Relief printmaking

Wood carving

It is the oldest technique of relief printmaking, which was invented in the Far East as a method for mottling fabrics. This method was begun to be used for engraving in the 14th century. In the beginning the clichés have been made from longitudinal planks of soft wood and they have been carved with knives. In Lithuania this technique was made famous by Mr. Pranciškus Skorina in the beginning of 14th century. In the juncture of 18 – 19 centuries, crossarm planks of harder wood were started to be used for woodcut. It became possible and easier to engrave flexible lines of different directions. Coloured woodcut printed using a few clichés came to Europe from China. In Europe such woodcut pieces have been made famous in the beginning of 16th century by Mr. Lucas Cranachas.


Linocut is a technique of relief printmaking, which is rather similar to woodcut. The clichés are being made of linoleum. Linoleum is an easily cut soft material, which is very well suited for a coloured carving. The linocuts are made in two ways: paint of different colour is set on various parts of the same cliché or a few clichés are being carved, from which colourful images are made on paper when pressing the clichés one by one. The engraving that is coloured differs from the one that is colourful. The coloured engravings are firstly impressed on paper, and after that are coloured.

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