Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Media:  Woodcut, using a very hard wood
Image Size:  12" x 14"
Paper:  Hosho
Edition:  50  SOLD OUT
Date:  1966c

Memories of Sunfish sailing at Hains Point, a 300+ acre peninsula located between the Washington, DC. channel and the Potomac river, on the south side of the Tidal Basin.
Then, also, in Oyster Bay, Long Island.  

Woodcuts are in the group of fine art prints called 'surface' prints.  As the name implies, the image created is physically on the surface of a block of wood.  The areas that are not to be printed, the "negative space"or "air" around the image, are removed using a variety of small, shaped gouges.  Often the artist chooses to leave some of that negative space with bits of the surface wood untouched, adding interest and textures to the finished piece.  After the image has been produced to the artist's satisfaction, a hand-held rubber roller is charged with ink and rolled over the surface of the wood block until the image is evenly inked.  A flexible and absorbent paper, often a Japanese rice paper, is placed over the block and the back of the paper is gently and thoroughly rubbed, transferring the ink to the paper.  

I preferred to use the back of a silver teaspoon because the silver is a soft metal.   See the next post for making a color woodcut.  

Text by my friend and printmaker,  Mary Westring, who now owns my Harold Wright press in nearby Brooklyn. 


  1. When I read the title I expected to see figures, but this is much more subtle and really 'you'. Printmaking sounds very involved!

  2. A beautiful piece! I've never tried woodcut printing. I did try lino printing once and was not very successful, and I imagine carving into blocks of wood to be much more difficult.

    Thanks so much for the Carl Zigrosser info. I will have a look for that essay you mentioned. Sounds great!

  3. Even before I read the description, I "saw" sailboats in this one. A very interesting description of your process -- and something that I know nothing about.

    Do you read Reya's blog? She has been writing about Vietnam as well. Your pieces which were inspired by veterans are very moving.