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Wood engraving, to be or not to be that is the question …

April 21, 2014

Last week, I began a new aspect of my new found ‘hobby’.

I began printmaking on a very simple (and inexpensive) level  a little under two years ago. I enjoyed it very much and began to see an opportunity to do something creative and with a little more (or a lot) work I could become an artist as I hoped for 60 years before.

I enrolled in some art classes and have continued to attend on a regular basis with various teachers. Whatever the outcome, these lessons will continue as they have become a vital part of my life not just as a would be artist/print-maker but as human being wanting to find her way in the [art] world.

As already discussed I learned a little about wood engraving I even produced some small works.  It is quite different from lino-cutting and of course my rudimentary eraser cutting.

Needless to say, I will need different tools and wood that are all considerably more expensive … beside all other equipment bought over the last few months; the monies invested will never be recouped. I have to make some pragmatic decisions about how I should continue; like any person beginning a new hobby whether it is music, sport, photography (to follow a local football team requires a huge investment just for the season ticket); cost versus enjoyment.

Having made the decision to take up the tools; so ‘other’ discussions come into play; still with limited time and money,  being happy doing something doesn’t make the problems go away!

For instance;I have bought a clutch of second hand tools;

Are they sharp? They seem so;  but are they the right size? i.e, length? 

It cannot be one size suits all; as they have to fit snug! 

What are the names of these tools? 

A Graver? a spitsticker? Round scorper? Tint tool?

What size are they? Do I need more ? If so which? and size; small medium or large? 

A square scorper or a multiple tool or both?  

I have learned a little about the wood but even practice pieces are expensive.  While I don’t want to use cheaper alternatives I don’t want waste money either.

So I would like to learn the basic skills while incorporating them a potential work of art;  as they differ so much from those I learned in the past.

There is a supplier up north (a good and expensive train journey way) he would give me sound advice; but is that overkill?

Is there a wood engraver nearby who would for a small charge help me through these early months?

So while I continue to ask myself will it be fun? And the answer is yes!! I would value (seriously) advise on the way forward.  

I am planning to attend Kate Dicker’s workshop in October. Giving me a good 6 months to practice! 

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