This week has been a bit of a struggle. I finished carving my blocks for lonely dog, but I was quite disappointed in the results of my test print. I think the main problem was that the image was too small for the detail that I was trying to achieve. I also had registration problems and had to recarve the kento for the key block.
Luckily serendipity came to my rescue in the form of woodcut artist Nick Wroblewski who happened to be showing at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. His booth was filled with gorgeous prints and although I was only able to afford one small print, I spent some time with him talking about his technique. At the time I was most interested in the fact that he used a brayer to spread Akua Kolor on the blocks as he wasn’t strickly working in a Japanese style. When I was about to leave, he quickly mentioned that the print I bought was a reduction print – i.e. a print that is made from only one block of wood with the lightest color printed first and each successive block carved and printed from the remaining block.
When I went back to my studio, I tried using a brayer with little sucess perhaps because I use watercolors rather than Akua Kolor. So I gave up on this idea. As I studied the print I had bought from Nick, however, I became inspired to recarve my lonely dog using the reduction technique. At this point I also decided to use a larger block and increase the size of the image. I’m very exicted by these results although a bit fearful to make carve into the first block since I liked the way the test print looks.