Tuesday, October 23, 2007

25 Bookplates: Engraving the Press Device

Time is really pressing on my book project. I am still engraving various blocks that I need to finish before I can print and bind it. I started with the press device which will be printed on the last page. My press is called Oak Apple Press after oak apples - not a fruit but the result of a gall wasp laying eggs in an oak tree.

I wanted a small device that I could also use in miniature books so I made a design from a few oak leaves, an acorn and an oak apple. I made pages of sketches and chose one to draw onto a small boxwood block:

I engraved around the main shapes and then cut some detail into the different elements of the design. The tool shown is a round scorper; round ended tools are so much better for clearing away areas of wood.

The next photograph shows the cuts made by the scorper. Every cut could potentially ruin the block so time and great care are taken.

Finally, I carried on using the scorper to lower the edge of the block. This is to stop ink catching on any cleared areas and showing up as unsightly marks on the final image. You can see how small this block is:

And here is the final result - a press device for the first book from Oak Apple Press!


Annie B said...

I love your comment, "every cut could potentially ruin the block." So true. Seems that the farther along I get in making a print, the more dramatic it becomes -- there's so much more to ruin!

Your little Oak Apple came out beautifully.

Ellen Shipley said...

I love this Oak Apple block! So simple and iconic. Wonderful. 8-]

Anonymous said...

It's lovely..so simple! And you're so right about the slip of a scorper... I look forward to seeing your progress.

Planet Janet said...

Very well done! And so much harder than it looks.