Relief is the oldest form of printmaking. In relief classes students use a sharp tool to carve away areas of a block made out of an easy to carve rubber material called Soft Kut.  The printed lines of a relief print are often bold, and the use of positive and negative space is very important when composing the design. Ink is applied to the block after it is carved. A student uses a brayer or a roller to apply a thin, even coating of ink to the block. The image is transferred onto paper by rubbing the back of the paper with a rubbing tool called a barren.

Concepts learned during this project include:

  • Use of positive and negative space

  • How to use block cutting tools successfully and safely

  • Using brayers to ink the blocks

  • Transferring the image onto paper by hand-burnishing

  • Color theory through color mixing

  • Composition

Relief classes are 2 hours in length, and can be extended to 3 hours.  Each student will receive a 4 by 6 inch Soft Kut carving block to make their print.  Students can carve both sides of the block and can expect to make as many prints as time allows. Recommended for ages 9 and up. 

If you are looking for information or to schedule a class, please contact Tyler Green, Education and Community Programs Manager, at 612.871.1326 or email us.