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A MANUAL OP INSTKUOXIOfJ
AET OE WOOD ENGRAVING.
DESCRIPTION OF THE NECESSARY TOOLS AND APPARATUS, AND CONCISE DIRECTIOIJS FOR THEIR USE; EXPLANATION OF THE TERMS USED, AND THE METHODS EM-
PLOYED FOR PRODUCING THE VARIOUS CLASSES OF WOOD ENGRAVINGS.
WITH ILtUSTR ATIONS BY THE AUTHOR.
Cornell University Library
original of this
the Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright
the United States on the use of the
A MANUAL OF INSTRUCTION
AET OP WOOD ENGEAVING.
DESCRIPTION OF THE NECESSARY TOOLS AND APPARATUS, AND CONCISE DIRECTIONS FOR THEIR USE; EXPLANATION OF THE TERMS USED, AND THE METHODS EMPLOYED FOR PRODUCING THE VARIOUS CLASSES OF WQOD ENGRAVINGS.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE AUTHOR.
PUBLISHED. BY JOSEPH WATSON.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.
are few persons
who understand any
upon wood are numerous nowadays, there thing of the method of their pro-
They have become a
that, like the types
usually accompany, they arrest attention only
the thoughts they con-
vey are received few persons examining the manner of their execution, or being aware that all the numerous lines that make up a picture have each been wrought carefully and separately, line after line, patiently,
by the dexterous hand ; and only in a few instances are pictures made by any kind of machine. Only few books have been written upon the art of Wood Engraving, and these are chiefly relating to the history of the art. Upon examination, not one was found that gave directions for the practice of the art, so that a novice might learn to engrave without an instructor. To supply this want,, this little manual has been prepared. It has aimed to give the necessary instruction in as concise and simple form as possible ; and the author believes that any person of intelligence, by following the directions, will be able to produce excellent wood cuts that is, by giving the necessary practice. And, although the pages of this little book are few in number, the instructions are comprehensive. With the hope that the little book may incite attention and love for the art of Wood "Ungraving, that it may meet many to whom its teachings will be valuable, it is sent forth on its way.
It is often said that
just adapted to her,
is a fine employment for woman, that and the hope expressed that woman will enter of labor upon which she has begun to explore
Because it is a sedentary occupation, because it is light manual labor, and because woman needs new avenues of employment, are the grounds
for the belief
of the adaptability of
fitness for its pursuit.
these the true reasons
but she cannot learn the art in a three,
or other trades for
or twelve month's tutilage, which would be sufficient for grad-
uation in millinery, mantua-making, tailoring,
women. She must understand that it requires patient and persevering study and thought, such as her usual avocations seldom require. And she will meet with all the discouragements and difficulties that are incident to, and experienced in, every department of art ; but if she faints
not, if she studies, if she perseveres, great is the
reward to her
All her powers become quickened and enlarged.
a few years Engraving.
The world has become by a few women having commenced the pur[Of course,
other departments of art
are alike ennobling, if pursued with a true love for art, both for itself
and its elevating influence upon the world. J Another point requires consideration. With the present physical power of woman, she
apply herself as
as she could
give to other pursuits, nor as
hours as men.
can usually engrave eight or nine hours every day, without being severely
woman ought not to engrave more than five or six hours, and during the hours of interval she .should recreate as much as possible. While she is resting from actual labor, she may still make progress by examination of all fine works of art, and observation of
Nature's countless effects.
In a pecuniary point of view, the profession is not become overcrowded the prices as yet for the same quality of work being the same, whether executed by a man or woman; and a skilful engraver can' usually earn much more money than in most of the feminine employ;
womefl of ability and industry consider the propriety of upon the pursuit of the art of Wood Engraving, " and let her own works praise her in the gates."
term " wood en-
graving " implies
ornamental cutting or engraving on
is usually limited to
used for printcarving in re-
and does not include raised
type cut in wood, from which
may be made
engraving, or wood-
The term wood-cut
applied to prints
and copper are
and those from
knowledge of the manner in which these
kinds of engravings,
produced, the observer
their being printed
on the same
page with type
so printed, but
whereas plates and lithographs cannot be
occupy separate sheets.
of very great antiqui-
was practised by the early Egyptians, and by Euwas
ropeans from a date prior to the Christian era, but in a
crude and simple manner.
In the, fifteenth century,
applied, not to the representation of figures only, but also
to the production of the explanatory text on the
to entire pages of text ; thus foreshadtypes, in
owing the printing with
which these early
tempts soon after culminated.
In the latter part of the fifteenth century arose Albert
contributed more than any previous individIt has
ual to the progress of the art.
been generally be-
lieved that he himself engraved
upon wood ; though by
questioned whether he did more than furnish
Within a century
degree of excellence, yet, strange as it
wood engraving attained a high may appear, within
the seventeenth century declined to a very low ebb.
the latter part of the eighteenth century,
had ever been.
far nearer perfection than it
America by Dr. Alexander
called the inventor of the
art in this country; for, although
he was familiar with
manner of producing them was suggested
own ingenuity and
From his earliest
he evinced a love of art ; and at the age of twelve
he commenced engraving.
cents, rolled into plates.
method of using the gravers by looking
in at the win-
dows, and watching the silversmiths at their work.
improved every opportunity, and at the age of seventeen
was employed by William Durell, a bookseller, to copy
the illustrations of a popular Looking-glass."
were made by Beillustrations
Anderson commenced making these
upon type metal ;
half completed, he
learned that the originals were engraved on wood.
immediately procured some wood, and found that
pleasant to engrave than type metal.
medicine, and graduated, at the age of twen-
ty-one, from the medical
department of Columbia College.
practised medicine for a short time, but it- did not
prove a congenial profession ; and his love of art was so
he decided to devote himself to the pur-
the year 1820, he used copper and
sion required ; but, since then, he has
during his long and busy
the last century,
many thousands of subjects From the latter part of
to the present time, his illustraall.
have embellished works which are familiar to
long career, he has maintained the same
earnestness and enthusiasm for the art as
when he comhave a love
believes that an engraver should
of engraving, and not use the art merely as a means for
Dr. Anderson was born in
April 21, 1775, and
consequently now (1866) in his
very regular and tempera,te in his
and interesting in conversation, and unafretiring.
will not allow that
has any peculiar talent or excellence, only that
of himself, which
plies the graver.
here present, he engraved last year.
was by urgent
he consented to do
for the private use of a fi-iend,
has kindly permitted
use in this work.
The author hopes
prove an incentive to
to pursue the art in
the spirit and with the earnestness displayed
Dr. Anderson, American art
contributed to carry
to a high degree of perfection.
Contemporary with Dr.
Anderson and each
other, for a
number of years
three -were accorded equal fame as the best engravers in
Adams and Mr.
Hall were also self-taught
studied the works of Dr. Anderson, and of
Bewick, his exemplar.
cacy and finish in their rendering of their subjects.
but he laid aside his graver some
Mr. Hall made
and appai-atus used in engraving.
process of trans-
was invented by
given by these three pioneers, the art has advanced
country, keeping iDace' with the art in
rapidly in this
auxiliary to science,
that has been delighted with Bewick's
animals and birds, and suph later works as those of
Jones, P. H. Gosse, and Mr. Sowerby,
does not bless the
originator of an art
brings to bur humblest firesides these exquisite
tions of every
imaginary and actual subject?
quality varies much,
necessary to a good
of a delicate yellow color,
cuts smoothly and
be no crumbling out of little
nor tearing of the
wood but every
line cut will
The wood must be sawed
cut can be
across the grain, so that the
the end of the
there are dealers
to prepare and fursell it in
and they usually
as thick as the height of printers' type, that the engraving
be printed at the same time with the reading-matter.
side is planed quite
for the engraving.
the box-tree seldom attains great
happens that the diameter
not great enough to furnish
a block of sufiicient dimensions for the cut required.
such cases, several blocks are joined together by the dealers, so
that the joint
Such joinings, how-
ever, are apt to spread apart during the process of printing, if
impressions are taken from the cut; so that,
and other reasons,
usual to duplicate the en-
graving by the stereotype or the electrotype process, and
print from such duplicate.
For coarse engravings, other kinds of wood are employed.
Maple, apple, pear, mahogany, and sometimes
even pine, are brought into requisition for posters, handbills,
coarse labels, &c.
All -wood for engi-aving must be
the most favorable circumstances,
may in some
remedied by exposing the swollen or convex side to the
and protecting the shrunken or concave.
subject to be engraved
There are now three methods
Second, Drawing on
pencil and India ink
— — somein-
Third, Photography has been lately employed,
by furnishing a
be traced from
stead of a sketch
and sometimes the block
with chemicals, so that the picture
negative, or directly
photographed on the wood in the
photograph on wood
cut in the same
ner as a drawing on wood.
this process requires
put a picture on
the assistance of a photographer.
prepare a block for a transfer or a drawing,
lightly with a piece of pumice-stone, being
sure that the plane side is level
enough to keep the surface
rubbed out, rinse off the block, and it
Care must be taken not to allow the block to
If the block
to have a drawing
ner of doing this
to take a white enamelled card, and rub
the surface of the block, the dampness of which will cause the enamel to come off the card, and adhere to the block.
then distributed evenly over the surface by light and
dexterous touches with the fingers.
edge to dry
The block should be well to make it an
invariable rule to place the block in this position, as variafions
«f the atmosphere
suffice to shrink, swell,
and *bis position exposes the greater part of
of making transfers
prepared as described above with the pumice-stone and
engravers whiten a block for a transfer the
as for a drawing.
without; for the white
agt to loosen from the block,
and obscure the
lines of the
made by adding
the highest proof alcohol
a saturated solution
this in a glass bottle
with a glass stopple.
be made from wood-cuts,
the engraving to be transferred on a glass or earthen plate
quantity of the fluid over the engraving,
the ink is softened, which will be not
more than a minute
If the print
very pale or old, more
time will be required.
softened, carefully rinse
off the fluid
(not wet), on the print, and pass
than for printing.
generally pursued separately from
Drawing on wood
engraving on wood.
to be able to put a
It is an
advantage for the engraver
drawing on wood; for there are
the absence or engagements of the draughtsit
man may make
Drawing should be pursued
as part of the regular instruction in engraving
though the tools and manipulation
cut a drawing
having a knowledge of drawing.
Indeed, drawing should
be considered an indispensable part of the education of
put a drawing on wood, a sketch is
Cover the sketch with tracing paper,
thin and transparent, and fasten
a soft lead-pencil, kept with a sharp
clean, trace carefully all the
point that the line
Place the tracing face
the whitened block,
may be used
purpose, or yellow beeswax.
a metal or ivory point,
not so sharp that
will cut the paper, or a very
pencil, retrace the outlines.
on the block, with a very hard
of lead pencil go over
Draughtsmen generally keep
the paper, and rubbed over
hand a piece of tracing
paper prepared with red chalk.
The chalk is scraped on One side only is thus preplaced with the red side
This prepared paper
toward the block, between
lines are retraced as described above,
found, on the block, red instead of black.
for the traced lines are not always true lines,
necessary for the draughtsman to place the correct
side of the traced one.
If the tracing
in jjencil, it is
frequently difficult for the engraver to deterfalse line.
mine the true from the
no such doubt occurs.
with or without the red paper, go over all the outlines with
wash over the required
Repeat the washes
the desired effects are pro-
duced. Pencil such portions as are needed, and put in whatever
nines of suggestion to the engraver that are desirable.
apparatus necessary for engraving on
of a set of engraving tools, a sand-bag cushion and
and stand for holding the
an oilstone and small leather hone, and an ink slab and
with one plane
A piece of pumice-stone
wax, a bottle of sweet
a soft tooth-brush, an ivoryis
box of ink prepared
India proof-paper, are (secondarily essential.
Of the engraving
tools, there are four sorts.
used chiefly in cutting
hence their name.
these from seven to twelve are required, graduated from a
very fine tool
fine that the cut it
be visible when printed
— to one which will cut out a
about one-twentieth of an inch wide.
A A A A
the graduation from one to eleven. of a tool.
A " shows the side
be straight upon the bot-
tom, and the edges formed by the bottom and sides should
be slightly rounded
the tool will cut more smoothly than
angular at the edges.
sides should slant to
the top or back, which
may be round
at the top or
back than at the bottom,
and hang in the wood ; and the lines cut
break down in printing.
will appear like this.
thicker at the back,
the lines cut will have more base, consequently
class of tools are the gouges, or digging-out
two or three only
would be well that the smallest gouge should be next
larger than the largest tint-tool,
and that the largest gouge
should be large enough to dig out the largest spaces required.
Gouges of the
12 and 13 are usually
much work, requiring
spaces to be be taken out,
be well to add another
gouge, considerably larger than No. 13.
better for being
rounded upon the bottom.
class of tools are the gravers, or lozenge-tools.
