About my work

In the beginning, there is colour. I always think of my motifs in colour, and it is the colours that determine the form and mood of my works. I only draft the smaller details after I’ve made the decisions about colours. Cutting wood, or in my case, birch plywood, is laborious and slow, but I find slowness one of the fascinating aspects of this technique. While I work, I have time to think and, at its best, working becomes a meditative process. I respect the long tradition of woodcutting and the variety of forms it has taken in the past 2000 years and is still taking.

 

About the technique

I make multi-coloured, often large-format woodcuts, using oil-based letterpress inks. I use a number of woodcutting methods, but I prefer the single-block technique (also called the reduction technique). Sometimes I combine parts of several blocks as if piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. The method for each woodcut is chosen separately to ensure the best possible outcome. The plywood I carve is usually birch, and the images are printed on either handmade Kozo paper or machine-made Japan paper. The printing itself is made by hand, using a baren or a spoon.


Sari Vuorenpää