This past semester, continuing with my printmaking studies, I took a class entitled Experimental Printmaking. It was up to me to decide what I wanted to do. The following photos are a summary of the project.
I wanted to make a large woodblock print that I could print from and later cut into smaller sized blocks and print from again. So the design had to be such that each of the blocks could be stand alone, though become somewhat abstract because of this. My design idea was the Tree of Life often depicted in old textiles. I created a design that had elements modeled after Jacobean embroidery and other textile samples that I have.
I wanted the block to be 18" x 24", so the first decision was finding a wood that would be suitable and available in this size. My options were few. I experimented with carving birch plywood and 1/4" Masonite boards. I decided to use the Masonite.
Carving was not difficult in the beginning. I realize now that it is because my tools were sharp.
After spending almost two months carving the design, I was only a little more than half way done. I decided to use a dremil to help speed things up. This turned out to be a learning experience because each type of tool made very different types of marks.
The left side is hand carved and the right side is Dremil carved.
I went back over the Dremiled areas with the hand tools to make a more uniform design.
Now that I was satisfied with the carving, I printed
several two-color prints.
This completed Phase I on this printmaking project.