The Saturday Printmakers held their third workshop for the year, ‘Wood Engraving’ delivered by Canberra artist Peter McLean. Wood engraving is a relief printmaking form whereby an image is carved into the end grain which allows for greater detail. Developed and used extensively in book publishing during the late – 1800s to the early/ mid- 1900s, the art practice experienced resurgence in later years. Today artists continue to use various wood species and some synthetic materials such as resingrave to achieve the same effect. Participants utilized manufactured maple blocks, and experimented with various engraving tools to create their designs. This process is referred to as ‘drawing with light’ as marks reveal white against a darkened block. Unlike woodcuts, wood engraving requires relatively shallow carved marks and allows for exploration of texture with minimum tools. Several participants expressed interest in pursuing this practice further with potential to exhibit works next year.
Words & images Jess Harris