They differ from the
much thicker at the
ABC A A A
back than on the bottom, and Sorter on the sides than
being nearly square or lozenge in shape.
form enables the engriaver to vary the width of the lines
from a very
one quite coarse.
from two to four
fourth class are the chisels, used
around the edges of pictures, and lower the
to twenty tools will form a set sufficient
for all ordinary purposes of engraving.
pride themselves upon doing the greatest variety of work
with the smallest number of tools; and others delight
themselves with the number and variety of their
4, 5, 6,
series of tint-tools are
mark the handles of all numbered 1, 2, 3,
the gouges are also numbered
gouge being the next number higher than the largest
gravers, or lozenge-tools, are marked A, B, C,
may be marked
the tools are usually of wood
,by the cut is the
the shape indicated
-should be inserted into the handle, so that
Straight, the point
being inclined slightly downward.
iThe face of a tool should beliept rather long than short
however, for then the point will break off in
But, if too obtuse, the tool will rather plough
and the shaving
will aliso turn
oyer at the point of the
the engraver fi-om seeing the lines being cut.
sents a tool too obtuse;
shows the proper angle of
of this angle, the tool will cut cleanly and
smoothly, and the shaving will not obstruct the sight of
grindstone will aid in grinding to
a proper angle the face of the tool
For keeping them
while engraving, a good oil-stone
It should be fine
enough to make the tool and should
enough, so that too
much time need not be consumed
the best for use.
few drops upon the stone.
Place the face of the tool
steadily while rubbing
then have one smooth face, which
not held steadily, there will be
are very objectionable.
final polish will
be given by
the use of a leather hone or strap.
A golden rule for the
engraver to observe
always to keep the tools well
If the tools are found too brittle,
and keenly sharp.
may be remedied by heating
a poker, or other
piece of iron, red hot,
changes to a straw color,
moved, and either dipped in sweet
or permitted to cool
heated beyond the straw color, passing
into the purple tinge,
have been heated too much,
will bend, instead of breaking.
necessary to have a cushion, or round bag of leather
with sand, on which to place the block during the
process of engraving.
filled so full
block will not sink into
The cushion may be placed
upon a block of wood, or
gravers generally use a stand
for the purpose,
turned truncated cone of wood, with the top dished out
This stands firmly, and holds the cushion well.
This should be placed upon a firm table or desk, of such
height, that, whether the engraver sits or stands, the
will be perfectly erect.
glass should be of- moderate power*
that can be done without a glass; but
to do too
work without, taxes the eyes too
quarter, or an inch
detrimental to the quality of the engraving.
glass an inch
and a half in diam-
the most suitable
The frame may be of wood,
arm for holding the
upright stand, with a horizontal
glass, is essential.
should be movable on the up-
right, so that the glass
be adjusted at whatever
tance from the engraving the focus of the glass
engravers use the right eye, others the
both eyes; and others use right and
will soon find
ink-slab, a piece of lithographic stone, or a thick
plate of glass,
the best for use.
To make the
dabber, take about a double handful of
not elastic enough), and
a circular piece of strong, fine
or chamois skin;
into a flat ball,
tie it so tightly
that the silk or skin
will not wrinkle
on the face of the ball while beating the
the surplus silk or skin, so that
handle for the dabber.
better to tie
up the wool
in a stout
piece of cotton, that there are
and then cover
no wrinkles, but do not make the face of
the ball too hard
should be slightly
soft tooth-brush is
used to brush away the small
chips cut out by the gravers.
so as not to
injure the lines of the engraving.
A north light is the best by which
much nor too
whatever lightthe engraver works, there must not be too
which the enfall
should be so shaded that the light will
the block, and not on the eyes of the engraver,
upper part of the window so that not too much light wUl
enter ; and the lower part so as to protect the eyes from
the light below, but not so high as to throw a shade upon
carefully attending to the light, the en-
graver will be able to work with present pleasure, and
also preserve the eyesight for future use.
careful of their
specially enjoins all
young engravers to be
well to wear a shade over the
a successful jjursuit of
and a love of the
not use the magnifying glass during the
lessons; but, as
required to gain
the use of the tools,
just as well to
without the glass, and concentr.ate
handling of the tool and block.
Place a block on the
cushion, and, with the left hand, bold it firmly to prevent
but bo that
turned as required while engraving.
