and meanwhile, wood engraving

Regular readers will know, that I use this space mostly for some random musings, some disconnected photos and the sharing of images relating to some of the ephemeral art I make outdoors with found materials.    Now and then I do like to bring the discussion round to good old fashioned pictures on pieces of paper.  I call myself a printmaker after all, and I have been busy making prints and other work on paper – they just don’t make it to the blog so much.  Earlier this year I had the opportunity to do a wood engraving workshop at Megalo print studios.  I’ve been meaning to post something about this for a while, but somehow I kept getting put off .  In brief, wood engraving is a form of relief printing that makes use of hard end grain wood, sanded to a high polish.    Because of the qualitys of the wood used, and the fineness of the specialized tools, wood engravings can achieve incredible detail and accuracy of reproduction for a relief print.  Instead of telling you all about the workshop, I’m going to suggest you go and visit Ampersand Duck’s blog, since she was there too and has already given a blow by blow account, and with pictures!

So now I’m right into wood engravings.

 

campfirecropresize

This was the second engraving that I did – showing a campsite among the rocks in Namadgi NP.  My project this year is in part about the human presence within ‘nature’.  Wood engravings tend to be small – this one is perhaps two inches long, so probably about the size you see it on your screen.

I quickly became interested in finding my own wood to use, instead of pieces that had been machined by someone else from timber that I knew nothing about.  I wanted to see what could be achieved using the humble sticks to be found on my walks.  After collecting, cutting and much sanding and polishing, I become somewhat attached to these little pieces of wood.  I began to think about printing them just as they are, without doing any carving at all.

 

relief print

Now I hope you can see what I meant in a previous post about circles referring to elements of nature.  The prints are like little windows into another secret world – especially when you hold it in your hand on thin seemingly fragile Japanese paper.  This little block (about an inch long) then got an image carved into it before printing again.

bather

Right now I’m late for a class, so I’ll leave it at that – more about engravings and circles later.

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