Sunday, 13 July 2008

A New Engraving (and some giftwrap)

For a long time I've been planning to do an engraving of St Giles Street in Norwich, one of our favourite places to go on a Saturday morning. Last summer I took photos of all the buildings down one side of Upper St Giles, and over the winter turned these into a pencil drawing. This then formed the basis for the wood engraving. Rather than try and find a very long and thin block I decided to engrave the street in two sections, one above the other. I used a 4 x 3 inch block, with each row of buildings just over an inch high. Here's a picture of the block in progress (the lines in the middle were to help get the buildings roughly to scale with each other).

When it was finished we printed it on the Adana 8x5, with mixed results! We did a few of the whole block, and then some using just one half with the other masked off. It was printed using Lawrence oil-based letterpress ink on Zerkall paper, and after about an hour of trial and error we eventually managed to start turning out decent prints. This was the first time we've used oil-based inks for ages. We always hated the cleaning up afterwards - too many nasty chemicals and black stains in the bath. We've found a good routine now though, using a small bottle of "Zest It" and a pile of old black socks to get the rollers, pallette knives and inking slab clean. Here's a print of the whole block. Prints in various combinations will be turning up soon on our Etsy, DaWanda and Folksy shops.

Sarah has been busy making hand printed wrapping paper, using one of old fabric printing blocks. One was printed in dark blue ink, and the other in dark red ink on large sheets of handmade Lotka paper from Nepal. She's really pleased with how they turned out, and the blue paper has already been used to wrap up presents! The red version is in the Etsy shop now.


nydampress said...

I am in awe of your latest engraving.
Truly amazing!
Also, the gift wrap rocks!

Sue said...

Love the new engraving!
I hate solvent mess and stink too, I mostly use baby oil and window cleaner as this page:

Love the gift wrap too. It's ideal for pressies.

littlebird said...

love that image of st Giles street,
nice blog in general as well : )