Hold the handle of
the tool with the second, third, and fouith fingers, and the
palm of the right hand grasping
but not rigidly,
using the forefinger to guide the tool.
end of the thumb
placed against the side
of the block, as
in the preceding illustration.
large cuts, the
surface of the
At no time
should the tool be pinched between the
thumb and forefinger the thumb
never holds, the
the rest against which
the tool moves; and the forefinger always guides, and
For the first lessons in engraving, a
are the best.
series of cuts of tints
choose a small piece of
an inch or so square will answer.
tool of medium size for the
and adjusting the block
commence near thQ upper edge, and just on the right side
guide the tool with the forefinger, and cut slowly, and not
too deeply,, a
line, as straight as possible, across
a pencil, parallel lines, to
WOOD EN&RA VING.
first line, it
serve as guide-lines for cutting; and, for tte
would be well to cut in
pencil line or immediate^
the same pressure of the tool into the
the entire length of the
determined the width of the lines of the
mencing the second
place the tool at the required
distance below the line cut, and, cutting into the
the same depth as before, guide the tool slowly across the
block, endeavoring to leave the line as
lines that are
entire length as at the beginning.
the lines that receive ink in printing, and the lines
cut out appear white. The quality of plain tint depends upon the evenness of the lines, which make it both black and white ; and the color, or tone, depends upon the width
of these lines.
If possible to cut the second line without:
swerving upwards, making the
thicker, than at its
and preserving the same pressure of the
cess is attained.
hardly probable that the be;
ginner will be thus fortunate
by proceeding slowly
carefully, a fair line will
every line carefully ; observing closely with the eye the
Avidth of the lines
the depth of
the lines cut.
cut a line
not think about the time required to
each line for the time being be the most
important thing in the world, and proceed as carefully as
though hundreds of dollars were depending upon
ty and precision.
unluckily, the lines get to running
or down, do not continue in the
and take the
farther along in the
and, observing its distance from the nearest pencil guideline,
better to have stops in the
It will take quite considerable
it will be.
time to get the use of the tools so that
to cut an even tint; but patience and perseverance will
be rewarded with success.
Having cut the
block, place a small quantity of ink
it till it
lightly beat the block, allowing the
remain a few seconds on the block at each beat.
rub the dabber over the surface, for that will smear the
ink into the
By" carefully inking a
cut, the exact
quality of the engraving
this first lesson,
the character of th& hnes
lines, probably, will be found thicker
one portion than
in another ;
seem to have lumps upon them
have been cut too
It will not
of tint perfect, but with care
may be much improved.
lines that are too thin
they cannot be mended.
From the thick and
lumpy lines, with a
tool several degrees finer than the one
with which the tint was cut, take off a slight shaving,
on the upper and
the lower side, being careful not
to take off too much,
and so make the
stops occur, turn the block downwards, and, with
the same tool with which the tint was cut, re-enter the
and cut the space of wood
line as it stopped.
almost through to the
fine tool, cut
end of the
Then, with a
the remainder of the
side of the
end of the
wood through on each careful not to make the
ends of the lines too
"When well done, the
the tint will scarcely be disturbed by the meeting of the
series of lines
always better to stop, and belines.
gin again, than to cut crooked
there will oflen be occasions
will be ne-
cessary to unite tints, cut with different-sized tools, in this
After trimming the lines of the tint as
as is necessary, ink the block again in the
described, cut a piece of India proof paper,
ivoiy paper-knife, rub
gently over the paper, pressing only sufficiently to
the ink adhere to the paper.
lines are cut.
Light and must be rubbed more gently than heavy
this in all cases if possible.
lines; and, in printing, the press
should be so adjusted
that there will be less pressure upon
them than upon the
author to preserve
advised by the
proofs of -work from the beginning, as they
ress of the individual,
and they are always useful
For a second
lesson, take a block
and cut some
and be in earnest to make straight
and do not give
and an even
The use of
different-sized tools will give vari-
ety in the tint-studies.
Also, with the same tool, cut lines
with surface, and those that arc sharp.
This and the
lowing examples have been both cut with the same
difference in color is
produced by the difference in the
width of the
The next example
cut with a finer tool, and has more
surface, or face
technically called, than in the
attained in producing plain tints, protints,
ceed with graduated
which are made by varying the
width of the
and their distance from each
obtained in straight-line
the study of
This land of line will
be found very useful
Afterwards cut some
with more undulation of
line, as in
lines quite curved, as in the following instance.
should be observed, however, that
cut masses of tint with this line
not desirable to
curved, the tint,
will appear as if intersected
from top to bottom,
wicker-work, with perpendicular stakes."
