Saturday, February 23, 2013

X is for Xylography

X is for Xylography. Wikipedia says: "xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges. The areas to show 'white' are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood (unlike wood engraving where the block is cut in the end-grain). The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas.
I decided to give this a try. As I'm not very good with sharp implements, I decided to try this with balsa wood and tools that make impressions. I "carved" or pressed an image of an xray fish into the wood. I want the fish to be white and the background black, so the fish image is in relief. I discovered I wouldn't need to make water lines, as the texture of the balsa creates thin lines.
 I used a brayer to spread black India ink over my wood block.
 Stamped the block on plain card stock:
and on white glossy card stock:
My drawing/carving/printing is very primitive looking. The xylographic prints that have been done over the edges are very intricate and beautiful.  Google xylography images and you can see lots of gorgeous art.

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