Riffles ~ A Reduction Woodcut

Dawson author Dan Dowhal threw out a challenge for me and other printmakers in the form of a commission to make work based on a ‘seed’ word. In my case, it was “riffles”, as in sluice box for capturing alluvial gold nuggets, etc. when digging for gold. This is part of his initiative called The Sourdough Starter Project integral to this year’s Print & Publishing Symposium. This is a seven colour reduction woodcut (suicide) print with an edition of 12 or so.

I started with 20 prints but as the reduction woodcut process wore on I managed to wreck 6 or seven of them. Some slipped off-register and others didn’t have enough ink, etc. So, my yield is around an edition of 12 prints. Still have to trim the paper and do a final inspection. The image size is 8.5 x 12 inches, which is plenty big for an ambitious reduction print although I’m looking forward to making larger format ones. I really enjoy the process, a process that seems daunting to some but once you get into it it’s very cool and contemplative. Not without some stress though. Knowledge of colour theory helps a lot. Check out Johannes Itten and the relationship of colours to one another.

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So great if you could take a minute and leave your thoughts on this.