" This effect or
be observable, both in
examples of wood engraving, and observe
closely the tints,
them; and con-
tinue the studies of tint-cutting
the pupil can cut tints
that future success depends upon
lessons are cut.
able to cut tints well, take a small picture
principally of tints.
In a drawing on wood, the
express the given effects are cut according to the judg-
ment of the engraver.
transferred to the
transfer, all the lines are
just as they are to be cut.
transfers, at this stage
of the pupil's progress, are most
serviceable for practice.
Before commencing to engrave either a drawing or a
block must be covered with paper (envelope
best), to protect the picture
from being rubbed
and blurred by the hands while being engraved,
of yellow bees-wax will be found most useful in fastening the paper to the block.
a small opening in the
paper, where the engraving
be large enough so that the edges do not shades the
as fast as
the process of engraving.
like this turret is simple,
useful for practint
remove the wood around the edges of the
with a gouge.
a chisel, cut a thin shaving from the
surface of the ends of the lines, so that the ends of the
be lower than in the other portions.
finest tint-tool, cut
an outline between the sky-tint and
It refers firstly to the
form or boundary
objects in a picture; and, secondly,
In this example,
them from surrounding ohjects and tints.
white outline is used on each side of the turret, separatit
from the sky-tint ; on
on the bricks are stopped by the boundary lines;
the sky and balustrade, and on the upper and under sides
of the arcs.
generally so fine that
in the impressions
necessary to give the requisite relief to the objects,
would appear to
stick to each other.
sky-tint is first cut after the outlining, because
generally better to cut
backgrounds before objects in
on the shaded side are cut
in short lines, stopin the
ped by the
which indicate the seams
the light side, some of the bricks are
and others are white.
the tinted bricks,
cut carefully close to the black line,
cut the white blocks
with a fine tool
cut an outline on each side of the black lines
wider, and remove,
within with a small gouge.
careful that the
tool does not rest
in printing they will
seem to be broken
cut with the finest tint-
arcs in the balustrade are outlined, as before
with tools of diiFerent
completed, ink the block, and compare the cut with
the impression from which the transfer was made.
terously trim any lines which have been left too thick,
but be careful not to trim too much. can always get the subject
The wood engrayer
but cannot reproduce
the black which has been cut away; so care must be ob-
served not to get the subject too light before a proof
Pictures in outline are those in which the forms of the
objects are given without shading.
falcon is in outline.
This example of a
be well to take lessons in
cuts of this character, in connection with those that
bine tints with form.
necessary, in cutting
outline pictures, not to bruise the lines with the tool.
This example, a stonehenge, will bring into use the previous lessons,
and introduce some
with cutting around, and lowering the edges of the
on the outside ; cut out the space of white in the
and lower the edges, and outline the stones.
best to cut the tints against which
It is always
If in this instance the stones were cut
be almost impossible to cut the tint entirely to the black
without breaking through.
in this cut
of several tints, which are
and others much waved.
hence in clouds the
undulations suggest motion:
are usually waved.
"Clear blue sky
straight-line tint, either
uniform or graduated."
The engraver should remember that with lines must be produced given effects. The lines used must be those
will best suggest the forms
and textures of the ob-
relation they bear to each other.
"The choice of these
judgment; so no
in their selection.
can be laid
Lines are not to be introduced merely
as such, to display the mechanical
of the engraver
they ought to be the signs of an
meaning, and be
judged of accordingly as they serve to express
this example, the different tints in the
different degrees of density of the clouds
and they are
separated from each other
touches, which also
indicate the light edge of the clouds.
stones are represented
of lines are short, have stops in them, and are crossed by
The lines are none
of them perfectly straight,
and some are quite waved.
This combination of
suggests the roughness of stone.
ly in tint,
and partly with indications of grass.
observed, that objects in the foreground exhibit
fully the characteristics
of quality, those in the midin the
dle distance less,
this example, at the foreground, the
grass are strongly" indicated
but, as the
fi-om the front, the mai-kings are lost in the tint.
suggests the reality of nature
for the student, standing on
a lawn or meadow, will observe distinctly the blades of
grass immediately at the feet, while those at a distance
into an indistinct
mass of even
So with the stones in this example
est the foreground, the
in those that are near-
markings are bold and decisive;
those in the background are in plainer tints.
cut with a lozenge-tool.
observe that the line taken out varies in width.
from its shape,
adapted to cutting such
ferent degrees of pressure into the wood, the engraver
enabled to produce differences in the width of the hnes,
also to cut
them with a freedom and
impossible with a tint-tool.
