A woodcut is a method of printing in which an image is carved into the surface of a piece of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with chisels. The image is then inked by rolling over the surface with an inked roller, leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas. Paper is then placed face-down on the woodblock and pressure is applied to the back, either by printing press or with hand-held tools such as a spoon or a baren (though any hard, slightly curved surface will do). The ink is transferred to the paper by the pressure, and the mirror image of the surface of the woodblock is printed. Multiple colors can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks (where one woodcut is used for each color).
A quicker method of separating printing from non-printing areas is to cover the printing areas with shield of some kind, and then blast the whole surface, either by sandblasting or shot-blasting . The shield may be a metal outline, or a thick coat of rubber cement or similar compound can be painted on.
Woodcut generally reached a very high level of technical and artistic development in Japan.
Also known as a woodblock or woodprinting.