What is Wood Engraving?
A wood engraving is a relief printmaking process. The raised surface receives ink and prints directly on paper, as does metal, wood or plastic (photopolymer). Other printing processes are: Planography or Lithography which is based on the repelling of oil and water on a flat surface; Intaglio, which is the cutting into the surface of a metal plate, (and the lowered surface holds the ink), and stencil methods such as the silk screen process. A wood engraving is a subtractive technique which is the removing of fibers from the end-grain of a woodblock. It differs from a woodcut, which is cut on a cross grain, or plank-side of a woodblock. A wood engraving allows a variety of cutting techniques and is extremely durable. It lends itself well to illustration in publications as well as limited edition prints. It has a most interesting history of usage as well as an active contemporary application.
What is the Wood Engravers' Network?
Since 1994, a group of printmakers, especially interested in wood engraving, have gathered and formed an organization called the Wood Engravers' Network. The group pursues communication, encouragement, and education in this historic, yet contemporary relief medium. One such activity is a biannual newsletter called Block & Burin. It features articles, events, news and announcements. Another feature of the group is an optional exchange of prints and related materials. It is a forum that we have dubbed a Bundle.
We currently have over 200 members from the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. Additionally, we are in the process of publishing a book of member work. We have a lending library and publish a resource catalogue which can give you the best places to find tools and materials. We have a tool sharpening service and plan yearly workshops.
Our dues for North American members is $40.00 (US currency). Overseas dues are $45. To join, visit our membership page and we will put you on the list for the next activity. Our mailings are biannual: we shoot for January and July. We do hope to hear from you and make your acquaintance.