Sunday, November 8, 2009


Woodcutting is not easy. No, really, it isn't. The first couple of assignments in Printmaking involved cutting linoleum blocks, which wasn't the easiest thing to do per se, but at least linoleum is soft. (Tip: placing the block in contact with heat makes it even softer. I put boiling water in a small tin, covered it with foil, and placed the block face-down on the foil.)

Woodcutting is our weapon of choice now, and it's difficult. The block has to be bigger (minimum 8x10"), and we're using wood (mine's some sort of poplar). The tools have to be continuously sharpened, and they've been used so they aren't in perfect shape (too expensive to purchase on our own). You have to consider carving against the grain, and around knots. I tried my best to purchase blocks that had little to no knots on either side. Even then, it's still arduous, and it's so easy to slip and knick an area. Once it's cut, you can't get it back. The one pictured above is a re-do!! :(

I just like the look of my pen drawing, which is there to simply mark my areas as guidelines. I'm really worried about getting to the details of the metal handles on the brushes... not sure how to go about cutting those correctly.

Any experienced woodcutters out there to lend some helpful tips? :)


M.M.E. said...

You can always fill in your mistakes with wood putty. That certainly helps. And always carve with the grain if at all possible. You can use your linoleum cutters for woodcutting and they only cost $15 or so. Don't worry, the callouses will heal. Haha. It looks good though.

Laura said...

That is my concern, especially with the circular designs. I'm not sure the best approach to that. I have a knife tool but can't always curve very well; also, if I'm not careful, it'll look too choppy. :[