Wood Engravers Network: Triennial Exhibit Closing Reception

Friday Aug. 29, 2014 4-6pm

Join us from 4-6 pm at the museum for a closing reception of the Wood Engravers Network: Triennial Exhibit. Wood Engravers’ Network Triennial Exhibition is the second juried exhibition sponsored by the Wood Engravers’ Network. The traveling exhibit features 60 prints by 51 artists from Belgium, Canada, Finland, Ireland, the United States and the United Kingdom. Works by both members and non-‐members of the Wood Engravers’ Network are surprisingly bold for their modest size, revealing a rich diversity of styles and subjects that prove this historic medium is robust and thriving. When speaking or looking at engravings, it is important to consider the medium’s historic association to book illustration, graphic design and narrative. As a result of this history, it is natural to see those influences played out in the contemporary exploration of the medium. Wood engraving is a reductive technique broadly referred to as relief printmaking. Cutting away areas of the block produces areas that will not print. The engraving process involves the use of burins, also used in copper engraving -‐ different tools than the gouges and knives used in plank-‐grain processes such as woodcut and linocut. Wood engravings utilize the end grain of hard, dense wood to attain minute details. End grain is best illustrated by imagining a cut tree trunk, where the tree’s growth rings are visible. Wood’s gradually rising price and rigorous processing requirements have led artists to seek out alternative materials to engrave. Artists are still using wood, but many are also using materials such as Corian and Mystera (counter top materials,) Resingrave (a resin composite material,) and some plastics: HIPS (high impact polystyrene), plexiglass and Sintra. Finally, to achieve a print, the flat raised relief areas are inked and pressure is applied to transfer ink to paper, creating a mirror image impression of the block. For collectors and art enthusiasts, printmaking processes create multiple originals in limited editions, offering an affordable entry into collecting art or simply owning an original art work.

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