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  Laser Zylography™...Leading the Woodblock Printmaking Renaissance  


Woodcut relief printing dates back to 8th century Japan. Early artisans combined their drawing, carving and printing skills to create beautiful, and sometimes complex works of art. The process then was painstakingly slow and tedious, ultimately causing the demise of the artform in the early part of the 20th century.

Master printmaker Mark Staples is pioneering Laser Zylography™ in an effort to restore interest and vitality in the lost art of woodcut printing. This technically innovative process combines modern tools such as computers and laser engravers with the most ancient of art printmaking methods. We can take your art designs to a new level of creativity. Call now to find out how you can have fun and profit with this exciting new process.



Laser Zylography™ is essentially a contemporary form of relief printing, and the actual printing part of the process is performed in the same manner as has been done for centuries. The difference is in the production of the printing plates, also known as "wood engraving blocks". With Laser Zylography™, each plate is produced either partially or entirely using a computer. The laser then cuts away the wood in the areas that you do not want to see printed on the page. The raised surface that remains after the laser cutting process holds the ink and prints, while the lowered surface stays ink-free and does not print.

The image can originate as a digital graphic as either a monochrome image or involving multiple colors. Alternately the plates can be produced from a scan of your original painting which is then broken down into color separations. Each color separation will require it's own printing plate. Since the registration marks are also embedded in the digital file the registration of the colors will be essentially perfect. Once your printing plates are complete, you can produce your own print editions on any type of paper that will accept the inks. Printing the block can be done by hand and requires very little equipment. Ink is first rolled over the raised surface of the block. The paper is then laid down over the block and the back of the paper is burnished using a tool called a baren to transfer the image from the block to the paper.

Laser machine time in minutes plus cost of material.
Woodcut Plate Production   0 - 29 minutes:          $2.00 per minute
      30 minutes plus:        $1.50 per minute                      
Larger projects   Call...  
Zylographic scan of your original artwork $60  
Zylographic Digital File Preparation & Prepress $100 per hour (billed in 15 minute increments)  
Various species of wood have different grain characteristics which can result in some interesting and sometimes beautiful printing effects. If you have a preference for something other than poplar please call us to discuss your ideas.  
Maximum working area for the Laser Zylography™ process is 32" x 18". Average cut depth is 1/16" to 1/8".  

  Laser Zylography™ Workshops are Coming Soon... Call for Details.  
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