Woodblock Printmaking

Fireweed Community Woodshop

Watermark is excited to collaborate with Fireweed Community Woodshop of Minneapolis for two woodworking classes to be taught in the Education Studio at Watermark. Watermark supports Fireweed’s mission of empowering women and non-binary makers through the art of woodcraft. Woodworking is an incredible skill that is both practical and creative. The act of woodworking builds confidence and strengthens the imagination.

Learn more about Fireweed
You may also be interested in Spoon Carving

Woodblock Printmaking

Date:  May 21, 2022
Ages 18 and up
Time:  2pm – 5pm
Class Fee:  $50
Materials Fee: $10 (paid directly to instructor)

In Woodblock Printmaking, students will learn the meditative and liberating, ancient and democratic art of block carving and printing. We will focus on the techniques of Western-style block carving (rather than Japanese, for example) with minimal tools, and make several prints on various papers. We will learn about how to think in relief (carving around the lines/areas to be printed, and the mirror-image effect of printing), adapting your design to wood and utilizing grain, how to transfer designs to a block, techniques and different effects of the five basic carving tools (which have parallels in other woodworking), and the different possibilities for printing the block. We will print in black but go over how to add color to a print and print a trial print in color, if time permits. Resources will be available for further projects with your block and other simple materials. The materials fee includes $5 block, $2.5 ink $2.5 paper.

Additional info to participants: Templates will be available for tracing and transferring to the block. Look up black and white/monochromatic block prints for some basic inspiration/notions of possibilities.

Optional homework: If you have a specific idea, please prepare a sketch in advance. Feel free to copy something you like–all artists and craftspeople copy when they are learning! Great drawing not required! The sketch should be simplified into areas of light and dark, though different textures and patterns are also fun to play with. (Intricately curved lines and realistic portraits are too difficult). Go over the sketch in pencil for quick transfer to the block. The final print will be the same orientation as the original sketch, so if you write a word on the sketch, you can have it right-reading (if drawn directly on the block, words must be flipped so they don’t turn out backwards on your print). Whatever you want to be printed, draw in pencil. These are the areas you will carve AROUND so don’t make the lines too small. (Narrow lines are possible, like fur scratches, but thin letters are difficult, for example).

This class is being taught by Jessie Merriam.  Jessie is an arts instructor who teaches woodblock printmaking, and is also an event organizer for Fireweed Community Woodshop in Minneapolis.  Learn more about Jessie →

If this class becomes filled, a waiting list will be available. Please email jneumann@watermarkartcenter.org if you have questions.

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