Today's postings

  1. [Baren 40207] Re: Cross Hatching ("Mark Mason")
  2. [Baren 40208] Re: Cross Hatching (Daniel Dew)
  3. [Baren 40209] Re: Cross Hatching (Diana Moll)
  4. [Baren 40210] Re: Cross Hatching (Charles Morgan)
  5. [Baren 40211] Re: Cross Hatching ("Maria Arango Diener")
  6. [Baren 40212] Re: Cross Hatching (Daniel Dew)
  7. [Baren 40213] cards (Claudia Coonen)
  8. [Baren 40214] Re: Cross Hatching (eli griggs)
  9. [Baren 40215] Cross Hatching ("Dan Dew")
  10. [Baren 40216] Re: Cross Hatching (Charles Morgan)
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Message 1
From: "Mark Mason"
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 13:56:28 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40207] Re: Cross Hatching
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Before modern printing methods were introduced in the mid to late 1800's,
all the illustrations in books magazines and periodicals were produced using
the technique of 'Black Line Engraving', basically relief carving into
endgrain blocks to reproduce the linework of the top illustrators of the
day. The illustrators drew in ink onto thin paper which was pasted onto the
blocks by an army of mainly homeworking engravers. Deadlines meant that the
illustrations were collected from the illustrator in the late afternoon and
engraved overnight and proofed the next day for the illustrator to make any

All of Tenniel's 'illustrations' for the Alice in Wonderland books were done
this way. If you look very closely at a good reproduction of these
illustrations you can see some of the tool marks made by the engraver on
some intersecting lines, it's fascinating. The British Museum has an online
shop where you can purchase enlarged archive prints of a couple of these
images. Most people think that they are looking at Tenniel's drawings in the
Alice books, but they are actually all black line engravings overseen by a
top company of London engravers who shipped the work out to highly talented
home based block cutters.

Regarding the cross-hatching, which was so easy for the illustrator to
produce with his dip-pen, the engraver had to cut out hundreds of tiny
lozenges (the white shape between the lines). There was no easy way.

When photo mechanical print processes were developed the illustrator's
drawings where reproduced directly onto metal plates, instantly making
thousands of poor home working engravers unemployed.

White line engraving is now the predominant technique in western engraving,
while Japanese woodblock printing could still be considered to be more of a
black line technique.
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Message 2
From: Daniel Dew
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 14:03:00 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40208] Re: Cross Hatching
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Thank you for the ideas. It must be one block though, so that makes
it difficult.
I had thought of having a tool maker "create" for me an awl that is
four sided, but still very sharp edges tapering down to a point.
Sounds like the only other option.
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Message 3
From: Diana Moll
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 14:51:41 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40209] Re: Cross Hatching
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Mark, thanks for this overview; brilliant.
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Message 4
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 15:51:41 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40210] Re: Cross Hatching
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Make your own with a grinding wheel and a nail, screwdriver, or allen wrench if you want good steel.

Cheers ....... Charles
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Message 5
From: "Maria Arango Diener"
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 15:52:13 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40211] Re: Cross Hatching
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Two tools I can think of will do the trick:

Option 1- a square-flat blade shaped scorper, traditional engraving tool
or large square burin
You may have to "sacrifice" one and use it more as a punch (carefully) than
as a traditional graver, that is, attack your block with the tool held
perpendicular to the surface and just give a gently shove to make a
square(ish) tiny imprint.

Option 2- a nail set, they come in sets of three sizes currently at Home
Depot for $1.98 by the checkout or online here:
In fact, now that I think about it, if you can get a square nail you'd be in

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Message 6
From: Daniel Dew
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 15:53:21 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40212] Re: Cross Hatching
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Nice, I do have a grinding wheel.
Will stop at Home Depot and get myself a BIG steel nail!
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Message 7
From: Claudia Coonen
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 16:31:21 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40213] cards
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Yes Julio,
I too am on the brink of sending out late oxen and even later rats. I
am a couple ox short, and a few stamps short and like to send at same
time to keep it straight all that go out. The rats have traveled a bit
w/ me,(made me ponder how they got everywhere in the first place). My
Mom got lung cancer during the rat year and I took care of her until
she passed. I couldn't work, it was a dark and cluttered setting. Then
I had an estate of someone who never threw anything out, to do by
myself.... So finally an oxen couple was carved and now for those in
both, it will come together. Or individually as the case may be.
what is it: the road to hell is paved with good intentions?
I have lots of good intentions, and love the cards dribbling in all year(s)
Thanks for the patience,
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Message 8
From: eli griggs
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 20:45:03 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40214] Re: Cross Hatching
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Look for a birdcage awl from a shop that caters to traditional woodworkers.


If you preview the book, "The Complete Guide to Sharpening" by Leonard Lee, on Google, there is an online illustration in the available for preview section on awls that shows how to reshape an awl, screwdriver, or whatever, into a square birdcage awl.

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Message 9
From: "Dan Dew"
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 2009 01:12:01 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40215] Cross Hatching
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Went to Home Depot on my way home today.
Guess what?
There are such things as masonry nails, in multiple sizes! And they are rectangular.
Swiped one from every size box (actually, got permission first to take one of each).
Stay tuned, I'll let you know if it works.

Dan Dew
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Message 10
From: Charles Morgan
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 2009 03:14:31 GMT
Subject: [Baren 40216] Re: Cross Hatching
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I am interested, so please do keep us posted. With lino, I am afraid the material will compress under the punch and then slowly expand as you print, ruining the effect. With wood, you can smack the nail hard enough that the indentation will be relatively permanent during the printing.

Best of luck with it.

Cheers ....... Charles