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The Art of Woodcuts

An intriguing woodworking project for the beginning or intermediate woodworker.

Tuition: $825

Materials: $68

Printing woodcut

Woodcut printmaking is a relief-printing art technique in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges, knives, and chisels. The technique was created in about 1400 in Europe and, throughout time, has gone through various levels of technical and artistic development among woodworkers around the world.

Gene Shaw, artist and master woodworker, has designed this captivating course for individuals interested in learning how to create black-and-white woodcut prints. On Monday morning, Gene will review students’ image ideas, help select an appropriate wood block, and show how to transfer the image onto a block. An introduction to cutting techniques, blade-sharpening, tool tune-up, and making a straight knife from a simple hacksaw blade will round out the day. During the week, work will be done on both soft and hard woods, plywood, or linoleum blocks. There will also be an introduction to various papers, inks, and brayers. Printing will be by hand using a traditional Japanese barren (of several types) or a bamboo paddle, the instructor’s favorite.

Printing woodcut

Around mid-week, a trip to a nearby gallery that exhibits woodcuts and wood engravings by a number of local artists will be planned to expose students to a wide variety of styles.

Anyone interested in woodcarving and woodworking will be fascinated by this week with Gene, a very talented craftsman and artist. By the end of the course, everyone will have achieved a solid foundation for designing and producing high-quality woodcut prints in a small space using quality tools and materials.

Gene Shaw is a master wood cut artist who possesses a terrific disposition as an instructor. He had the right mix of instruction, demonstration, and individual monitoring. A great class overall!”
D.B., Stevenson Ranch, California
Gene Shaw is an outstanding instructor. Not least, I admire his stamina for being so enthusiastic for the whole week. It was a real honor to work alongside such an accomplished artist.”
L.K., Colchester, Vermont