The Wood BlockDesign Practice
First round of experiments involved a laser-cut woodblock.
Still very much in the conceptual phase of the brief, the focus was on attempting to bring the artwork of William Morris and the production thereof to the masses. Using a crude, simplified woodblock to imprint water-based colours onto fabric was the first attempt to streamline the production process.
- The production of these prints involved manual paining of the entire surface of the woodblock using a brush. This alone made the process entirely too time-consuming to be feasible as a part of a streamlined DIY process.
- The prints lack definition and quality. Brush strokes left over from applying colour are visible. The the printing area of the woodblocks would have to be a lot finer and raised against the rest of the surface, making laser-cutting a lot more complicated and expensive.
- Woodblocks need to be cleaned after every print, making the method too messy for public use.
This printing process ended up being rather complicated and inaccessible. Attempts to streamline it did not quite work in my favour – in fact I would be better off working with screens. As a process, this is a dead end. That said:
- The rougher, messier patterns make for an interesting visual. This could be worth exploring in a digital format.
- The woodblocks themselves are a thing of beauty. They don’t quite match up to the hand-crafted ones at the WM museum but there is something to be said for patterns laser-cut into wooden surfaces.
- Not scrubbing the leftover colour off proved to be a good idea. The painted surface of the woodblock looks fantastic and opens itself up to more visual experimentation.
Playing around with the woodblock designs and the content-aware fill in Photoshop yielded more interesting results.