January 01, 2022

Chaco Sojourn Book Four, Feature Woodblock

By Leon Loughridge
Chaco Sojourn Book Four, Feature Woodblock

The printing on Book Four of the Chaco Sojourn Series has begun in earnest. The screens are all drawn and the two blocks designed. The first block is of the ghost character in the story. With the image drawn onto two blocks, the carving began. 

Bowden Woodblock, StopCut  Bowden Woodblock, Carving

Bowden Woodblock, Run 2

The first photo shows the block being carved after the first color run was printed as a pale warm gray for the back ground. The carve starts with a stop cut which outlines and protects the edges of the areas that will remain in relief. The areas to be carved away can now be removed a bit quicker and with more confidence that the correct area will be carved away. I have carved away an area that was supposed to remain and usually realize it soon after. The repair process is a bit tedious. 

This is where the Reduction Process gets is name, in that the printing surface of the block is reduced between color runs. 

Bowden Woodblock, Run 3&4  Bowden Woodblock, Run 3

The image was drawn on reverse side of the block, and then carved so that just the coat and pants would print. This was printed in two color runs. A blue was printed as a gradation on the lower half and then a green was printed as a gradation on the upper half. The result gives a nice depth to the color fields. 

Bowden Woodblock Markup  Bowden Woodblock, Run 5

And now onto the fifth color run which will be the third printing using the original block. But, what to carve away? That line drawing is still there on the block, what remains, and serves as a guide for what I want to do next. I like using a fine tip sharpie and drawing directly on the block to indicate what remains in relief and will print. 

That process is repeat for the dark accents which was the final color run for this block. There were four color runs with carving between the runs on one block and two color runs from the second block. 

Bowden Woodblock, final