Since 2013, I have been focusing especially on a relief-printing technique called shift-printing (Dutch "schuifdruk"), which I have presented in an article in Printmaking Today (24/3, Autumn 2015, p. 31). This technique is characterised by printing a block several times on one and the same paper, shifting its position after each round of printing. This method implies that the final result cannot be well predicted on the basis of the block itself, and is reached at the time of printing only by making test prints of various configurations. Shift-printing may well create an effect of depth, especially when the prints are viewed from some distance.
In the design of the shift-print block, the alienation described above may well play a role. And as for the practice of creating a shift-print, the block may alternatively be turned 90 or 180 degrees during the second or third printing, or two blocks may be used, or the image itself may be cut out rather than the surrounding parts of the block ("negative cutting"). The pleasure I derive from shift-printing is based in such experiments, and in the challenge of creating the best possible harmony and balance in the final result. A harmony and balance offered by the design of the block, its shifts during the printing process, and the combination of colours.
The composite prints, for which several blocks are used, are a more recent development. Many among them contain shift-printing elements. The themes of most of these prints are based in the mythology and philosophy of various ancient cultures, for example, the cosmic ocean as the origin of the universe, birds acting as contacts between heaven and earth, a tortoise, frog or elephant bearing the earth on its back, the cosmic axis represented by a tree, or the ladder with seven rungs connecting earth and cosmos. In some works (entitled "Climate"), I use the same symbols to represent the climate crisis - the earth has drifted away from its basis, birds no longer fly upwards, the cosmic ocean has moved, and the cosmic axis has turned upside down.
Prints with script constitutes a category in its own, which shares various features of the other categories - composite, shift-print, figurative and abstract.
December 2013, I happened to discover the work of Dutch printmaker Henc van Maarseveen. He, too, experimented with shift-printing but used solely black ink. He wrote a brief manual of the technique, in Dutch, that contains a number of illustrative examples of his work. The manual is found here, with a summary in English: