RELIEF PRINTS

All printmaking is just another way of applying ink or paint to paper. This may be to get multiple copies of an image, or for a particular effect/feel. Using gouges to make a mark is very different from drawing with a brush or a stick of charcoal.

Making a relief block means either raising or lowering elements of a surface so that ink will be applied to the areas left raised.Typically this involves cutting away at some form of printing block, eg. wood,lino, card or anything that can have ink applied to it. So the areas that are left raised are inked up, often by roller but it could be by brush or some other means. Collographs (explained below) are an example of raising the surface.
The block is then pressed against the printing paper, and pressure applied by hand, or run through a press.

Card prints
Card of a cereal packet type thickness is very easy to cut and is surprisingly durable in printing. Typically I would cut shapes out of large sheets of card using a craft knife directly. I would then ink these up with a roller and print them onto a sheet of heavy paper.

Woodcuts
All my woodcuts are made by cutting directly using gouges, effectively drawing in negative using a blade. Mostly I’ve used plywood and normally paint the surface first with a dark paint so that it’s easier to see the newly cut marks. This leads to a very direct approach with no going back.
The plywood is then rollered up with ink. In the example here small rollers were used to apply different colours. The ink only sits on the uncut, raised surfaces, everywhere that was cut away remains uninked.
To register more than one block a print is taken from the first block and `offset’ printed onto the second. Then direct cutting can start again, responding to what has happened on the first block.

Collograph
The only collograph here was made by sticking down string onto a card block. The whole block was covered in water based PVA to seal it. The body colour of the hare was brushed onto the backing board, the brushed marks in the dried PVA giving more texture. The raised string was then inked up in black using a small roller.

To print this, the fairly heavy paper was soaked for 5 minutes before blotting it and run through a press. The damp paper then moulded itself to the raised surface without wrinkling and becomes heavily embossed by the string, picking up every scrap of ink.
Method – collographs are made by sticking things onto a backing board and then inking them up. In this case I stuck cord of different thicknesses down onto a sheet of cardboard. I then used a brush to paint the gingery brown ink onto the backing board (which had been coated with PVA glue). A small roller was used to ink up the string with black.The paper was soaked to allow it to stretch over the thicker cord when it was run through the press. If it wasn’t soaked the paper buckled badly.

If you look at the back of the print it is like a cast of the block, with the string forms embossed into the paper