6: Woodblocks

Building up a printed image in layers may take several woodblocks.

Blocks are selected for the different properties of their wood type. I tend to use shina veneer, which is relatively easy to cut and has a smooth grain. When I need a rougher surface, the shina can be burnt slightly and rubbed to raise the grain; alternatively I use other woods.

The wood is usually cut away to create a relief image for printing.

Before printing the block is soaked with water. This keeps the colour on the surface of the block, rather than being sucked into the wood.