Wood Engraving

Wood engraving is a relief process that involves using engraving tools to carve into the end grain of dense wood, thus enabling the artist to create highly detailed and tonally complex images by rendering using very fine lines, hatching, and stippling. This process differs from woodcuts in that woodcuts are carved from plank grain blocks using gouges, knives, and chisels.

No previous carving or printing experience is necessary, but patience, good eyesight, and a steady hand are very helpful.

Special Notes

This is an in-person class which will take place in our building with strict social distancing protocols and reduced student capacity. Please see our COVID-19 community safety policies.

What you will learn:

  • Knowledge of the basic history of wood engraving

  • Basic knowledge of carving using engraving tools

  • Basic knowledge of printing by hand and using a small proofing press

  • Exploration of line to create the illusion of different values within a composition

Required supplies:

  • Your woodblock will be provided as part of your lab fee, along with some tools.

  • Pencil

  • Newsprint

  • Printing paper of your choice (paper possibilities will be discussed in class)

  • An idea

Midway through the semester students will need these supplies:

  • While there will be a variety of tools available to share in class, many students opt to order their own personal tool for carving fine lines so they are able to carve outside of class. If I had to recommend only one tool to order for carving, it would be this one:

    • #2 elliptical tint carving tool (recommended, but not required)