Title: Young Woman and Iris
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Keyblock print: Next the preparatory drawing was traced onto very thin paper, pasted onto a piece of wood and carved, leaving the lines in high relief. This was called the “keyblock.” Ink was rubbed onto the raised lines of the wood and a thin proofing paper placed over it. Then the block-maker rubbed the paper to create several “pull” or “proof” copies of the image for the artist, who used these intermediary prints to indicate coloring instructions. The registration marks, or kentö, added by the block-maker, assured that as the print passed between blocks, the colors would remain aligned. This keyblock print seen here was executed on a thin, flexible Japanese paper and was probably one of several used in the production of the final print, hence the worn and torn edges. The colored pencil in the flowers and wrist indicate the placement of the blue, yellow, and uninked design passages in the final print. - “Prelude to the print” curated by Wendy Bennett 11/7/2007 - 1/20/2008