Registering The Carved Image
Registration is a daunting issue, oft a limitation to an artists’ creativity. There are a few methods that are adaptable enough to be used for assorted relief techniques. The easiest, most accurate and adaptable is a method that has been in use since the 16th century. The kento method uses two guides to register the paper to the block, a corner and side guide. Once the paper is aligned, the paper is lowered onto the inked block and pressure applied. In fact, the kento tabs will set consistent margins on two sides of the paper. Printing on different sized sheets will still produce the set margins on two sides of the paper. The opposing margins will vary depending on the size of the paper. The benefit for this is that the paper measurements can vary as the excess will show up on the margins opposite the kento tabs.
The two kento tabs are carved into the block that the image will be carved into. I like to have the margins drawn out on the master drawing that I use to transfer the image onto the block. That way, I know that the margins will always be the same from block to block. The master is taped onto the block and the paper edge traced out along with the kento tabs locations and the image to be carved.