About the Process:

Traditionally, these prints would be called  "wood engravings". A wood engraving is done on the end grain (end with the rings, about 10x harder than the plank or long grain cut of a tree.) But alas, these prints are not carved into wood, but a plastic material that is much more economical and better for the environment than chopping down hardwood trees.  

Each mark is made with an engraving burin, a small metal tool that can also carve copper, zinc or silver. The surface of the carved plate is rolled with ink, so that the upper surface is in relief to the lower.  Every mark that is white is carved out, every mark that is black is what is left on the surface to be inked. 

The inked plate is hand cranked through one of my printing presses.  The act of pulling the paper off of the plate makes each print a "hand-pulled print". I never duplicate any of my hand pulled prints with digital prints, keeping their integrity as original editions.


A fresh hand-pulled print. As you can see, everything is the reverse of the block. Any letters or numbers have to be carved backwards to ensure that they read the proper way when printed. 

Tools and the Block

Tools and the block in progress: A variety of carving tools are used for creating various marks on the block. The block is stained red, so that the carved lines are clearly white, and the original drawing lines are black. In theory, if the black drawn lines are avoided, they will remain on the surface and print when pressure is applied.

Making Mixed Media Monoprints

Many of my colorful pieces are called "Mixed Media Monoprints".  Since these pieces combine unique processes such as traditional drawing and painting methods, they are one of a kind (mono), and they contain elements of the printmaking process (print), hence mixed media monoprints.