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FAQ


"EVE" Woodcut by Valerie Lueth, Yellow Block

HOW DOES TUGBOAT PRINTSHOP MAKE WOODCUT PRINTS?



Tugboat Printshop's woodcut prints are all made by hand using age-old printmaking techniques.



Tugboat's unique handling of the traditional woodcut process has evolved through artistic practice,

always maintaining a high standard of quality.


Images are drawn directly onto blocks of 3/4" birch plywood, first in pencil and then in pen.

When drawings are completed, the blocks are carved low relief using sharp hand-tools & knives.


Prints are made by applying pressure to paper laid on ink (much like stamping).


Printing the "MOTH" Woodcut by Tugboat Printshop


Before editioning, ink colors are mixed. Fine paper is hand-torn to size.

Even layers of oil-based ink are applyed with hand brayers & rollers.

Paper is placed on the inked block, which is then hand-cranked through a printing press.

Pressure transfers ink from block to paper, creating a printed impression.



Paper and Press, Tugboat Printshop Pittsburgh

WHAT MAKES A WOODCUT PRINT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER TYPES OF PRINTS?


Woodcut makes a distict printed image, different than a screenprint or digital (giclee) print.

Crispness & clarity of line is very sharp and without pixelation or distortion.

There is a sculptural history in the carving of woodblock drawing.

The woodgrain of the woodblock's surface is a visible element in the printed image!

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A WOODCUT PRINT?


Carving the "OVERLOOK" Woodcut


The time it takes to make a print depends on the image complexity & color scheme.

Drawing images is our longest task.

As a loose estimate, a print like "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" took roughly 4-6 months.

The "OVERLOOK" woodcut (key above/below) took much longer, created over the course of 3 years!


Valerie drawing on the OVERLOOK Woodcut


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