For this project you will need:
• 1/4 inch MDF
• double sided tape or glue
• 1/4 hardwood or plywood boards (different types create different textures)
• paints or printing ink
• paper for printing
• materials for mixing and storing your pigments
• a large spoon or smooth tool to rub the back of your piece
• access to a laser cutter for 2 hours
• Corel Draw or Illustrator to prepare your files
Woodblock prints are made by layering ink or other pigments onto paper. Typically each color is applied one at a time, so a complicated piece of art will require several wood cuts, and a jig (use the mdf to make the jig) to line up or register your papers. My jig is a simple frame to place each block in with another L-shaped piece of MDF glued on to use as a registration guide.
Prepare your files in your graphic program of choice and send them to the leaser cutter. Remember that all your art needs to be reversed to print the right way onto paper.
Some of the most well known examples of woodblock printing were made by Japanese artists during the Edo period (1603-1868), a time when the rapid expansion of a prosperous Japanese middle class increased the demand for popular arts and entertainment. The Great Wave of Kanagawa, by the artist Hokusai,— who printed dramatic scenes of his homeland, many times featuring the distinct shape of Mt. Fuji on the skyline— might be the most recognized work of Japanese Edo period woodblock printing.