Saturday, July 28, 2012

Learn Woodblock Printing in Belmar

Since last fall, the Belmar Arts Council has been offering classes in Woodblock Printing.  The course is taught by longtime BAC member Paul Bonelli, whose award winning woodcut prints have been seen many times on the walls of the Boatworks.  The artist brings his years of teaching experience and decades of woodcutting experience to the class, which covers the basics of relief printmaking.  It's an ancient process that requires only a table and a few simple cutting and printing tools to produce boldly graphic art.

 After an introductory discussion of the many possibilities offered by the medium of woodcut, the participants are given wood and tools and start working on cutting designs into the block.

Once cutting is finished, the blocks are ready to be printed.  The class provides instruction in preparing the relief ink and using brayers to apply it to the wood block.

While woodcuts can be printed on a press, we do it the old fashioned way- hand printing with wooden spoons and other inexpensive easy-to-find implements.

 Below are some prints from the participants, all first time woodcutters, of the class session that just finished last week.

The class had such a good time learning about woodcutting and making prints that they want to continue, so we have scheduled a new four week session to begin in early August.  Beginners are welcome to join the group.  The class will meet on Tuesday nights from 7 to 9 pm, on August 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th.  The price is $120 for members, $150 for non-members, and includes wood, basic print paper, water based ink in a variety of colors, and use of cutting and printing tools during class.  Participants will learn safe and effective use of tools and basic printing techniques.  Advice will be provided as to the best way to convert individual artistic vision into a woodcut print, but as seen above, each artist bring his or her own subject and visual style to the resulting print.  No specific assignments- everyone works at their own pace.  Everyone who has taken the class has finished at least one print in the four weeks, and most have done more.

For more information about the class, to sign up, or to contact the instructor with any questions, go to the Woodblock Printing page in the Classes/Workshops section of the BAC main website.  Can't be part of it this time?  Keep an eye on the website for information about an autumn session.

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