I højtryk ligger billedet/sværten øverst (højt) på trykfladen/blokket og "stemples" oven på papiret. Billedet på papiret bliver spejlvendt af i forhold til billedet på blokken.

In relief printing the image/ink is raised and is "stamped" onto the paper.

What are woodcuts? From wood to print

Black/White Woodcuts
The principle underlying the woodcut technique is simple: What is cut out of the block comes out white when printing –  and what is left on the block comes out black. You draw in white, as Tal R says in the film.

This fact gave the technique its name: relief printing. The raised areas of the relief is where the ink is applied when pressed against paper, they form black lines/planes on the paper.

Early on there were variations of the traditional black and white woodcuts. Examples include  wood engravingwhite line woodcut and coloured woodcut.

Artist, block-cutter and printer
In earlier times woodcuts were collective works of art. First, an artist created a design. Then a block-cutter cut the block, then a printer printed the finished block. Today, we mainly know the artists, as the signatures on the blocks are usually theirs - and they are known to us from other contexts. The other stakeholders involved in the woodcut process are usually forgotten.

From around the mid-19th century onwards, the division of labour involved in the creation of woodcuts disapperaed. Now, artists would carve their blocks themselves. For example, Asger Jorn's woodcut on a tabletop.

See how Tal R makes woodcuts
Click the boxes on the right side of the page to see how Tal R creates both a woodcut in black and white and in colour.

Asger Jorn, Cuts in Tabletop, 1967

© Asger Jorn, Cuts in Tabletop, 1967

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Updated: 6.mar.2018
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