I found a couple of bone dry planks when I was retrieving one of our Jack Russell Terriers from an old farm building and asked the farmer if I could have them for some woodcuts. Once I got them home I sanded the face back a little to smooth it down and then reduced the back to bring the block to roughly type height. Then a swiftly drawn image of a fish onto the cutting surface and started hacking. When I started the cutting stage I found that a millimetre or so down into the wood were the signs of long dead woodworm but I decided to persevere and find out how it printed despite the fragility of the printing surface. Here’s the result, a five colour woodcut of an underwater view of a Ruffe, or Pope, with one colour printed from the surface of the wood before cutting, three colours from paper stencils and the final image from the cut plank. Did I learn a lot? Yes I did, and this experiment was well worth the patient effort because the next one will be ‘easier’. You can’t beat learning from your mistakes and I definitely wasn’t expecting wood crumbling to dust.