Thursday, October 25, 2007

25 Bookplates: Engraving and Printing the Colophon

The colophon says something about the production and limitation of the book. Although I have many cases of type, I have decided that the text of books made by Oak Apple Press should be engraved on wood.

I started by marking out the lettering in Roman capitals on a boxwood block. The next step was to carefully engrave around the letters and then - with equal care - start to clear away the wider parts of the letters:

This is a lengthy process, but it is satisfying when it has been completed. At this point I check the text in a mirror - fingers crossed!

When the text was cut, I drew decorative elements - oak leaves and an acorn - onto the block and started to cut a line around the shapes:

Using a medium sized round scorper, I started to cut away the wood around the decorations:

Again, I cut the wood around the design to a lower level. Finally, I engraved small dots in a regular pattern around the letters. It was time to proof the block which would show any small adjustments that I need to make.

I made a series of small extra cuts, taking the block through four states until I was happy.

In the book, this will be printed on the final page, above the press device already described below.


Belinda Del Pesco said...

Absolutely incredible. What an inspiration.

Diane Cutter said...

Andy... How lovely! How inspiring! Thank you for all the video clips and blog explanations of how you work...

Annie B said...

So beautiful. I really like the extra movement created by the little dots around the letters.

Lynn said...

Wow, that is just beautiful! I like the negative space of the lettering. I wonder which font you based your lettering on?

Magic Cochin said...

Hi Andy
just about to type my comment and realised Annie B has said it for me!
Do you look at insriptions on gravestones for inspirations? - I love the 18th century letter styles. And we saw some amazingly ornate ones in Holmfirth - worth searching out if you're in the area.

All the best for your Christmas shows and the beautiful book.


Anonymous said...

Lovely...and exacting work indeed. How long did it take?