Monday, July 11, 2011

What is a woodcut?

What is a woodcut?
A woodcut or woodblock print is an artistic technique in printmaking called relief printing, in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed. The areas to show 'white' are cut away leaving the image to show in 'black' at the original surface level.

The history of the woodcut:
The woodcut is a technique that has been around for several thousand years. The earliest surviving examples are from the second century AD from China, where it was used to print pattern onto cloth for textiles. Later on it was adopted by artists such as Albrecht Dürer in the 15th and 16th century, Hokusai in the 18th and 19th century, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Käthe Kollwitz in the 20th century and in contemporary times it has been used by artists such as

Here are some famous examples:

Käthe Kollwitz, Mothers, 1922.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Bildnis_Otto_Mueller

Why woodcuts?
At Bleu de Toi, we were seeking a style of wedding guest book trees that would compliment our current line of hand drawn trees with a twist while expanding our audience. These designs we now offer are lovingly hand-carved and printed by a local woodblock artisan friend. We love the hand printed quality and the slight variation that is a natural part of the woodblock printing process in the True Woodcuts prints. No two trees are exactly alike, the subtle texture of the Canson paper can leave a stippling effect in the print that recalls the bark or texture of the tree in strong lighting conditions. They are very unique and quite beautiful.

What kind of woodcut do you offer?
Bleu de Toi currently offers two different woodcuts: a Coastal Cyprus and a Japanese Maple.
The Coastal Cyprus is best suited for 90-175 fingerprint "leafs" on 19" x 25" white, cream or grey colored paper while the Japanese Maple is a smaller tree best suited for 35-85 fingerprint "leafs" on off-white 16" x 20" paper. Each tree can be purchased with either one or two stamping inks available in a variety of colors. You let us know what you want it to say below the tree and we will add this custom element to your tree print for free.
Coastal Cyprus

Japanese Maple

detail of Japanese Maple with ink color samples

Get your True Woodcut work of art today and enjoy this unique way to capture the memory of your special day forever!

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