wheel. I’m at my wits end nd don’t know hw to get the design onto the wood. Its repelling everythingi try to put on it…

  509. Jerry Stevens November 6, 2015

    What a treat to find your beautiful work! I attended grad school in design at the University of Illinois many years ago. It was such a treat to be introduced to superb prints, and I have never lost my love of them. Thank you so very much for the beauty you are sharing!

    I discovered your work, quite by accident, surfing through Pinterest, and lo, and behold, there was that wonderful Bird with Berry! I thought I was looking at a Japanese print, and was so delighted to find the artist.

    Delightful imagery! So very pleasing!

    Jerry Stevens

  510. Rene November 10, 2015

    Thanks John! For some reason I didn’t get an email to say that you had replied! Ironing – never thought of that 🙂 Rene

  511. Sally Heaphy December 31, 2015

    Where can I buy the kind of rubber blanket that you use for relief printing?

  512. Daved Ferrell April 28, 2016

    I’ve xeroxed / lazer printed my image and transferred it on to linoleum, plywood and cherry wood with a chartpak blender marker also called an AD marker. (Also works onto fabric for embroidery)

  513. Takis Dimitriou August 11, 2016

    Thank you very much for the article.
    Could you upload the pages with the sketches of the tools (page 30, scetch 1 and 2)
    or advise me what tools are necessary to start?
    thank you again

  514. Ted Riley December 8, 2016

    I have a Glenn Alps collagraph press. The bed size is 66 x 30 inches. Pretty big press. I am refining my press technics. I make intalglio, lino cuts , watercolor monotypes on lexan & matboard relief plates.

    I wonder whether I can successfully use just a single thin felt blanket on my lexan watercolor monotypes

  515. John Steins December 8, 2016 — Post author

    Sounds like a great press, nice size too. I think it should be okay to use one thin blanket. I’m assuming that your lexan is just a flat surface and not too thick, right? You’d use your sizing catcher or the pusher blanket?

  516. Sharon Russell March 1, 2018

    Hi John,
    Wondering if any edition of this is still available?
    I’ve always loved it!

  517. John Steins March 1, 2018 — Post author

    Hi Sharon,
    Yes it is. But as a high quality digital version.

    I’ll message you via your email.


  518. Glen April 4, 2018

    I was wondering if this gorgeous print is available for purchase?

  519. Clare Sheerin March 27, 2019

    This macro wood knot is stunning!

  520. John Steins March 31, 2019 — Post author

    Thanks so much Clare. See you soon!


  521. Ralph August 18, 2020

    Just found on Ebay his Palm Springs Station wood engraving. This is rare and never seldom comes up anywhere. He is one of the finest wood engravers who ever lived.

  522. John Steins August 18, 2020 — Post author

    That’s great, it pays to watch eBay for his work. I agree that Landacre is one of the greats in wood engraving, such precision and terrific subject matter. Will have to make a pilgrimage to his old place in LA one of these days.

  523. Linda August 28, 2020

    I love this

  524. bulletheadgx December 16, 2020

    Thank you so much for providing access to this book. I found the author’s insights to be valuable and somewhat entertaining, though in a delighful way rather that tinged with humor. I have always loved the look of antique engravings, and several years ago purchased a few books with illustrations by Lynd Ward and was really struck by the drama and atmosphere that can be achieved with wood engraving. Since I have all the necessary tools due to being a metalsmith, and my husband a wood worker, I have decided to try my hand at wood engraving. So finding this resource is a boon and an encouragement.

  525. John Steins December 16, 2020 — Post author

    That’s great news. Wood engraving is a super rewarding form of expression, especially if you’re into hyper detail work. I’m glad the literature I’ve got on this site is helpful and thanks for taking the time to let me know. If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know.


  526. Kathryn April 4, 2021

    Could you tell me if it was the sycamore wood and what fasteners were used to create a seamless pattern on calico prints in Great Britain – 1815?

  527. Kathryn April 4, 2021

    Very valuable research for a long forgotten skill.

  528. John Steins April 5, 2021 — Post author

    Thanks so much for your visit and for your query. I don’t have an immediate answer but will find one for you.


  529. John Steins April 5, 2021 — Post author

    Hey Julia, thanks so much! I’ll prepare your order asap! Really appreciate it.


  530. Bob May 12, 2021

    You sound like you haven’t seen a large body of his work. We have seen most of his images up close and personal. in our opinion Indecision is most usual for technique. Counterpoint of course is his iconic nude. But our favorite is Spring, 1944. He only did four signed copies. We own two copies. Someone discouraged him from producing more. HIs work is very undervalued. So when you get one hang on to it. Beats inflation!

