John Jānis Šteins

:: Artist ::

Riffles ~ A Reduction Woodcut

Dan Dowhal, a Dawson author, recently challenged me and other printmakers to create artwork based on a ‘seed’ word. In my case, the word was “riffles” which refers to a sluice box used for capturing alluvial gold nuggets when digging for gold. This challenge is part of his initiative called The Sourdough Starter Project, which is an integral part of this year’s Print & Publishing Symposium. I have created a seven-colour reduction woodcut (suicide) print, with a limited edition of approximately 12 prints.

My initial target was to make 20 prints while going through the reduction woodcut process. However, during the process, I ruined about 6 or 7 prints due to some slipping off-register or not having enough ink. So, I was only able to make about 12 prints in total. I still need to trim the paper and do a final inspection. The image size I’ve managed to create is 8.5 x 12 inches, which is good enough for an ambitious reduction print. Although, I’m eager to create larger format prints. I thoroughly enjoy the process, which might seem daunting to some, but it’s very cool and meditative once you get into it. Though, it can be stressful at times. Knowing colour theory helps. I suggest checking out Johannes Itten and the relationship between colours.

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