Thursday, 6 February 2014
Bird in a Block
The other week I made a very small foray into the world of wood engraving. Above is a little test block with a simple and spontaneous design. The actual printed image is about the size of a large postage stamp. Below you can see the block itself, with my hand for scale.
Wood engraving uses hardwoods such as boxwood and lemonwood, which take some getting used to, as the hardness which makes them wonderfully durable for printing also makes them a little difficult to carve. However, with a bit of practice it becomes easier to make satisfying marks and smooth lines.
This is also a type of printmaking that tends to be very tiny, because of the difficulty of obtaining larger pieces of suitable wood. It has mostly been used for book illustration in the past because it offers the possibility of printing large editions.
I have a few ideas brewing in the back of my mind for this new technique, but first a few more test blocks are in order I think.