Here is the start of a new woodblock, "Moon Crossing" which will measure 18x12". I am excited to print this and push the color of the sky and sunlit clouds. I love the methodical process of developing the image over time and multiple layers.
The carving starts with clearing out the margins around the image area and setting the registration guides (kento guides). The block is double sided with and image on both sides, one for cool and one for warm.
I carve a stop cut around the areas that I want to retain as raised. This bounding cut helps to protect the edges on those raised areas that will eventually print the colors. The areas to be carved away can now be clear out.
Next I start to clean up the small ridges that may print where I don't want them to. The smoother I can make the carved away area, the less likely I will get those stay unwanted printed areas. The ridges close to the raised area are most likely to print.
Once cleaned up, the block is ready to print. Notice that uncarved area along the top. It is not part of the design and will not print. I use it as a paper support so that the paper does not drop into what would be a large carved away area.
Watch for more posts as the woodblock progresses through the print process.