Course Leaders: Anne Desmet

Wood Engraving Masterclass

Suitable for beginners and/or those with some experience, this one-day course will cover a range of approaches to fine line and tonal engraving on end-grain boxwood and lemonwood blocks, using a wide range of specialist tools from Anne Desmet’s extensive collection. Participants will learn inking, printing and hand burnishing techniques (on Japanese and European papers) and will also learn how to print their blocks on an Albion relief press. Starting by making engraved studies of selected details of other artists’ engravings, using source material provided, participants will progress to making independent engravings based on their own sketches and/or photographs, which they should bring with them to the course. Participants’ drawings and photos will be used as the basis for creating small-scale black and white printed images, so, imagery that involves clear contrasts of light and dark tones as well as clarity of detail is especially suitable. The course will also include a short introduction to the rich potential of creative collage using wood engraved prints.

At the end of the course students will have a working knowledge and basic skills in all the tools necessary for engraving, plus hand printing and press printing experience. They will also have received tuition in preparation and storage of blocks, suitable woods for engraving, compositional/scale advice and will have examined and studied in detail a wide range of wood engraved images from Thomas Bewick to the present day. Students will walk away with between two and five engraved and printed blocks at the end of the course. Depending on your speed of working, you will have the following: one (or two) practice block(s) engraved with different marks using the full range of engraving tools; one (or more) practice blocks engraved with a copy of a detail of a professional engraver’s work; one block engraved with imagery of the student’s choice. You will have more than one print from each block printed on a range of different papers.

Anne Desmet RA RE
Anne Desmet specializes in wood engraving, linocut and mixed-media collage of architectural subjects from London to Rome. She exhibits widely, has won over 40 national and international awards, has works in public and private collections worldwide and commissions include engravings for the British Museum, British Library, V&A, the Royal Mint and Sotheby’s. Her first retrospective was at the Ex Libris Museum, Moscow, in 1995, her second was at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in 1998. Her third museum exhibition was at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, in 2008-9. Her fourth retrospective was at the Gainsborough’s House Museum in Suffolk in 2018. She had another museum exhibition of recent works at the Holburne Museum in Bath in 2017 and her latest museum show is at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, from 22 October 2022 – 5 February 2023. Desmet is author of seven published printmaking books and was editor of Printmaking Today magazine from 1998-2013. Elected a Member of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in 2011, she is only the third wood engraver ever elected in the RA’s 254-year history.



12th March 2023   10am – 4:30pm

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