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I discover the technique of relief engraving

I discover the technique of relief engraving


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Certainly, originally, the engraving activity was identified as a fine art activity rather than a creative hobby. But if you take a closer look, you will see that these techniques evolve, transform and adapt to various uses. In this case, today, relief engraving (wood engraving and linocut) inspire fans of card making, art stationery and even scrapbooking ... simply because we can use this same technique to create patterns and illustrations in stamps! And creating your own stamps is cool for creative hobbies, isn't it?

What is the principle of engraving on wood and linoleum (and blocks of rubber stamps!)

The principle is simple, the practice a little more delicate. The goal is to hollow out the support (wood or lino) using gouges and to reserve relief lines from the initial drawing. Color is then applied to the engraved support, which is itself placed on the paper. The support is pressed very hard against the paper using a press and it is the lines that have remained in relief and coated with colors that stand out on the sheet. Derived for creative hobbies, and widely used in Japan (it was already an ancestral practice to make the stamp of the seal or the heraldic emblem of the family), the relief engraving applies to blocks of eraser very flexible and easily engraved to create stamps with your own designs. Obviously, you no longer need a press to apply on paper and you can use a variety of colors (inks, paints, etc.) to apply your patterns on many different supports (paper, news: 739845 fabric, porcelain, etc.).

What equipment to start?

Depending on the support you want to engrave, you will need wooden plates, linoleum or rubber blocks, then cutting tools to hollow out your support, such as gouges with various tips, cutters, scalpels ... In linocut, we will use ink rollers which will allow the color to be applied correctly as well as a press. You will have to choose colors suitable for the support you will engrave as well as the support on which the motif will be printed.

Some tips to get started

Wood is the hardest support to engrave, you will get similar results with the linoleum and the much softer material will make your work easier!… As for the rubber blocks, your cutting tools will sink almost like butter … But anyway, watch your fingers! Relief engraving is an art of patience, you will not engrave your medium, whatever it is, in 2 minutes ... And gestures that are too hasty could very quickly flay and permanently damage your work ... So remember before you launch: patience, application and concentration!