11 October 2007

Trying a Reduction Print

The "reduction method" in relief printing is an exacting process where the artist uses only one block. As in any woodcut, the artist begins by cutting a block and printing a color. But instead of carving a new block for an additional color, that same block is cut further (hence the term "reduction") and used again to print a second color over the first. The artist continues to cut and print this one block until all the colors have been printed.

One of the big drawbacks of this method is that there is no opportunity to go back to a previous color and make changes, since the wood has long since been cut away. For this reason, the method is also referred to as a "suicide print."

I've done some partial reductions on various blocks in past prints, but never a real "reduction print." I think that it might be a good method for the print I'm attempting here, though. Here's a drawing on one of my blocks for the first stage of a reduction:


The web site of reduction printmaker Don Gorvett shows the amazing detail and richness that can be achieved with this method.


MAGPRINTOriginalPrints said...

Have fun reducing! It can be an eye opener.

Annie B said...

Yep, I'm definitely having trouble wrapping my mind around it!

mizu designs said...

gosh it's a long one! hope you have more patience than me when you go to print it :)