A reduction cut is a form of printing where you take one block and make several layers with the one block. As you print each layer, you cut away your block to make the next layer, thus destroying your plate in the process of making your print. So the prints you have at the end of the process are all the prints you will ever get from that block.
So where did I go wrong? Well there are a few things I have attributed to my lack of good prints at the end of this process.
1. this is the first time I've done this
2. tearing paper (as is the fashion of printmaking) often leads to less than perfect edges
3. my registration guide didn't work (I don't know why, maybe the less than perfect edges!)
4. I may have chosen too detailed of an image for my first time at this, guess I'm an over achiever
5. I should have done more prints, thus increasing my odds of "a good one"
Here are some crappy cell phone pictures that I have been taking of this process. You can see as those last layers get added, my print just loses all is beauty. But it was a fun process to experience, and I'm not saying I'll never do it again, I'll just be more careful in my image choice and my registration! I will post a better quality, scanned image when the ink dries.
This is my block on the registration guide.
This is the first layer printed.