James G. Mundie

James G. Mundie

Philadelphia, PA
Thoracopagus Twins (Musée Dupuytren), Woodcut
14 x 11

• 1 pine block (plank grain)
• 2 gouges
• handful of single-edged razor blades
• 1 photocopy of a sketch from a Parisian anatomy museum, applied in Japanese
hanshita manner
• wood glue
• 1 brayer
• 1 dollop of Graphic Chemical black woodblock ink
• 1 dash of plate oil
• 1 bamboo spoon
• 50 sheets of Japanese kitakata, torn to size

This woodcut began with a trip to Musée Dupuytren, an anatomy museum in Paris. I made several drawings there, of which this image of conjoined twins was one. Later, I photocopied the original drawing, scaling it down slightly for the pine woodblock I had chosen. I then coated the surface of the block with diluted wood glue, and gently pressed the photocopy face-down onto the block. After the glue had dried, I lightly moistened the paper and removed layers of excess pulp by gently rubbing with my finger. Eventually, the image became clear enough to begin cutting away the non-print areas. My chosen cutting tools for many years have been single-edged razor blades for fine work and gouges for clearing wide areas.

Once the cutting was finished, I rolled up the block with black ink, laid down the paper, and applied pressure by hand with a bamboo spoon.