Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wood Engraving Workshop

Sometimes it's nice having birthdays in the same month. We were discussing, one day way back in July or August, what we wanted for our birthdays and concluded that there was not a lot we wanted in terms of things, but that it would be lots of fun to take a class together. Something creative.

Not long after, we stumbled across workshops at the local studio and gallery, Lauriston Press. The wood engraving workshop was taught by David Frazer, an Australian artist working not just with wood engraving, but also in paint and other media.

We signed up and weeks passed...

The workshop was great! Just seven attendees, including us, in a little light-filled studio in central Kyneton -- so, good coffee, close to home. All of the people on the course were really lovely.

Without exception, I think by chance, everyone had come with an image in mind that was interesting, different, historical, thoughtful. That made the class more interesting as there was a lot of quiet working, with murmurings of discussion about why, and what, and what next.

It turned out to be really quite difficult!

But intensely fascinating...

Straight lines a challenge.

But the effect was stunning.

After a brief tussle with a nose (profile thereof inexplicably growing through lack of tool control!) ...

We ran them through the press.

And discovered that all the oops-es and some of the awkwardness drops away miraculously when it's on paper.

We were both quite happy with the result!

Wood engraving appeals to both of us because of all of the historical wood engraved book illustrations. We were both a wee bit confused as to the difference between wood block printing (carved into a block along the grain) and wood engraving (carved into a cross-cut piece of wood, therefore across the grain and much finer detail can be created).

Our hands hurt, it was a challenge -- but we would definitely try it again!


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