Tugboat Printshop is internationally known for their excellent hand-crafted woodcut prints. Valerie Lueth is a multi-faceted artist who runs the operations and produces woodcuts at the shop. She co-founded Tugboat in 2006 and has been actively producing limited edition woodcut prints ever since.
In 2016, Lueth started operating Tugboat independently, “evolving from collaborative works into a new body of intricately hand-crafted solo works in woodcut and drawing,” reads the website.
Their products are all handmade and done traditionally using age-old printmaking techniques. Drawings are created on birch woodblocks, lined in pen before carving. The wooden blocks are then hand-carved in low relief using hand tools, knives and gouges.
“Prints are made by applying pressure to paper laid on ink (much like stamping). Even layers of oil-based ink are applyed with hand brayers & rollers. Paper is placed on the inked block, which is then hand-cranked through a printing press.” They only use fine archival paper and top-shelf inks to ensure high quality in their work.
What makes a woodcut print unique is the fact that it creates a sophisticated printed image where the woodgrain is very visible. There is crispness and clarity in each piece, without any pixelation or distortion.