A set of block prints

Intro to Block Printing

Many of us have taken up new hobbies to pass the time during quarantine, like puzzling, gardening, and baking. Now, you can hone your creative skills with Shop Made in DC’s virtual art classes. The Intro to Block Printing class will introduce you to the ancient art of block printing, which is the process of carving a pattern, text, or image into a wooden block and stamping it onto a surface. Block printing was used widely in East Asia as a method of printing words and designs on textiles, with the earliest surviving example dating back to 220 A.D. By the early 20th century, block printing evolved into the linocut technique, in which a sheet of linoleum mounted to a wooden block is etched with a knife or v-shaped chisel, inked with a roller called a brayer, and stamped onto fabric or paper. During the mid-20th century, modern European artists Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse utilized this method of printmaking in some of their own works. During Shop Made in DC’s virtual class, you can try this technique yourself on a zippered canvas pouch, which they’ll mail to you, along with the wooden blocks, linoleum cutter, paint, and brayer. The class begins at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10. Register by Sept. 2 to receive your supplies in advance. Registration is available at shopmadeindc.com. $25 plus $30 for supplies. —Casey Embert