For a slide show of these prints, click on the first image and then use the arrows.
My mother, who was an art teacher and artist, made our family Christmas cards every year by carving a design into a block of wood, inking it with a rubber brayer, placing a piece of paper over it and rubbing the paper with the back of a wooden kitchen spoon. It always seemed magical to me when, the paper being carefully peeled off the inked wood, the image was revealed in dramatic black and white. By the age of 12, I wanted to do this myself. My mother bought me a set of five Grumbacher wood carving tools (which I still use to this day) and I commenced carving on chunks of wood I found in the woodpile. The basic process of making a woodcut print--the oldest method of reproducing multiple images in history--is simple. The wood is carved and the ink is rolled on, adhering only to the part of the surface that hasn't been carved, and then the wood is covered with a piece of paper and rubbed or pressed so the ink sticks to the paper. Anything smooth and firm can be used to rub the paper (like my mother's wooden spoon), but most often the whole block with its covering of paper is rolled through a press. I have been making woodcut prints ever since my own first Christmas card at the age of 13.