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hand pulled limited edition woodcut prints

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Techniques
As you view the following images in my gallery please keep in mind that each of the images was printed from it's own woodcut board, like the one shown on my homepage.

The image of the tree was carved in reverse on the board and everything that I wanted to be white in the final print had to be removed. If you have ever seen any other woodcut print you can see that my images look much different.

I was trained and graduated in printmaking and since then I've developed my own techniques of using a combination of woodcarving tools and wire brushes to give depth, texture and volume to my work. Most woodcut prints are simply black to white and rather linear. I am able to create shades of gray and textural volume by using the inherent properties of the wood's surface and my own vision of "capturing the light" on the image surfaces.

For example, examine the Amelia Earhart print, in my Famous Womyn series, Amelia's jacket demonstrates the sense of volume and shades of gray that I try to create in each print, making her jacket actually look like leather. I use the grain of the wood to create choppy water in While Mountains Sleep… , tranquil ocean in Lunar Tide, as the waterfall in The Life Giver, and as the ripple in The Sculptress.

Look at all of them and ENJOY!

Printing
Once the image is completely carved on the woodcut board I ink the surface with a brayer, register the rice paper on the board, place several printing blankets on top and then run it through the relief press. I then pull back the rice paper to see if I need to re-ink certain parts or if some areas need to be hand-rubbed for more clarity. This process of inking the board and printing one "original" image at a time is referred to as "hand-pulling" the print.
Unlike the machine printed so-called "limited editions" with their edition sizes in the hundreds, my prints are truly limited by the board itself. Over time the board will eventually breakdown due to the pressure exerted by the press and the printing process and will become less and less defined or crack.

When looking at edition numbers (the numbers in the lower left-hand corner of a print, i.e. 23/150) remember that the lower the number the more defined and, in essence, the more exact and more valuable the print        

          Jacque Harper

all images © 1997-2006 by Jacque Harper
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