First, I'm going to throw it out there that I am so lucky to be able to use such a great studio at my University. Second, taking a class with essentially unlimited access to this studio is a dream. I have been making prints pretty much nonstop since September, and have fallen in love with hanging out and printing to my hearts desire. I have had SO MUCH FUN.
I had already been making prints of sorts for a while before I got more seriously into relief printing and screen printing this year. These were mostly simple carvings of plants and bugs on small pieces of rubber that I would print in various combinations and colors. I still definitely love this style and practice. Rubber is super satisfying to carve and the stamps work great on envelopes, notebooks, bags, and stickers, but I can't make very large images (or at least I haven't tried.)
Then I got a bit more into carving linoleum, which has a little but of a different feel and look. While the rubber is super soft and has a bit of squish when you press it, linoleum has less give and has a bit sharper of a print. I love the color options with relief printing (too bad I did't have any good photos of color prints of lino-cuts) and the feel of carving linoleum. It is also a pretty cheap carving material and I love that I can do it at home while I watch whatever BBC show I currently am having an affair with. I have made probably hundreds of little lino prints of various plants, mushrooms, and bugs at this point and am really looking forward to selling them and getting them out of my apartment.
Woodcarving is quite different on the topic of relief print. The wood is quite brittle and very unforgiving. It is also common for a carve to go wrong by catching a grain on the wood that tears out. My multiple color woodcut print turned out great regardless of the many mistakes made in the process. I love that with woodcarving you can get a bit of the wood texture into the print. It can add a very wonderful element to a multiple layer or single layer print. I would love to do another edition with these blocks, maybe using other color combinations and certainly reducing the pressure on the final detail layer.
Currently, I am having a bit of a love affair with screen printing. It is so fast and efficient, and so so crisp. You can pretty much print anything, and the color options are endless. Not to mention, screen printing just looks really cool while you do it. I am hoping to print as many things from my screen as I can before the end of the semester!