X is for Xylography
Xylography? What? What's that? "X" by itself is unusual enough. That's why X is for xylography.
Of course, everybody wants to know what xylography is! Xylography is the production of an beautiful piece of artwork and is done by engraving on wood. Xylography is an old name for 'wood cuts'. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Something like linoleum printing, potato prints, or even plasticine printing. Perhaps we'll have to explore those possibilities at some point too!
|Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)|
The process is simple. Develop a raised-relief 'picture' using art and creativity of woodcarving. Spread some paint or pigment carefully on the wood block. Press the block firmly on suitable paper. Voila! A beautiful wood cut print. A Xylograph.
That is why X is for xylography. If you are an xylographer, you know how to carve beautiful pictures on wood blocks, and using paint and other media, make prints !
Even amateurs can participate in this beautiful, antique art form.
- Use woodcarving tools or a knife as simple as a penknife. You can even use a modern rotary tool like a Dremel(R) to make it easier to make an antique-style picture!
- Start with a soft wood like pine, butternut or cedar, it's easier to carve.
- Draw a simple picture on the block of wood.
- carve out a 'relief' of the picture.
- Spread some oil paint, acrylic paint or hobby paint on the block. You can use one colour for a monochrome print, or use several colours.
- Press the block firmly and carefully on a suitable piece of craft paper or canvas.
- The most interesting thing is, if you do make a very beautiful xylograph, you can print numerous "original copies" using the same block. If they turn out to be exceptional, make sure you number the prints and sign them!
Look around you. Check the attic and the old trunks Granny left you. See any old, old printed pictures that look a bit old-fashioned, strange, monochrome, maybe even primitive and unusual? How about looking around at yard sales?
Look twice. Some pieces may even be historical, valuable pieces of art--an Xylograph from the past!
What a great hobby! Isn't it cool? Xylography is a very old art form--one that may be returning.
No wonder old guys appreciate it!
Is that incoming I hear?