Wintergreen Transfer Woodcut Carving

Yesterday, I spent the day working on my first ever “woodcut” carving.  I began by putting a small spot of wintergreen oil (picked up at the health food store) on a cotton pad and covering the surface of the rubber piece.  I placed the image face down and ironed over it.  As you can see, the image turned out blue (instead of black).  A couple of observations about the process.  1) I didn’t use much oil. Perhaps I needed a bit more.  2) I used the iron on low cotton heat.  Perhaps it needed to be hotter or a bit longer.   But…. 3) There were a couple spots along the top of the image that were hard to cut out, almost as if the rubber had melted a bit.  So I want to be careful with the heat also, so as not to ruin the carving medium.   The blue image was OK for working on, but not as crisp as the original image.

As you can see, I had a large, reverse image which helped me to flesh out the details (that I couldn’t see really clearly on my carving medium).

It took me the whole day (with breaks) to complete this carve.

Then I “seasoned” the image with a black sharpie marker.

Then a couple of “test” prints.  Overall… I am very happy with the results of my first effort at woodcarving and I think I will use the wintergreen transfer method more often to get a good image to work from.

Sorry to all you Ontario boxers.  This image is part of a (currently imaginary ~ but I was very hopeful for a bit) cross-Canada set of boxes that are now ready-to-go should the occasion present itself.  This one is destined for Portage La Prairie, MB.