This cut of " Finis "
entirely cut with a graver.
The work being
a suitable example for a beginner.
Cut a broad
around the masses of leaves, and remove the wood
as has previously
are cut with
a small gi-aver.
pupil will observe the variation in the
width of the
lines cut out, also
the leaves and grass
The narrow rim of tint on the stone may be cut with either a tint-tool orgraver. The letters must be
and the wood between them taken
a graver or tint-tool, whichever
spaces are removed with a gouge.
like the following will enable the pupil to
bring into use the previous lessons.
sky, the buildings, the water,
and the shade on the shore,
are all cut with tint-tools of various sizes.
cut with gravers.
In the second
cut, the sky,
and most of the
mountains and rocks, are cut with
and some of the marking on the rocks, are done with gravers.
pupil will observe also the meanings of the lines
which are employed to produce given
are cut with delicate lines,
and contrasted with the
ings in the one example, and with the rocks in the other,
seem to be
at a great distance.
the buildings, in the portions that seem to be
nearest, the lines
have more strength than
in those farther
on the nearest mountains and rocks have
in the background.
and character than on those
engraving holds the same relation to a drawing
that a translation does to a
in the original.
makes a drawing on wood, giving us a
picture in the
The engraver takes
with lines the
into an engraving.
According to the
ability of the engraver, will this trans-
prove a truthful one, or a mere mechanical perform-
In this example, the lines are almost entirely cut with
cut around the animal.
foliage is cut with a
The shade on
the small tree, and also on the ground, can be cut either
with the 'graver or the
this stage of the pu-
would be well
to cut it
on the animal are best cut with the graver.
example, the lines are so chosen and disposed that they
animal, and also indicate
show the form of the
and textures are more
fully exhibited in this cut.
the outside, and the edges of the sky and the foliage
lowered, in the
age of the
and the reedy
grass, are each indicated
lines of diiferent character.
of the wart-hog, in the background,
ferent lines from those of the sky or foliage or the water;
from those which indicate the rough and
wrinkled skin of the rhinoceros, or from those which suggest the thick, leathery hide of the hippopotamus.
partly cut with tint-tools, but mainly with
respect to the direction of lines,
times to be borne in
mind by the engraver,
should be disposed so as to denote the pecuUar form of the
objects they are intended to represent.
an arm or
they ought not to run horizontally or verflat surface,
— conveying the idea of either a hard cylindrical form, — but with a gentle
when compared with one
suitable to the shape
and degree of rotundity required.
well-chosen line makes a great difference in progerly representing an object,
In these five examples. A,
B, C, D, E, the outline
the same, and the width of the
lines as nearly alike as possible
the differences in the
rection of the lines produce the differences in effect ob-
such curved lines are introduced to repre-
sent the rotundity of a limb, with a break of white in the
middle, expressive of
greatest prominence, as
in figure C, the lines should
be cut as
intended to be
seen in figure
this m.eans, all risk
of their disagreeing, as in figure E, will be avoided.
before the lines are cut.
should, however, be lowered out
" This disposition of lines will not only express the
required, but also produce
color, as the lines
each other in approximating curves, as
examples above, and thus represent a variety of
and shade, without the necessity of introducing
In cutting curved
other lines crossing them.
experienced by not commencing
in executing a series of such lines as are
in this example, the engraver
works towards B, the tool
be apt to cut through
the black line already formed
whereas, by commencing at
B, and working towards A, the graver
of the curve, and consequently never touches the lines
the reverse of the im-
necessary to observe that the motion of the
from right to
on the blocks ; that
B forms the
beginning, and not the termination, of
lines in this masiner, it is necessary to place the block up-
It is always
and better to cut
curves with the arcs downward, since the tool can be
leaving good clear lines.
it is up-hill
work, and the lines are ragged.
" This care ought always to be' observed
a series of curved
by holding the block
executed with greater freedom and ease ; while
the inconvenience arising from slips
rotundity of a column or
of parallel lines,
-comparatively open in the middle,
required, but which
sides, to express shade.
such lines will be ren-
dered more evident by comparing
the column with the base, which
represented by a series of equidistant lines."
chinery and mechanical apparatus, the tints are produced
by the use of
ability to cut straight-
enable any one to excel in mechanical
" Clear, unruffled water,
bright and smooth me-
substances, are best represented
if cross lines
be introduced, except to indicate a strong
them the appearance of roughness,
with the ideas which
such substances naturally excite.
