Essay On Wood Engraving

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Wood Engraving
Historically, the wood engraving was chiefly used for illustrations in magazines and books. It is similar to the woodcut, but in the wood engraving, the artist uses a graver to incise the image directly into an end-grain block (or cross section) of wood. Boxwood is commonly used, but cherry and pearwood are also suitable. These woods have naturally hard surfaces that allow the artist to create extremely detailed images with fine lines. By varying the spaces between the engraved lines, the artist can build subtle tonal effects and can create the highly illustrative quality associated with this medium. A printer's ink with a stiff consistency is cautiously applied to the surface, so that the ink does not fill the engraved lines. A sheet of thin, smooth paper is placed on the block and printed, either by hand or by running it through a press.
Intaglio Printing
Intaglio printing is the opposite of relief printing, in that the image is cut or incised into a metal plate with various tools or with acids. The wide variety of methods used gives this medium its enormous range. The two basic types of intaglio printing are engraving the image into the plate with finely ground tools called needles,
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A pencil-like tool, usually with a diamond point, is used to draw an image on an untreated copper or zinc plate. Each movement of the tool makes a furrow with a soft metal ridge on either side called a burr, pushed up from the plate by the tool. The artist endeavors to retain the fragile burr throughout printing, because the burr holds the ink and results in a print with rich, velvety lines. The delicacy of the burr and the continuous pressure of the press seldom allow more than 20 to 30 impressions to be printed before the burr is lost. As in the aquatint process, the drypoint print is produced by inking the plate, wiping it clean, placing dampened paper over the plate, and putting the plate through the

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