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Colour Woodcuts

John Platt




The objective of this book is limited. It sets out to give a working description of the method I have used in making the prints reproduced in this book, together with a few notes on design for the colour-woodcut. These indicate the conclusions I have so far arrived at. They may serve as pointers as to the way in which this art may be used and further developed. They are based on studio practice over many years, and so, I believe, as far as they go, are sound.

It is because the purpose of this book is to give a workshop description of the particular method I myself use that reproductions of the works of other colour-woodcut artists are not included. These, in the original, together with the prints of Japanese masters, can readily be studied in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, and in the Department of Engraving, Illustration, and Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Here I would like to express my indebtedness to my wife, without whose close interest and help these notes would never have been put together; and my appreciation of many discussions on the aesthetics of the colour-woodcut with my friends Allen Seaby, Charles Paine, James Woodford, and Yoshijiro Urushibara, the last-named for generously given information about printing materials and tools. I also owe much to the illuminating writings on oriental art of Mr. Laurence Binyon, and to his personal interest in my prints, and to Mr. Campbell Dodgson, who, through the Contemporary Art Society, has perhaps given more practical encouragement than anyone else to artists in the making of prints, and who has so kindly written a Foreword to this book.


December, 1937


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