Each hand printed image is numbered and signed by the Artist.
These are woodcut prints. This means that each image is carved into wood using tiny u shaped gouges. The wood used is called Shina plywood. It comes from Japan and is manufactured for printmaking. Shina is in the Linden tree family. It carves easily and feels almost grainless. The knives used to carve with also come from Japan. They’re tiny, hand-forged u-shaped gauges. Once the carving is complete, the wood plate is inked using a roller called a brayer. What you see when you look at a print is the inked wood that remained after carving. What reads as white was all carved away from the plate. The ink is an eco-friendly soy based printmaking ink. Once the plate is inked, the paper is carefully placed over it and the backside of the paper is carefully rubbed with a wooden spoon, transferring the image from the plate to the paper. This is a painstaking process and doesn’t work every time. The cream-colored paper also comes from Japan. It’s called Sekishu and is one of the oldest papers in the world. It’s still made by hand today.
"This Reptile Series was initially only to include snakes. As with many projects, it grew in unexpected ways. After my first snake print, it made sense to both make another and further develop a snake series of species native to my Central Oregon home. Living with a view commanding volcanic backdrop to my west, I’ve always found the uninterrupted skyline to the east more interesting. Our vast High Desert is a place popping with adaptive life. To explore these reptiles in woodcut was also a way of exploring the High Desert. As the series progressed, I found it ultimately a tool for exploring myself. Snakes don’t choose what to chew and what to spit out. They take it all in one bite. I on the other hand, lived with fears that led to avoidance. In the snakes, I learned that even fears can’t be avoided. I had to eat them too. This is what this series was to me. It may look scientific- perhaps in some ways it is, but what it evolved into was a long process of using the snakes to greater understand and find much needed healing in myself. As I was finishing my last snake, I was asked to show them as a series. The only problem was that there were only 9 snakes. I would need more work to fill the gallery at what was A6 Studio. That’s when I decided to introduced the lizards and the lone turtle as a complete series of all native Central Oregon reptiles. Without going into detail, I found in the lizards and turtle the same, yet new insights into my own being. The coloring book was published as an accompaniment to the exhibition." ~ Abney Wallace