Friday, March 30, 2007

Chipping away!

I've done some more to my engraving, as you can see. I wish I could do it during the day, but there's that pesky thing called 'work' to get done first. This is one of my old blocks that had been stored in a box in the attic. You can see a small split in the wood at the bottom, which I've cunningly avoided in the design. The swirly patterns at the top of the block were me limbering up with the tools before I started. That bit will be cut away ultimately. More soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The engraving begins!

This is the first wood engraving I've done in 20 years. It's taking a while to get used to the tools again; that's why I've been practising making marks on the bits of the block that are going to be white (ie, cut away). The rough scraper-boardy like drawing beside the block (and shown below) is a rough I did on the computer to get myself into 'white-line' mode again. It's proving very useful to guide my strokes. I also did a pencil rough and flipped it to see if there were any glaring errors.

Yesterday I ordered a new roller and some newsprint to proof on. Sadly I couldn't afford the durathene refill that would fit my roller frame, so I've compromised on getting a good quality student rubber roller from Lawrences. The durathene will wait till later.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Wood Engraving stuff!

Look what I found in the loft! My lovely old wood engraving tools! )There was an ink roller too, but it had melted!! ) Alas, I no longer have my table-top Albion press.

I've been looking at my old wood-engraving books and drooling over some of the latest work by engravers that are on the web. I've always loved the medium and treasure the memory of going to the annual Society of Wood Engravers' exhibition, with a little money to spend and wandering the exhibits wishing I could buy them all. I ended up choosing a Kenneth Lindley (Downland Monuments), which the artist despatched later with a lovely covering note which I still have. Later I bought a tiny Clare Leighton from a stall, but this turned out to be cut from a book, which was a shame.

That was all a long time ago, and I no longer have much money to spend on artworks. I'm still inspired by the latest engraved offerings that you can see on the web, though, Hilary Paynter being a particular favourite: .

I've begun preparing a block for my first engraving for 20 years, which is exciting. I've decided on a forgiving subject...our hairy case of wobbly lines ! I intend to post the various stages of production here, I have to get some paper for proofing at least...... and a new roller! And I suspect I'm REALLY going to regret selling the old press, but hey, I'll manage.