The colour woodcut according to the reduction technique.
The woodcut is a graphical technique. The drawing is cut out in a plate of wood. When you put ink on a woodplate, everything which is NOT cut out, is printed. The higher parts contain ink, the cut out parts - the lower parts - stay clean. A colour woodcut is printed in several colours. There are, roughly, two techniques.
In the Japanese technique of "Mokuhanga", you first make the woodblocks or plates for your print. Every colour or layer, is cut out on different parts of the woodblock. On this woodblock, the reference - for putting the paper - is made. After constructing the blocks, printing begins. The blocks are fixed and therefor you can make different editions of the print. You can reprint prints if you want to.
With the Western reduction woodcut you can't reprint prints. Once having made an edition, the woodplate (plywood) is cut out. I do prefer this technique, because it enables me to work very precisely. I like the fact that I don't know beforehand how many times printing it will take to finish a woodcut. The woodcuts I make are printed 12 to 18 times to get the result I want. The reduction woodcut is printed with the help of a press. The ink I use is plantoil based. I print dry on dry. That differs a lot with the mokuhanga, where you use wet waterpaint on moist paper. The result is also different. With the Japanese woodcut you can make a beautiful spherical woodcut. The reduction technique is more like an oil-painting! But this technique enables me to make big woodcuts of 50 x 100 cm. Japanese prints are never printed on that size, simply because it is very difficult to do so with moist paper and wet paint. It dries too quick to make these big prints.
For prints I make use of birchwood plates (plywood). On this plate I make a pen and ink drawing in black waterproof ink. The drawing on the wood is protected by a layer of shellac. It is transparant, so you can see the drawing. Before I start printing, I first make a mould around the plate, where I can put the paper exactly on the same spot. Than I decide the number of the edition. In my case 42 for a big print, but sometimes I choose 25 or 35, depending on the subject. The first printing is often in a light colour; the sky for example. When I have printed the whole edition, the plate is cleaned and the drawing on the wood reappears. After thew drawing on the wood I cut out the parts where I want to keep the printed colour. It means that these parts stay in that colour during the printing process. The inks I use are light-real and I use acid free "washi" (Japanese paper) to print on. Printing is done by hand on a big etching-press.
I got a lot of questions about the availability of my work. When I started I did not have my own gallery. I sold the works through galleries in Holland and abroad. Nowadays I still work with some galleries, but most of my works I sell in our own gallery in Dwingeloo. If work is not too big I can also send by post. To sent big work abroad is sometimes problematic. Customs at airports (U.S.A) are very strict and sometimes the tubes are opened, the work taken out and roughly put back in the opened tube. I suffer nightmares because of that! But on the other hand there will be always possibilities to send work by post. The works shown in the portfolio are sold out. Under "recent werk" you will find recent works, which are still available. There you can also find prizes in euro.