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October 15, 2015

Chapter Two – Cutting [The Technique of the Color Woodcut]


HOW DEEP TO CUT

Regarding the depth to which waste areas need be lowered: do not exceed one sixteenth of an inch at the edges, but as you get away from them go deeper. The middle of a reduced section should be the deepest, because damp printing paper will sag where it has no support. However, the very first impression taken from your block will show you how far you are right.


ISLANDS

There is no need to excavate the whole of a very large waste area. The middle of it may be left standing, but the edges of this “island” must be rounded with a chisel, and afterwards sandpapered to prevent blind impressions on the printing paper.


BROKEN LINES

Broken lines or parts otherwise spoiled, may be mended by inlaying a fresh piece of wood. It is a thank. less task, and one cannot help but admire the Japanese craftsman who would inlay a piece of boxwood deliberately where very fine cutting was necessary. The method is to shape your “peg,” then dig a hole to fit it, or vice versa. Glue will help.

When the cutting and the clearing are finished wash off the remains of the rice paper and prepare to print.

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