Reduction Woodblock, Foreground…

For the next reduction woodblock, I’ve decided to incorporate stencils and viscosity. Since I don’t have lots of time for my printmaking education while I’m in the middle of weaving show season, I’m trying to combine as many things as I can into each test.

[Carved ditch]
One of the things that I’ll be learning and practicing in my time at Constellation is the combination of woodblock printing and stencils. Because areas of the plate are being blocked out with stencils for inking, the whole background doesn’t need to be carved away. The relief areas just need a ditch carved around them. Here’s the plate, ready to do a viscosity printing treatment to the uncarved foreground area.
[Viscosity through a stencil]In viscosity, a thinner ink is applied to the plate and used to resist the thicker ink that’s rolled on afterward. Here, I rolled a thin yellow through the first stencil, rolled the bright green through the second stencil, and printed it. The thin yellow ink prevented the thicker green ink from sticking to the plate, leaving a yellow skeleton in the print.

[Inked for the second pass]For the second pass, I carved the branch shape away. Because of the viscosity, the main branches will be yellow and the smaller branches will be green. The new, darker green will cover the areas outside of the branches.

[Carved for the third pass]In the third pass, I removed great chunks of the remaining area to give a “checkerboard” effect to the areas around the branch. This last pass was printed in teal.

[Foreground result]
 Here’s the final result of the reduction on the foreground area of the print. When I get some more time in the studio I will do more work in the background of this print. You can see from the marks on that part of the plate that I intend to do some kind of radiating aura around the branch. I can’t wait to get back to it and see what I come up with, but for the next week I’ll be romping with my friends at the Oregon Country Fair.

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