Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Woman In Black Portfolio

I have just finished making the first of a limited edition of portfolios of prints that were engraved to illustrate a fine press edition of Susan Hill's "The Woman In Black". The project was never completed and the images are being used (many in a much reduced form) in a new hardback edition published by Profile Books.

I wanted to be able to show the illustrations as they were meant to be seen; printed directly from the original woodblocks. Susan and the publisher were both encouraging and so I started work. Everything is enclosed in a handmade portfolio measuring approximately 295 x 215mm. It is covered with handmade marbled paper:

Inside there is a folder made of black card:

Which opens to reveal the sheets inside:

There is a title page, a page of text, twelve signed engravings and a colophon page:

The whole project started many months ago with a group of lemonwood blocks:

Each design had been drawn in ink in a sketchbook. I copied them in reverse onto the blocks and started to engrave the images onto the blocks:

Here are the twelve blocks ready for printing:

If I tilt the camera, you can see the shallow marks cut into the surface of the wood:

Here is the set of engravings. They are not shown to scale. All are (c)andyenglish and should not be used without permission:

When I started to make the portfolio, I decided to engrave one new block to act as a title page. I started by engraving the text (in reverse of course):

Next I started to engrave the gravestone that makes up the image.:

Here is a proof pulled from the inked block:

Finally, here is the completed title page:

I am making an edition of 100 portfolios which are for sale on my website. They will be dispatched as they are finished. Email me if you require one urgently.

Click here for details.

Signed and numbered copies of individual engravings will soon be available.


Machele O'Dufaigh said...

So beautifully described! I spent quite a few moments looking carefully through your engravings. Your skills are amazing, a true craftsman in every sense of the word. Congratulations on this wonderful work♥

Acornmoon said...

You have done such a wonderful job, how very sad that the project was never completed.

Your portfolio's are wonderful. I have followed the progress of these pieces as you have shown them on Facebook. I have marveled at how much detail and atmosphere you have managed to carve into each tiny block.

Alan Grobler - visual artist. Charcoal Drawing, Woodcut & Linocut printmaking said...

Work of exceptional quality and of the highest standard! I'd love to own a copy. Congratulations! said...

What a huge, and beautiful accomplishment. The portfolio is just exquisite! As always, your composition, mark making and image-based-narrative is so wonderful. Bravo and congratulations on the finished product.

Sam said...

As an illustrator, I am immediately drawn to books with beautiful illustrations...I'm going to order your book now...these illustrations are simply beautiful - I would love to have one framed!
Best Wishes

Sam said...

Just pre-orded your book!
If you sell any prints individually - could you email me?


Kerry O'Gorman said...

Your work is stunning! I have dabbled in lino cut and found it extremely hard work and time consuming so I can only imagine the 'wood block' technique even more challenging. There's something fantastic and magical about miniature work. Really lovely! Came over for a visit via Valerie at acornmoon. Cheers.