A phrase used to describe certain woodcuts, particularly Japanese ukiyo-e prints, but sometimes also Provincetown or other Arts and Crafts relief prints. See woodblock and woodcut.
A generic term which applies to a technique of printmaking in which an image is transferred to paper from a carved piece of wood (woodcut), linoleum (linocut) or other material. After carving the image, the artist applies oil-based inks to the surface of the block, which is then pressed onto a piece of paper. Unlike engraving and etching, where the printer's ink lies in those areas which have been carved or etched, a block print takes ink on those areas that have been left untouched. These ridges are vulnerable to the pressure of printing, so block prints are best suited to small editions.