Destroying a print

What the heck is a reduction print? One of the more challenging ways to produce a multi-colour print is to use a reduction technique. Its a bit of a strange concept - to add more colours you take away more lino. It means that the number of prints you start with is the absolute maximum number of prints you can end up with, ever. That is because the lino is destroyed in the process of printing.

Wait, what? How the process goes is: I start with my sketch, stare at it for a long time and decide what colours I want to use and where, on the print, those colours will go. I then print the image in the first colour, cut out all of the bits on the lino, that correspond with the pieces of the print that I want to remain that same first colour, and then print the second colour. More pieces of lino are cut out (again, corresponding to those parts of the print that I want to remain the second colour). Of course between all the cutting, printing and inking the paper needs to dry.

The last reduction print I did was a bit of a challenge and, in the end, out of 32 starting pieces I had 8 prints of my little hen quail that I am happy with. That print is made up of 7 colours so the printing process (for these 8 finished images) is equivalent to 56 prints. A bit of madness really!

Of course as each print is printed seven times there are no two that are identical. I always say if you want an identical print you are really wanting photography - especially when I hand print everything!

There are other ways to put colour into a lino print - I'll share more about these later.

The seven remaining copies of this print will be available on my website in the near future (if you are interested drop me a message).

#printmaking #printmaker #linoprint #linoprinting #reductionprint

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