Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Peak District Prints Part 2

In the first of these two posts, I described the creation of a pair of engravings which featured wildlife in a Peak District setting - a landscape with a very different character from the low-lying flat lands in which I live.
The third engraving follows a similar pattern.

3. A Peregrine On The Roaches

One of the most memorable events of my visit to the Peak District was to clamber up a ridge of rock called  the Roaches. They are spectacular in themselves but I was keen to see the peregrine falcons that were nesting there. I was not disappointed. Most impressive was the speed at which they approached the nest when they took over parental duties from each other.

I decided not to engrave a peregrine in flight. They have such a powerful presence when they stand and survey the landscape. That is what I wanted to attempt to capture. I started by making very rough sketches and then a more finished ink drawing.

I tightened the image by reducing the size of the drawing by cutting and pasting. It would still be one of my largest engravings on wood. Here is the final drawing:

I added a silhouette of a second peregrine in the sky and, beyond the Roaches, I drew the shape of a separate hill called Hen Cloud. I consciously suggested the shape of the rock formations in the pose of the bird.

Engraving was a lengthy process as I wanted to include much detail at every stage. I started with the eye and worked outwards:

Here is the finished block:

From the first proof, I was pleased with this image. I made a few adjustments to tidy some elements and balance light and dark and then it was done:

"A Peregrine On The Roaches" 
Wood Engraving.  Image size: 120 x 120mm
 Hand printed on Zerkall paper in an edition of 125 

4. Peak Post

I have already described the  making of the nine small blocks that make up "Peak Post". This was a way of including glimpses of the Peak District which had interested me but which, in themselves did not suggest a substantial engraving. 
I have also had a fascination with so called "Cinderella" stamps and have engraved them before. Here are some of my original sketches:

And here are most of the individual blocks:

There was not an issue with printing the individual blocks but I wanted to print all nine together as a "sheet" of stamps. This took a lot of careful preparation as I adjusted the blocks on the press:

It was worth the extra effort when, after careful adjustments of packing, inking and pressure, I was able to pull crisp impressions from the press:

"Peak Post"

Nine wood engravings printed as a group. Image size 130 x 175mm
 Hand printed on Zerkall paper in an edition of 125

I will add a reminder that the whole set of approximately forty engravings will be exhibited at many places in the Peak District during 2014 and that I will be demonstrating engraving and speaking about this experience at Gallerytop, Chatsworth Road, Rowsley, Matlock, Derbyshire. DE4 2EH on Saturday 12th April at the Private View, which runs from 12noon - 4pm.

***The two prints described here are also for sale at a pre-publication price in my Etsy store:


Sherrie York said...

Spectacular work, as always, Andy. I am particularly intrigued by the "stamps," as the format suggests adventure and travel and discovery. Just think how gorgeous a passport would be if one received a wood engraving rather than an impersonal date stamp at every checkpoint... (Hm... do you suppose this sudden association with travel means I have spring fever?)

Mathieu Hachey said...

This is impressive work!

Andy English said...

Thank you Sherrie and Mathieu

Unknown said...

Thank you so much Andy for presenting wonderful art, and really this is great work. I've fully impressed by your wonderful adventurer art.