I recently purchased a box full of books with original woodcut illustrations. And before I get to removing the illustrations and moounting them for sale I thought I’d do a little research on what exactly a woodcut is.
According to Wikipedia, woodcut is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking 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. The areas to show ‘white’ are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in ‘black’ at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood (unlike wood engraving where the block is cut in the end-grain). The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. Single-leaf woodcut is a term for a woodcut presented as a single image or print.