Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter In England

I finished the "Winter In England" bookplate yesterday and I am very pleased with it. It was engraved on a 75 x 100 mm block of English boxwood. It is based on my favourite view across the fens from my house to Ely Cathedral. Here is the final drawing that I engraved from:

And here is the engraved block before printing:

And the first proof from the final state of engraving:

I took a lot of photos during the making of this bookplate and made a short movie from them. Many thanks to Piet Meijers, who commissioned this engraving as the last part of a "Four Seasons" project involving four artists and who gave permission to share the work.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Albion Maintenance and a New Print

Work is going steadily in the studio. Current tasks include:
  • Preparing "Winter In England" for proofing
  • Making detailed drawings for an alpine bookplate
  • Collecting images and planning composition for two more bookplates
  • Locating a good acid free laid paper for a forthcoming bookplate.
None of this can proceed very far without the small Albion, so I spent this morning carrying out maintenance and bringing the rails back into alignment. The story is told here. but beware, this blog shows graphic images of cast iron and oily hands:

Before I stopped using the press, I printed a part edition of a new small engraving of a squirell. Some of you might remember me engraving this at the Oxford Fine Press Fair. It is small, but very detailed; I am very pleased with it:
It is available here:

Here is the block:

OK... back to work.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Happy New Year and a Seasonal Engraving

Firstly, may I wish a Very Happy 2008 to all my readers!

2007 ended with the third in a series of seasonal prints illustrating the Twelve Days Of Christmas. They are in no particular order and this is Two Turtle Doves. Here is an early stage of the engraving:

You can see the tower of Ely Cathedral being drawn in the background. It isn't an entirely accurate drawing but I thought that it would suffice. Here is a later stage:

And here is a proof printed onto watercolour paper:

I printed five images onto watercolour paper and added washes of colour - enough to tint the image - not really in a painterly way. One of these was for J's Christmas card:Three of these and an uncoloured proof are for sale here.

And what did Santa bring for the engraver? A second print drying rack, allowing me to dry an edition of 100 prints above the presses:

I had something of a break from work between Christmas and the New Year. This was partly forced as, firstly, I need to carry out some work on the small Albion Press before I print again and, secondly, I managed to rip a large chunk from my right thumbnail. This had the twin unfortunate affects of my being able to neither write nor engrave. It has just about healed now and so I am starting to catch up with work, starting with a bookplate featuring a winter view across the English countryside.