  531. John Steins May 12, 2021 — Post author

    On the contrary, I’ve seen and admired much of his work. Not sure how you’d get the idea I neglected that area of investigation. However, I do agree that his work is undervalued. I do own some of his prints.

  532. Martin South of France August 3, 2021

    Many thanks for this…..only a few years late. I inherited a number of woodbock engravings from my step father, Derek Riley (especially known as a designer of organ screens the world over and for his ex-libris wood engravings). Some were in perfect condition but others had been badly stored and separated over the years. With very careful attention I was able to save most of the damaged ones.

  533. John Steins August 3, 2021 — Post author

    Martin, thanks for dropping by and commenting. Designer of organ screens! Amazing. Talk about specialization. I found a few of his ex-libris online. Sweet! Yeah, I think the superglue remedy works in most cases. Glad you were able to save his legacy.


  534. david bisacca September 1, 2021

    If looking for ‘original’ paul landacre’s, on original japan paper, without # or signature wait until 2033…when the estate of ritchie ward (aka ward ritchie) comes out…you will see 100’s of them…. a fact – but hard to prove..gather the info – it’s obvious….he can release 30 years before anyone else can copy a landacre.!! (well he’s dead but his plan isn’t..

  535. Peggy Pasko April 12, 2022

    My husband Michael Pasko used the joined wood block technique for various statue. If you would “google” his name you can see the various artwork he was done. I wish he were here because he would write his thoughts, however he passed away in February 2022. He was a great Artist.

  536. Linda May 22, 2022

    Love this! So ingenious the registration system and the print is lovely. Oh those Golden Gates.
    Thanks for your grand generosity in offering so much information and inspiration. It goes a lonnngggg wayyyy. I cherish my visits to this website. LP

  537. John Steins May 23, 2022 — Post author

    Thanks for checking this out. That registration system seems to work very well. Pretty much bang on. Glad you found this useful.

  538. Esther Trible June 16, 2022

    Have woodblock print of horse on tissue. Think Indian, black color. Trying to research origin.

  539. Diane Knights July 13, 2023

    Just beginning to explore printmaking with wooden blocks and checking on tools and techniques. Your store/website was mentioned in an online article by r banks at Thanks for a very good website!

  540. John Steins July 22, 2023 — Post author

    Hi Diane, Thanks for visiting. If there’s anything I can help with, let me know.

  541. Patricia Bruno December 12, 2023

    I am an artist who has rekindled my interest in doing wood block printing
    What is the proper way to sign my works on paper-
    PS love your site!!!!!

  542. John Steins December 12, 2023 — Post author

    Hi Patricia, Thanks for checking out my site! So great to hear about your renewed interest in woodblock printing. Would love to see your work sometime. So, in answer to your quetion, I just sign in pencil on the lower right hand side just under the image, with the title roughly in the middle and edition info on the left. Hope this helps.

  543. jess January 9, 2024

    great information! can you print lead type on an etching press? if so could you print multiple cards and how would you register them?

  544. John Steins January 10, 2024 — Post author

    Hi Jess, For printing lead type all you need is a chase for holding the type together and perhaps something to bear the weight of the roller on either side of the chase. Regarding registration there are several schemes one can come up with. Would have to think on that a bit.

  545. Megan January 25, 2024

    Are you familiar with copper engraved wood block stamps? Trying to find some information on several I have before trying to use them.

  546. John Steins January 26, 2024 — Post author

    Hi Megan, Without a picture I’m assuming they are those small blocks that used to be printed along with lead type on a printing press. If so, you can totally ink them up and stamp them on paper or whatever.

  547. Cornelius Suchy February 25, 2024

    Does anyone in this forum have experience with sanding the blocks?
    Hand sanding always seems to take more off at the edges. A thickness sander usually is only for the first coarse grind, not for a polished final block.
    I am thinking of designing an orbital thickness sander. Any advice on this. Thank you

  548. John Steins February 25, 2024 — Post author

    What works well for me is to place the fine grit paper (600 or finer) on a perfectly flat surface like plate glass or some such item and then swirl the block good-side down on the flattened paper. If done carefully you will avoid lowering the corners.

  549. Christian Fuchs May 27, 2024

    This record has been in my vinyl collection for the better of 35 years and I am listening to it now as I clack this message out to you.
    I have always found that the music on this album instills a spiritual peace and calmness down to my soul.
    My son is a musician so I appreciate and am grateful for the time and effort you and the team around you at the time put into creating this wonderful piece of musical art.
    Thank you,

  550. John Steins May 27, 2024 — Post author

    Christian, Thank you so much for your comments regarding Midnight Light. It means so much to me that it is still appreciated after all of this time.

    Thanks so much,

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