Merrymeeting Press

About the Prints

Woodcut printmaking is my favorite medium for several reasons. I still enjoy the whole process of working in wood and the feel of sharp tools cutting well. I like participating in the traditions of printmaking. I’m attracted to the unpretentiousness and accessibility - let's face it, affordability - of prints as a creative medium. I'm captivated by the magical moment that reveals what the print has finally become.

I carve on wood and usually print with European oil-based inks and an etching press, although I also work sometimes in the Japanese water-based hanga technique and print by hand. In making color (and sometimes black and white) prints, I use both a multi-block process where each color is printed on a different block, as well as reduction printing where the block or blocks are carved away as successive layers of color are printed.

My studio started out sharing space with the Green Lion Gallery in Bath, Maine. Eventually there wasn't room for both gallery and studio, and I moved the studio to my current location at 40 Lemont Street, still in Bath. It's often open if you want to stop in and see me at work, but best to call ahead these days.
Here are all the layers of color that went into my recent print "A La Espera (Waiting)". After I inked and printed each layer, I carved the block away in all the places that would get no more layers of ink after that. Then I printed the next layer, and so on. I printed 10 successive layers using, in the end, two different blocks. In some cases I inked two or even three different colors on different parts of the block, when there was a little distance between them.

Sorry the images are so small! You can see the finished print in the "New Work" and "Color Prints" galleries.

Here goes!

Making a reduction print

The original drawing on the block

Starting to carve!

The first layer of ink

The second layer

Paper mask to print color on only part of the block

Third layer of ink

Fourth layer

The next layer involved combining several different ink colors. It looks "black", but really is more subtle than that. Look carefully at the full-size image in the gallery section.

Fifth layer - a little more dramatic

Six layers now - printing light over dark, as a base for layers to come

Seventh layer - printing different colors on different parts of the block

Eight layers, again with different colors on different parts of the block

Almost done - nine times through the press now

The finished print! A little more contrast here and there - 10 layers.