Annika Reed in the studio
Annika cutting wood

I have been creating woodblock prints for over 15 years. In 2005 I was accepted onto a residency at the University of Shanghai, China. I worked alongside masters in woodblock printing and developed my craft.

 Drawing is at the forefront of my practice and all designs are sketched before being hand drawn onto the wood. I am interested in representing an object in its simplest form the uncomplicated line.

Traditional woodcuts are printed from separate blocks, one created for each colour. I work with reduction woodcut and all colours are all printed from one block. Each colour in succession, as the original surface of the block is cut away and reduced.

This produces rich, layered, painterly prints.

I print all designs in my studio in South East London using non-toxic techniques.

Ink is rolled onto the wood and printed over the previous layer, some designs only need one colour, sometimes several.

As the reduction process only uses one piece of wood you are unable to go back and re-print the first layer, so an element of chance enters the work. Ink always prints onto ink and once an area is cut away, no more colour can be put there.

This is the magic of printmaking, only at the end of this process can you see if the print is successful. 

Annika Reed in front of wallpaper