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Holly Block Making for Wood Engraving Printmaking

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Tue 17th Mar 2020
Blog Categories: Block Making | Wood Engraving Printmaking | All / Filter

During this Coronavirus pandemic we are all self isolating at home, no visitors, no visits out. Our children (6 & 9) are being home schooled but we as adults need our own space and projects to do too, however small and insignificant them maybe compared to all that is happening in the world right now. It is just going to be the 4 of us in the house together over quite a while and we do need our own space too.

Over the past few years I've done some printmaking and working on some wood engraving at the moment, where I make my own blocks which I engrave and then print myself on my own press.

This post briefly shows my making some blocks - I have a little timber from a Holly tree (as short planks), which as you can see from the photo below comes directly from the tree.

Holly tree and tools, for block making
Plank from a Holly tree - you can still see the back. I plane and cut end grain slices from this to start making my wood blocks

I first plane the ends of the plank (as wood engraving uses end grain rather than along the grain) - all this is done using hand planes. I first use a rough scrub type plane to get the wood kind of flater and smoother, then use finer planes to get flat. Only once this been done do I cut off the slices from the plank, resulting in the blocks below.

Holly tree blocks and tools, for block making
Blocks cut from Holly Plank, planing the sides square relative to the top

Once cut off I plane the sides of the blocks square relative to the top so they fit into the bed of my press. I would also plane the blocks so they are type high, but I don't have the time just now.

These are quite small blocks, I would like to have created larger ones, but don't have time right now either to make them, or engrave them.

Next stages are a little sanding to a fine glossy surface (although in planing I get them pretty smooth), then blackening ready to trace on work, and engrave it but I'll leave that to another day and another blog.

Tags: wood engraving,woodengraving,wood engravers,woodengravers,engraving,engraver,printmaking,print making,printmaker,print maker,relief,block,print,printing,block making

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Blog Categories: Block Making | Wood Engraving Printmaking | All / Filter

All text, images and illustrations © Copyright David Rodgers 2020 unless stated otherwise. No copying in part or whole without written permission.


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