Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catching Up 3: The Letter "L"

From time to time I take part in a collaborative print project and early last summer I contributed a letter to the Wood Engravers Network Alphabet of engraved, decorated capitals. Early on I had chosen the letter "L" with the intention of engraving a lighthouse but, as the deadline approached, I changed my mind, largely through having these splendid lilies in the house:

The letter was engraved on a 5cm square "lemonwood" block which I had darkened with ink. The letter was drawn freehand but owes much to the capital letters of the lettercutter and typographer Will Carter. I started by engraving the outline fo the letter:

The Form of a capital "L" give much space for background engraving. I developed ideas in my sketchbook and then drew them in reverse on the block:

I enjoyed engraving the lilies. I kept the marks simple as the block was going to be part of a composite print and I wanted it to print easily:

Here is the engraved block before I took the first proofs:

The block was duly posted to the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin where it was printed with others to make a wonderful poster:

Before the block left the studio, I printed a small edition of thirty engravings on Zerkall paper:

It is available for sale from my Etsy Store.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Catching Up 2: Long Tailed Tits

I have been wanting to include long tailed tits in an engraving for a long time. I see them in small groups when I take my daily walks and they are also frequent visitors to the bird feeders in the garden; here are a couple sharing their meal with a starling:

However, I wanted to show them as I see them in the hawthorn hedges, with Ely cathedral glimpsed in the background. I spent some time making sketchbook drawings and then trying to find a combination that worked as the image I had in my mind:

Having established the composition, I transferred my drawing into reverse onto a darkened boxwood block and started to engrave:

Here is the final engraving:

The image measures 70 x 65mm and has been printed onto Zerkall paper in an edition of 100.

 For a limited period, I am selling these at a reduced price in my Etsy store. Here is the link: