Relief

12 Oct 2016- Practical Workshop, Introduction to Relief, with Frea Buckler.

I was highly apprehensive as the relief workshop drew near, I had no previous relief experience prior to this, which seemed a bit strange, as it’s often an introduction to printmaking. Children do it, even with potatoes. But sadly not me, not even with the humble spud!

Relief prints are lovely, highly detailed illustrations or strong graphic ones, but this process does seem to suit those who can draw. It also does your head in. Not only do you have to remember that the image will be printed in reverse, but the layers of colour you may want to add, requires you to subtract more from the material you carve from. One must make further reductions from the image to preserve the colour already printed. The opposite to how I think about screenprinting for instance. I am squinting as I write this, as it is still difficult to comprehend.

I did learn that it is possible to laser cut an image into the material you would normally carve from. So, if drawing is not your strength, fear not, you can still produce the relief printing effect that is wonderful. But, I have to say, craving away into lino was marvelous. Very moreish, which is handy I guess, when it is a reductive process.

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Linocut in progress.
Linocut in progress.

I would fancy having a go at woodcut. I have come across artist Christiane Baumgaetner’s woodcuts, that are of contemporary scenes of digital screens, but using a traditional process. The results are impressive: Here is a short interview of her discussing this process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hWdJV86f9w&feature=share

I still remember Kathe Kollwitz’s woodcuts from art history courses. They were expressive and emotive. She seemed to just as easily create an image by carving in wood as she could draw with charcoal.

Linocut hanging out to dry.
Linocut hanging out to dry.
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