2/18/2011

Wood Engraving Workshop


Last weekend I went to a wood engraving workshop here at Northern Print.
I have been a long time admirer of wood engraving and have been promising myself that one day I would try to learn from an expert, there is only so much you can do from books and videos, there is nothing to compare to watching a craftsman’s hands at work.

The class was held by Chris Daunt whose work I had admired at The Bankside Gallery earlier this year. He is a member of The Society of Wood Engravers and has a website here, where you can buy wooden blocks and learn more about the craft. The class was well attended and everyone came away with a series of prints. Although I did not manage to finish my block on the day I carried on at home and got it completed, although I don’t have a press, instead I used a hand burnisher. I now feel more confident to do more engraving and have a better understanding of how to hold the tools and how much pressure to use.



We stopped off at Durham and explored the lovely old cobbled streets around the cathedral. Both Newcastle and Durham have magnificent and dramatic locations, steeped in history and art, they are also very friendly, warm places and we hope to go back again before too long.

29 comments:

  1. Wonderful! I love wood engraving. Not easy, however. Love the owl, of course!

    We are JUST beginning to see some ground here and there. This week VERY warm and melting going on, but this is only February in New England, I'm not to be fooled, there is probably more snow and cold on the way, definitely no snowdrops yet! Lovely to see you over at RavenWood.

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  2. I too love wood engraving and your exquisite work should put you just in the right position to do it Valerie.

    If you go to Durham again then do consider stopping off here (near Leyburn) for coffee or lunch - you have to cross over the country so you could choose to cross here!

    Hope things are better for you now.

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  3. Wood engraving is something I haven't tried yet but would like to. Your intricate drawing really does lend itself to this techniqueValerie. Snowdrops are my favourite flower at the moment!

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  4. Wood engravings are beautiful things and your owl is gorgeous Valerie. You can turn your hand to anything. I didn't realise you could hand burnish engravings either.

    I have wanted to visit Durham for a long time. Always seem to have passed through it on the train to Newcastle and relatives. Perhaps one day...

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  5. Echo the comments on wood engravings - and looks a great time.

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  6. Your owl is so lovely....I find printmaking very satisfying. With my arthritis I do lino cuts more, but enjoy that too! Nothing is as healing as doing something creative. I think this must be because we have to really connect with the present to achieve it. I love the feeling that comes when time falls away.

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  7. What a lovely engraving! I keep eyeing up the wood engraving courses at my local studios, I would love to give it a try one day...
    It's nice to see your block with all the tools and the press too.
    Carrie :)

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  8. You absolutely look like an expert to me xx

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  9. hi valerie - durham is a beautiful old town and has a lot of significance for my family. i nipped over to chris daunt's site - it's fascinating isnt it!!! i have to say that wood engraving speaks to me although i have never really understood how it works. however i'm curious by nature and this little peak into the world of wood engraving has me wanting to know and do more. thanks so much for sharing. steven

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  10. Valerie, I do envy you your chance to be part of this engraving workshop. It's definitely a medium that intrigues me, too.

    Please do keep us posted with other prints that you create.

    How I do wish for some sort of magic wand that would give me the gift of time, and even the means to explore all the creative fields that intrigue me.

    Thanks to you for your kind comments and for helping to keep my printmaking enthusiam alive. xo

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  11. Your woodcuts are beautiful. What a very enjoyable and rewarding weekend it must have been at the workshop. I have just followed your link for the Society of Wood Engravers and could get lost for hours there. It is an exciting medium and a perfect match for your precise and sensitive work.

    We almost have snowdrops here too - mere spears, but it's a start. English spring is definitely prettier.

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  12. I can see that wood engraving could quite easily become an addiction. It's something I have always loved but never had the opportunity to learn.
    Would have loved to see more photos of Durham.
    Off to check out your Etsy!
    Warmest Hugs,
    Sandi @ Ess D'Ess Bears and Bearly Sane Studio

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  13. It is the perfect medium for you, the owl is quite exquisite! I have been tempted to try wood engraving (the tools looks so lovely) but I think I'll stick to lino prints - you need a very fine hand to get such detail as you have achieved.

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  14. So glad you had a productive time at the workshop - your owl is wonderful. I think that area of the country around Durham is very interesting so much to see and do:)

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  15. Wow, what a wonderful owl and what a lovely sounding workshop. Like others here, I'm a fan of wood engraving but have never tried it myself, I might just have to change that sometime soon!

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  16. The owl is wonderful! We have lots of snow and -24 C today. We still have to wait a while for the spring flowers.

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  17. Wood engraving encourages me to think about Albrecht Durer and his wood cuts. Your talents could lend themselves very well to the art.

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  18. Looks like a wonderful day spent trying wood engraving! I share the same admiration and fascination for it. Hope to be able to try my hand at it as well!
    xo,
    Heather

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  19. Seems to me more wood engraving is called for.

    Lucy

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  20. Hi Valerie - love the wood engraving, you're a natural.

    Really enjoyed the virtual tour of St Paul's link on your previous post - what a magnificent building it is. x

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  21. Will you tell us about the tools in the third photo?

    You make me want to give up linoleum and go for wood. Verrry nice~

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  22. Limner, you can find a guide to the tools here http://www.chrisdaunt.com/guide and also some interesting links.

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  23. Wonderful Valerie!
    I love your owl.
    I'm on a days printing workshop soon, etching and press printing.

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  24. I'm forwarding the Awesome Blog Award to you, http://gbkoru.blogspot.com/2011/02/awesome-blog-award.html
    Hugs, Gunilla

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  25. What a neat class you took and your owl is lovely. Oh, how I enjoyed looking at your snowdrops. I wonder if we will ever see the snow disappear this year. Hugs Judy

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  26. It is very slow and time consuming but it always produces beautiful results. Your owl looks lovely and you are obviously well suited to this technique. I did some blocks at college years ago and loved it.

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  27. wonderful to see you following your desire to learn more and to learn from someone that is gifted at the craft, so wise of you.

    If that is your owl... it is wonderful!

    love the photos too, looks like a fabulous area to explore.

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  28. I've got to plant more snowdrops this fall. We only have one little bunch and it's truly not enough, because the little things make you feel spring might actually arrive one day.

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