How did your wood-block printed work develop, and what drew you to this particular process?
My interest in woodworking developed in a similar way to my interest in drawing. I used to build skate ramps. We would wander around town at night, taking wood, and the next thing you knew there would be a 4ft mini ramp in someone’s backyard. Growing up, I was always able to knock around in the garage and when I moved to the city I lost that opportunity. A few years later, I left my agency job and decided it was time to get my hands dirty again. I approached a local wood shop and I proposed that I do design consultancy work for them in exchange for a membership. They were into it, and so I was back in a shop.
Shortly thereafter, I found a book in a cafe called Arts of the Eskimo. It was a collection of stone-cut relief prints from Eskimo tribes of different regions and explored what each image represented. I remember seeing the cover from across the room. It was a big red sun on a white background, with simple type. It was so alluring; just so insanely simple and full of interest at the same time. I think that book changed a bit of my aesthetic trajectory. I became more and more interested in minimalism, and so, the woodcut process felt like a necessary next step in achieving this simplicity that I am now chasing after.
Since then, I’ve become interested in the use of modern tools as a way to make an image. For instance, by using a table saw, I can achieve perfectly straight lines. The drill press allows for perfect circles, while a scroll saw or router can be very organic. I do not use traditional carving tools. This process lends itself to a lot of confinements, which in turn lends itself to simplicity.
Working with wood also recycles itself in a way that I really enjoy. I don’t throw anything away because the scraps are sometimes more interesting than the image I intended to make. It becomes a way to achieve spontaneity.