John Jānis Šteins

:: Artist ::

What are the tools needed to do woodblock printmaking?

I want to do woodblock printmaking and i need the tools or know what tools to get. I found these on this website:

Are there others out there? Or is this what you use. thanks for the help.

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  1. 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!


  2. 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.


  3. John Steins April 30, 2011

    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.

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