Answering questions on how to cut into boards
New York:  Feb.18, 2016
Musica e incisione laboratorio 2014, Italia.Tav. 24
Musica e incisione laboratorio 2014, Italia.Tav. 24

Michael writes : I’ve made so many drawings, transferred them to the wood and then immediately realized they were too detailed to possibly cut without sacrificing the integrity of the wood. so i guess i need to work on working with simpler shapes. 

Raymond: You made one of the most important discoveries = need for simplification. The problem is not to fall into the trap of being simplistic. Transferring a drawing does not help, because you need to make a “translation” FROM your drawing into what ever material you will choose to cut into. Just like translating a language into an other, done word by word may still make you be understood, but not really speak it. Besides,  you have should keep always in mind, a pencil is not a cutting device, paper is nor a board. Pencil drawing is 2 dimensional, the cutting tool is to allow you to be 3 dimensional.

Michael writes: I’m actually having a hard time finding wood. i thought i could just find some on the street but wood seems to be scarce in my neighborhood. would it make sense to just head to home depot and buy a a big plank to cut up? 

Raymond:Yes, this is exactly what I have done, but this does guaranty success because there is variations on quality between ‘similar’ material. Recycling allow you to experiment with material you would not necessary thought about using to start with. ANYTHING you are able to cut into is good. Beside you will be less inhibited on messing up your board. The idea is to keep on cutting.

Michael writes: is there any type of wood you’d recommend? 

Raymond: At your beginner level not really. In fact I found out recently about a guy recycling wooden cutting boards. Except for fine wood “engraving” [ requiring hard wood],” woodcut” can be done on plywoods or on pressed fine particles of wood. Here again, there is big difference on quality. Experiment and feel what you are the most important using. Going to a guy who sells lumber and see if it has small pieces to give away or for a good price. Check on FB or Instagram using key words like “woodcut, printmaking ” and you may get surprise and get some good tips. Definitely something that did NOT existed when it started, it felt very isolated then! This one more reason for me to reply to you with this page, so your relevant questions could be share with anyone interested in this topic… thank you for asking!


original[e] linocut – woodcut – gravure sur bois – linogravure – grabado incisione – incision -Copyright © Raymond Verdaguer 2016

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