PAUL RODEN and VALERIE LUETH are the husband and wife team TUGBOAT PRINTSHOP. Since 2006, they have been working together, using traditional printmaking to create contemporary artwork. Tugboat Printshop is based in Pittsburgh, PA.
Tugboat Printshop provides quality, traditionally-made woodblock prints at affordable prices. Our prints are completely original images drawn, carved out of wood, and printed onto paper all by hand. We use a press to apply smooth, even pressure during printing.
Quality is extremely important to us. All of our prints are printed with top-shelf oil-based inks onto fine archival papers. If cared for properly, woodcuts will last many lifetimes. Though it is inevitable that there will be some variation between prints when printing by hand, we curate only the best copies printed into our editions. Our prints are always handled carefully by expert hands. When you purchase woodcut prints from our shop, you can be sure that you will be getting our best.
Much of the artwork currently available on this site is collaborative. Through collaboration, we simplify and streamline our message—-taking the best of our abilities and applying them to the conception, realization, and production of quality images in print.It is our hope that our prints provide pleasure whilealso inspiring new ways of thinking about our world.
We hope to keep printmaking alive in the public’s mind, reaching new audiences through direct conversation. We feel that printmaking is one of the most accessible of the fine arts, as it produces multiples. Our hope is that through our work we can foster greater public appreciation for the arts, cultivate greater interest in owning original art, & stir up newfound interest for traditionally printed works on paper.
FROM START TO FINISH, every aspect of the creation of our woodcut prints is done 100% BY HAND. We draw our original images directly onto blocks of plywood and carve the drawings out in low relief using hand tools.
After the carved block is rolled with ink, archival paper is placed on top. The paper and block are sent through the press. The heavy, even pressure prints the ink from the block onto the paper.
Generally, there is a block for every color in our woodcuts. Blocks are printed individually, layering impressions to create the finished image.