Charlie's Block Printing Technique

Charles Surendorf's early prints were carved in wood (woodblock) and printed on a letter press. He soon began carving in linoleum instead of wood, using a process he called "linoleum engravings."

Standard linoleum block was too soft for his technique, so Charles used much harder battleship linoleum, which he then further hardened by freezing. The hardness closely approximated wood end-grain block. He used steel engraving tools to engrave his work rather than cut the block.

Block printing requires the artist to reverse the image when engraving it, so that, when printed, it is seen correctly.



Surendorf printed his blocks using an old fashioned letter press. His skill was learned through many trials and errors of the correct type and amount of ink, pressure, and room temperature. While he was printing, the workshop room door always remained closed to maintain the correct temperature and humidity until the printing was complete.









All prints were signed with the print number out of a group of printings done at one time. He never printed more than five sets of 100 prints.