16 August 2006

Intaglio With Wood


I've decided to let go of my "particle river" idea (see below) and go back to the simplicity of my original sketch. I do want to add a little more depth and texture, though, so I'm going to try something new. The photo above is a closeup of an experiment I did on this last batch of prints. I scratched in a few lines with a leather punch to see if it would print intaglio. Intaglio is the opposite of relief printmaking. Instead of raised uncarved areas being the printing surface, what prints in intaglio are incised areas. In the intaglio process the damp paper is pushed into the incised grooves, which hold more ink. Usually, intaglio is done on metal plates in processes like etching and aquatint. But my experiment reveals that a subtle sort of intaglio can be done on wood, so I'm going to try it on this print.


Michael Fraley said...

Interesting! I haven't heard much about intaglio techniques with wood. How are you going about this, since carving into a plank is pretty difficult when you're carving against the grain?

Annie B said...

Hi Michael,

I haven't heard anything about intaglio with wood either, which probably means it can't be done, but the fun of being a beginner is that I'm blissfully unaware of what's not possible. So I'm going to use the seat-of-my-pants method. I'll let you kow how it turns out.

Maria said...

Hi Annie,
You can certainly print wood engravings as intaglio, why not woodcuts?!
You go girl! You will probably get quite a bit of "plate tone" in the form of the woodgrain, which could be VERY interesting. If your lines are carved thickly you will have to be careful when wiping the plate or you will wipe the ink right out of the carved lines.
Let us know how it turns out.

tom said...

Hi Annie,

I'm not sure if you are intending to wipe the block clean, but if so then the type of pigment you use will play an important part. I find pigments that stain the timber to work well. Rice paste is not going to help, keep the block nice and damp. You can get a beautiful deep woodgrain effect by exploiting the variation in the density or porosity of the timber. A certain amount of wiping will help, but too much and you get nothing

Michael Fraley said...

I'm with Maria in my sentiments, although a "you go girl!" doesn't come as easily from a stodgy, middle aged man :) My question came re: how you were going about carving intaglio on a plank sprung from frustrations with my own experiments. Engraving tools, of course, work fine as long as you go with the grain, but tend to splinter the wood when moved in another direction. Perhaps the whole issue is that a burin is the wrong tool for the job - and if a leather punch works, then fabulous. More power to you, and, uh, you go girl.