Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Twenty" - My Best Work?

Autumn flies into winter and no mistake!

Indoors I have finished engraving the block for the Society Of Wood Engravers portfolio.

With a larger block such as this, I use "Red" the 1902 Albion handpress:

Here is the block held firmly in the bed of the press and inked ready to take the first impression.

I am really very pleased with the first print pulled from the block. This is unusual for me as my heart usually sinks. Being pleased is a good thing. It still took five "states" before I was sure that everything was good. Here is the first printing of the final impression:

The various states are hung to dry:

It is time to print the edition of 100. The first twenty-five will go in the portfolios that will be offered for sale. Impressions numbered 26-50 will go to the artists and the remaining fifty will be available from me late in 2009.

The edition is to be printed on a particularly fine paper: The Edwina Ellis paper from the Zerkall mill in Germany. Each sheet yielded six prints. This called for some careful folding.

I then used a breadknife to cut the sheets giving a slightly ragged edge called "false deckles"

Here is the final engraving. A and J play the piano in our dining room. It measures 5 x 5 inches. Click on the image to view a larger version.
Other family members are suggested in the photographs atop the piano. The central "photograph" is just 6/8th inch across:

I am really pleased with this. Perhaps it is the best thing that I have done. Works that involve my family are always very important to me.

Outside, it is getting colder. My pots of Sempervivum contain remnants of snow:

Finally, a recent visitor that A spotted just outside the studio. A toad. It was happy to sit and pose and I plan to make an engraving from the photographs early next year.


Annie B said...

Andy, it's stunning! I'm especially struck by the lights and darks -- the center of the print just glows. The detail is amazing. I love the textures in the clothing. And that chicken! So much to look at. Yes, the work you do that involves your family has a most wonderful feeling about it.
Please let me know when this print becomes available for sale!
my best, Annie

Magic Cochin said...

Each time I looked I saw something new! Like Annie, I spotted one of your hens. And I love the textures you've used on the wall. This is beautiful.


s g said...

Mr. English,

I have enjoyed your blog and your work is beautiful! Thank you so much for chronicling the engraving process. I intend on sharing it with a small church class that I teach (we’ve been seeing examples of engraving in the book, Pilgrim’s Progress). Tonight, we’re going to try our own hand at engraving. I don’t trust the children with sharp objects, so we’ll have to use clay. They’ll enjoy seeing the principals at work through your blog.

Thank you.

Eli Griggs said...

Wonderful stuff, the carving, the print and the sentiment.

It's funny but a moment ago I was marveling at videos of small CNC machines doing their stuff however, no mark made by such a machine could ever carry even a hint of the soul your beautiful images do.

Thank you for sharing, Eli

Lynette Weir said...

Lovely print Andy - I like it not only as a printmaker but especially as a piano player! Love the textures and the details as well - including the metronome (now that ticking brings back memories! lol!).
kind regards

Anonymous said...

It's an absolute beut, Andy.I can only echo the others' comments, the detail, textures and overall execution. Lovely!

Gypsy at Heart said...

Indeed, I have to agree with what everyone has said Andy. The engraving is sensational. I want one! I hope you manage to keep warm. I've been hearing about the terrible cold and snow you have been getting in your side of the world. I hope you are doing okay. Milena