Dahlia Print

My father was always keen on dahlias, but what work it was in Holland. Planting, protecting them from high winds, digging them up, drying, labelling and storing during the winter and the following spring ordering new ones to replace the rotten ones. In Auckland, New Zealand, it is easier. You just leave them in the ground. Tough as old boots they reckon. What a beautiful flower this is with its mysterious velvety deep burgundy colour. This is a one block print in black.

For the block I used solid heart Kauri. New Zealand Kauri (Agathis australis) is one of nine species of that family found all around the Pacific. It also has by far the most superior quality as it grows rather slowly in New Zealand. Fijian Kauri has a slight green sheen and is softer, and Kauri in Indonesia (Local name – Damar minjak) is softer still. This particular piece came from a tree which was retrieved from a swamp and carbon-dated at fifty thousand years old. It is a very hard wood, but with a beautiful fine grain, which is great for carving.

It was printed on heavy unbleached Japanese paper called Kochishi (paper made in Kochi) it is made of Kozo, the long fibers of the paper mulberry tree. The colour is a natural buff.

Photos copyright © to ACW ten Broek