Monday, May 17, 2010

Traditional Japanese Ninja Laser Annihilation Woodcut

This block is the result of my third class in Japanese Laser woodcut. It's a reduction block, which means I took the block I cut (well, the laser cut) and sent it back into the jaws of the laser.  Since I already printed the lighter color, I can now annihilate more of the wood, leaving only the darks to be printed. The area that looks green is what's left after the second pass. The previously cut areas look darker, since the laser cuts deeper each time it passes over the block.

Below is the actual machine. It reminds me of an ink jet printer, that is, if an ink jet spewed sparks and smoke. The actual laser is so bright you aren't supposed to look too long at it, although it's tempting. You also are not allowed to leave the room while it's printing, just in case you have to pull the flaming block out of the cutter and dowse it with the fire extinguisher. We did see some flame with my block, but I think it was just leftover pigment flaring up, so no drastic measures were needed.

I'll post some more photos, as soon as I print it (in my studio this time, cubicle printing is good in a pinch, but my studio is a nicer place to be).

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