Caterpillar D8 Print

Caterpillar crawler tractors have always held my fascination. As a child I found them terrifying with their roar and clanging of the tracks, their unbridled power accompanied by the heat of the sun, the dust, the smell of the laterite soil being overturned and the smell of the weeds and plants being crushed. At the same time they were very interesting – I was always hanging around when one of them was parked behind the house and being serviced by the driver, applying grease everywhere, or when visiting with my dad in the field.

The second picture is of me when a new disk plough was being assembled on our lawn. What the picture doesn’t show is the almost two foot deep furrow the Cat driver ploughed into the lawn and the road, after he had picked up the plough and forgot to lift the disks. My mum wasn’t amused.

This D8 was parked – seemingly forever – in a paddock north of Tairua, on the east coast of The Coromandel in New Zealand. There were no hydraulics on this tractor – it still had sheaf blocks and a cable to lift the blade.

A pencil sketch plans the areas for cutting and helps to visualise how the print will look. In the sketch I lowered the blade and parked it slightly nose up as it looks a bit sexier that way. It is then redrawn onto a piece of hanshita – a thin paper with a backing which can be rubbed off after being pasted onto a block of wood.

So now it’s down to cutting the block.
The keyblock was then used to print 4 images on hanshita paper again, which will be used to plan the colours and subsequent cutting of 4 colour blocks.
The gallery below shows the sequence of printed images of the five blocks which make up this print. The rest of the photos are taken on the plantation in Sumatra in the fifties, The Agricultural college in Deventer, and the LAC plantation in Liberia where I worked in the seventies.

Paper size is 23 x 15.7 cm
Image size 21 x 13.7 cm

Paper is bleached heavy handmade Hosho made of Kozo, the fibres of the paper mulberry tree

images copyright © to ACW ten Broek