How to Make a Relief Print

I am working on a series of relief prints with the Japanese Wabi-sabi theme: A world view centered on the acceptance of transcience and imperfection. The prints are a portrait of an unlucky (or lucky because immortalized?) cicada, found dead in my stairwell. 


How is a print like this made? I will unravel the mystery for you! 🌟


Step one:


The image is drawn with a marker on PVC board (PVC board is a cheaper variant than linoleum and works just as well).



A relief is gouged with several sharp tools. This is a time-consuming task; mine took about ten hours. 




Step two:



I made 30 backgrounds with ink and a roller on Japanese paper. The (spotted or dotted) textures show up when applying the ink while the paper lies on a relief like a pin board or mat. 




Step three:



The matrix (that’s what you call the gouged relief) is inked up with a roller, sandwiched between paper and then run through the printing press. 




Step four:



I paint the prints with watercolours. Most of them are green, some red and a rare one blue. 




Step five:



The prints are glued on a bigger white sheet with the ‘Chine Colle’ method: Both print and sheet are soaked, glued to each other, and then pinned to a pin board to dry.



Step six:



Once dry, the edges with the push pin holes are carefully ripped off in the tradition of print making. A ragged edge shows that the artwork is an original and not (merely) a digital print.  





I intend to make 31 prints total and they will be for sale!