In the Studio with Graham McDougal
Exploring the ideas and processes behind our first woodblock printed edition with the Northern California artist.
In November of last year we released an edition with Sacramento-based artist, Graham McDougal. This was the first print release that was not produced as a silkscreen, but rather a laser engraved woodcut, which has been editioned in a group of just ten.
McDougal is an artist whose practice oscillates between digital and handmade production methods which I think is perfectly reflected in his piece with Print Club ltd., New Flowers (Woodcut). Because the conceptual foundations of his work as so interwoven with his process, I’ve outlined how this particular image was created and ultimately printed.
The imagery begins with a glitched scan McDougal created from his source material - in this case the source was an early 19th century printers’ ornament design called “New Flowers”. Once captured, a detail from the scan is blown up and using Photoshop, the shapes can be extruded and begin to resemble three-dimensional forms. These forms are treated with a half-tone line pattern so they can be “read” by the laser cutter - the machine that cuts the very delicate design out of the sheet of plywood that will enable the woodblock print.
After the laser-cutting process, the plywood sheet is trimmed and ready for printing, which is where the handmade will return. The block is inked up in black ink and run through the press to create the edition.