Natural history on the block

Visit Rosamund Fowler – venue 99 – to see some truly inspirational images of animals, birds and all manner of natural form, printed from hand engraved wood blocks.

Wood engraving is a process that presents a series of challenges of how to describe tone, texture and form by simply making marks on the surface of a wood block.

The natural world of animals and plants happily offer up their own patterns and textures that are a delight to engrave, and also give at least some guidance as to how to represent them on a wood block. So the fur on a mouse’s body naturally provides a suggestion for mark-making that will describe the form of the animal, as will the stripes and veins on the petals of some tulips, or the floral pattern that bends around a vase.

Of course, the degree of success of these decisions is not revealed until the inked wood block meets paper and the first proof print is taken…

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