Italian language and cultural school for foreigners
Woodcut workshop
“Firenze nell'Arte”

Xylography workshop

Xylography (woodcut or wood-engraving) is a relief printing technique which uses a carved block of wood and is the oldest printing technique.

The term derives from the greek xylon, "wood" and grápheim, "to write."

It is one of the oldest reproduction and printing techniques and easy to do because the incision is carried out on a block of wood.

The drawing on the block is made in relief. The gouged out parts, carried out with a special tool called a chisel, are white when printed while the relief ones are black. The inked block is then pressed on a sheet resulting in a mirror-image of the pattern or design.


  • Historical introduction to ylography
  • Direct approach to the technique with the use of original blocks and prints
  • Creation of sketches suitable for woodcut technique
  • Preparation of the block (sanding, smoothing and surface preparation)
  • Transferring the sketch onto the block
  • Cutting with chisels and blades
  • Block inking techniques
  • Hand-printing of the finished block, with screw press, proof press or baren