Walnut dye for woodcut printing and nesting doll print

Based on a question from a student about printing with natural dyes, I did a test of printing with walnut dye. The block is a test block I use to demonstrate carving in my classes.

The top image is walnut dye printed without paste, giving the same blotchy effect as printing with any waterbased pigment and no paste. The bottom image is printed with paste.

This test was a good transition from teaching to thinking about my own work. I recently finished a small (2×3″) block carved with images of nesting dolls as a meditation on my connections with my family, the generations before and after me and within me.

The prints on the top are test prints on a recycled white sketchbook paper. The bottom prints are on a gray washi paper leftover from printing “Cracked and Inhabited”

For contrast and clarity of the image, I think the pink works better. However, I decided to print more of the yellow with the green gradation, which gives a sense of something growing from within, like a germinating seed.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply