Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reduction Relief Prints

My Monday afternoon girls class has been working on these hand pulled reduction prints for the past few weeks. I had them each make a drawing using the colors white, yellow, orange, red, green, aqua and dark blue. Each of the girls transferred their drawing to a Soft-Kut plate and first carved away what they wanted to remain white. Then they rolled their plates with the next color (yellow) and printed their papers. (We rigged up a registration system using a sheet of mylar. We marked the dimensions of the Soft-Kut plate and the dimensions of the paper on the mylar with a black sharpie. So each time the girls printed, they placed the plate in its designated spot on the mylar and laid the paper over it using the sharpie diagram as a guideline. For this type of print where you must print on the same paper several times, it is very important to have a good registration system!)
The girls then carved away what they wanted to remain yellow, rolled the plates with the next color (orange) and printed their papers. They continued this process ending with the darkest color, the deep blue. I had each of them do three copies, and you can see the wonderful variations that occurred within each print, depending on the pressure they applied while rubbing or the thickness of the ink. Or, in the case of the 2nd print posted here, during one stage of the process this student accidentally printed her paper upside down. She wanted to discard it, but I told her to keep using it - that it would be all the more interesting. You can see that this print has a red cloud as a result, and it turned out to be everyone's favorite!

One of my students was absent for this class - she'll finish hers next week. The girls are 10 and 11 years old. Aren't their prints terrific?

I'm excited to try this technique myself. I'll be buying some Soft-Kut today to start 5 reduction prints for the Black Frame Show here in Portland.

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