Wood Block Print: Step Five – Printing

Posted on: September 27th, 2014
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You can print with wet or dry paper. IF you are printing wet with multiple layers, you may want to pre-stretch your paper to maintain accurate registration. When paper is wet it expands. This combined with the pressure exerted from the press will cause your paper to significantly stretch (up to 2 inches in some cases). Wet paper responds better, producing a darker impression, but if registration is important than you may want to print with dry paper. Another option is to pre-stretch your paper by running it through the press and then soaking it for each layer. Because the ink is oil-based, water will not affect your image in any way.

You can also create a guide or registration sheet that maps out where the print and paper should be placed for each block or layer. Using a piece of newsprint, trace around the block’s edge and then measure where you want your paper placed, indicating it with pencil marks on the newsprint. Put the guide under the Plexiglass on the press bed and voilà… now you can centre your block and paper. Grid paper can also help you measure and straighten your block and your paper.

Categorised under: Woodcut