In the reduction woodcut process, the image is printed from a flat surface of birch plywood rolled up in ink. The areas meant to be un-inked are cut away and the image is left in relief. Paper is placed on the block, both are run through a press with pressure and the ink is transferred to the paper. The print develops in layers. The image is first drawn out on the wood. Then the areas meant to remain the color of the paper are cut away. The first color is printed and each piece of paper is carefully registered on the block before it is run it though the press. After all of the pieces of paper in the edition (plus a couple more for mistakes) are printed with the first color, the block is cleaned off and everything meant to be the color just printed is cut away. The second color is then rolled out and printed onto the paper. This process of cutting and printing is repeated until the print is completed, usually in small editions of 12 -18. Many of these prints also include pochoir, a process where gouache paint is applied through a stencil. The pochoir process allows for more specific localized color as well as gradated color and value.
THE 17 STAGES OF A REDUCTION WOODCUT PRINT
Video by Sally Johnson, Director of Groveland Gallery