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Wednesday’s wood engravers …

November 19, 2014


I buy some of my printing tools from Lawrence Art supplies and have some very old wood gravers that bear the name T.N. Lawrence.  You can imagine my surprise when I see that it was Stanley Lawrence of T.N. Lawrence and Son in the Bleeding Heart Yard, off Greville Street, London who supplied traditional British blocks to some of the most famous wood engravers; names like Joan Hassall.  It would seem although he was extremely shy; Stanley’s enthusiasm for the knowledge of wood-engraving and wood-engravers was paramount and without any ulterior motive.  He became a well loved, fount of wisdom to every wood-engraver he served.  His gentle charm although innocent and avuncular  was attractive to women; this ‘kindheartedness’ didn’t go unnoticed, his grandson Simon  wrote in Matrix (7) ‘He fostered many engravers both young and old but especially young and female’. Patricia Jaffe goes of to tell of his commitment to product quality and customer care.

The image of Stanley Lawrence at Bleeding Heart Yard is by Anne Jope (1977), one of those engravers ‘young and female’ whom Stanley Lawrence delighted in encouraging.  ‘Anne Jope has ‘woven a medley of evocative images, her tribute both to boxwood and to the block-maker’.

The other engravings are by Joan Hassall who was a one of Stanley Lawrence’s most priced and admired customers and she was to become the best loved British engraver of her generation.


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