"Objects which appear to reflect
ought to be carefully dealt with, leaving plenty of black
wood engravings such
only be efiectively represented by contrast with deep color.
" Reflected lights are, in general, best represented
gle lines running in the direction of the object, with a few
touches of white judiciously taken out."
tions of foliage can best
be cut with a graver.
grounds, masses of foliage are represented
of which are somewhat curved, and cut in
used to advantage.
middle distance, more expression of character
In the foreground, the indications of character are made
angular or rounded, denoting somewhat the form of the
The graver is best adapted to
delicately so in the shadow.
cutting these forms.
The markings of
character are strongly defined in the
The masses are
disposed, that the
eflect will give
pression of the kind of foliage delineated.
In the next example,
a bit of woodland por-
examination, the pupil will detect the means
real forest, suggest its
employed to convey the idea of a
and the whispers of
myriads of ever-moving
— of Nature's countless
tongues, revealing her
It is the
to represent Nature so as to bring to the mind' of the
those emotions which the redlity would
In this example of portraiture^ there of tinting and cross-hatching.
manner of producing
series of lines crossing
In plates, this can be easily done, for the
engraved across each other ; but
wood engravremove the
being a reverse process,
it is necessai-y
white spaces between the
This can generally
in an angle of the
be cut best with a graver.
hold and turn the graver so that the
wood may be
cleanly cut out, leaving the lines
Sometimes a dot or short
square or diamond.
cessary to state that the
away around them.
course, it requires great care to cut
and the engraver should begrudge no pains to
quire facility in
study, the engraver should have
of the maxim, "that what
was much emgenerally cut
ployed in representing
with white lines crossing.
pecially adapted to drapery.
It is also
in combination with tints and a kind of
Flowers are usually engraved with delicate
of the plain lining
quently done with a ruling machine, which will produce
masses of tints in an expeditious and satisfactory manner.
set so as to
produce the required
the portions of the picture ruled, and then the cuts completed by hand.
to be 4one in a given time,
customary to prepare the boxwood tn sections, so that
taken apart after the drawing
and each section given to an engraver.
made npon it, For instance, a
cut that has twenty-four days' labor upon
done in one day,
subdivided into twenty-four parts,
and each part given to an engraver.
tions are then re-united,
and usually an electrotype or
stereotype made, from which the printing
employed by most
illustrated j^arpers that por-
tray the incidents and events belonging to the
not be amiss to say a few words in relation to
the stereotype and electrotype processes, by which means
a single wood-engraving
duplicated an indefinite
and each duplicate
thousands of impressions to be taken. For the stereotype,
made in plaster from the
poured into this mould, and, when
a fac-simile of the engraving.
made with a preparation
wax and plumbago this mould is placed in a solution The wires from an electro-magnetic battery are
adjusted in contact with the mould
and the action of
the magnetic currents causes the copper to deposit upon
the mould, making a copper duj)licate of the engraving.
thickness of the sheet of copper depends
length of time that the
in the solution
subject to the action of the battery.
About twelve hours
quite thin, and'
wards backed with type-metal, and then mounted upon
the whole being the height
considered better than a stera sharper and more delicate
fine. engravings,, as
mould can be made
wax than -in
ving the duplicate more perfect.
durable than type-metal, and
be printed from an electrotype than from a stereotype.
The author has endeavored to make the directions for wood engraving as concise, simple, and practical as possible
with what success, the reader
best able to judge.
In conclusion, the author would
reiterate the statement,
that practice and perseverance, combined with a love of
art, will -enable
any one to achieve success.
different persons will be
According to the aptness of
with which they will be enabled to execute
longer or shorter time.
alone will not be sufficient for the attainment of excellence
there must be also diligent application.
may never be
attained in this
for to the
best engravers there are always higher mounts to ascend
always within, their
present the cry, " Higher,
Verily, unto each engraver,
upon precept." Every
when a picture has been completed, one invisible to human eyes, an engraving with living lines, has been wrought in a human soul,
traced upon the spirit; and, which, infilled with the Divine Spirit, causes the work of
go forth to other human
souls with unuttera-
power to impress them with
lessons of thought and
Cornell University Library
of instruction in the art of
3 1924 031 253 549
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