This blog is one of a six-part series highlighting the processes behind printmaking and the art shown in the exhibition that was on view May 26 – July 22, 2017 titled 528.0. See our YouTube channel for more printmaking videos over the coming weeks.

MSU Denver BFA Printmaking graduate Mandi Quinn enlarges the printmaking process of relief by carving narratives into blocks of MDF wood to create detailed original prints. Mandi demonstrates how to ink a carved matrix and properly run it through a press.

Wood, linoleum, foam, or even potatoes can be carved to create a raised surface that is inked and pressed by hand, with a simple tool, or with a printmaking press as demonstrated in the video. Starting with a blank piece of wood Mandi transferred their illustration to the wood and began carving with hand tools. Some contemporary printmakers use large computer-operated machines to carve their plates precisely and quickly. Then the ink is applied to the surface of the plate with a brayer before going through the press. Newsprint and pusher blankets help guide the plate and paper through the press to create an original relief print.

What challenges do you think artists face when carving a relief plate?