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Relief Printmaking Basics : Relief Printmaking Knife Use

Relief Printmaking Basics : Relief Printmaking Knife Use

The tools that you will most often use when
carving your block of wood are, the U-gouges and the V-gouges, and they do come in a variety
of sizes. There are a couple of other tools; this is a bull-nose chisel, which can carve
very shallow carve marks. It has less of a crisp edge in line, as the U or V-gouge tools,
but it can, the larger that it is, it can carve away large amounts of area, and it can
do so making some pretty shallow marks, as you can see here, compared to the marks made
here by the U-gouge. Then there is the knife. In traditional Japanese print making, this
was the primary tool used. And if you want to use that knife as they did, you would actually
use it to carve away lines, by using the knife in two different directions, and you would
create your carved away line in this manner. There’s also several other ways you could
use the knife, in the western making tradition. You can use it as a stop cut, so that if I’m
carving towards something, and I don’t want my knife to go over it, I can use the stop
cut to stop my tool from going further.

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