I have spent the last couple of days working on my new engraving of the "Mathematical" bridge which crossed the River Cam at Queens' College, Cambridge.
At the start, I made a fairly careful (reversed) outline drawing to check the composition. I have drawn a punt in the foreground for added interest :
The next step was to copy this onto my darkened block of lemonwood:
I started to engrave the elaborate woodwork of the bridge. I alternated between this fine work and the sky, which was a bit more straightforward:
Next, I engraved the college buildings and continued to work on the sky. The last addition here is the punt and the start of the reflections on the surface of the water:
Here is the upper part of the block in more detail:
At this point - disaster! I stopped work for a moment and the block slipped of the sandbag and fell to the floor. It missed the mat and landed facedown on the rough concrete floor. I picked it up and checked for damage. It could have been a lot worse but there was still a small but deep depression punched into the surface. I could have engraved over this in a light area but it was one of the darker parts of the water and so I needed to deal with it.
The traditional method os to try to swell the wood so that the block is more or less flat again. This is done by putting a drop of water over the hole and using a match to warm and evaporate this so thast the wood swell - obviously being careful not to scorch the block - or set fire to it!
Readers of a nervous disposition will be relieved to hear that the procedure was almost entirely successful. Here we go: