Woodblock Printing Workshop

For anyone who’s following along, I’m sorry for the lag in posting. This is the season when I need to focus on show applications and cloth production for the upcoming show season. That means there isn’t much time for developing a new business, much less writing about it.

I am, however, making time to study the skills I’ll need to make the new artwork possible. To that end, I travelled to Eugene last weekend to take a class at the Whiteaker Printmaker’s Studio. (whitprint.com)
The class was taught by Josh Krute, an accomplished woodblock printer whose subject matter is near to my heart – trees. You can see his beautiful work on his website. (joshkruteart.com)

[Teutonia Juniper ready to transfer]
I brought a few of my photographs to choose from, settling on an image of an old juniper that I shot on Teutonia Ridge in the Mojave desert last year.

Beneath the photo is a sheet of carbon paper. To transfer the image, I just traced the outlines on the photo, leaving black lines on the wooden plate.

[Carbon-transferred outline]
From there, it’s just a grueling couple hours of intense hand work to carve the image into the wood.
[Carved block, ready to ink]
Given the time constraints of a one-day workshop, I intentionally did the thing that all beginner artists do – stuck to the outlines. I did make time to experiment with a few areas of texture, but not enough to consider this a finished image by any means.
[Inked plate]
[The image]
In the end I had a great time. Josh was a patient teacher, helping folks who’d never touched a press to create their own woodblock prints. The Whiteaker Printmaker’s Studio is a beautiful facility with a nice library and some gorgeous presses. Heather, one of the founders of the studio, was super sweet and helpful. She made sure that Josh had the support he needed to do the workshop, and spent some extra time with me afterwards. She really made me feel welcome and wish that I was close enough to become a member and have access to that beautiful space (and that library!) more often. She also told me about SGCI, a printmaking conference in Portland at the end of the month. I’ll be attending for sure, to start learning the ropes of this new world.
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