burton art gallery and museum
gallery highlights




Kingsley Road, Bideford, Devon EX39 2QQ

Telephone: 01237 471455
Email: info@theburton.org

Admission is Free
Open Daily 10am - 4pm
Sundays 11am - 4pm

Christopher Cunliffe: Appletree Press - Wood Engravings

The engravings are all original designs, engraved by Christopher on end grain boxwood in the method perfected by Thomas Bewick in the 1780’s.

Wood engraving gains its special character of fine and decorative detail from being cut on the end (cross) grain of the wood, instead of using the long grain as in the woodcut technique. To ensure really fine detail a wood which is dense and slow growing is essential, and boxwood, where the tree my be 200 years old and only 25cm in diameter, is by far the best. Lemon wood, holy, pear and laburnum can also be used.

Various specially shaped pointed tools are necessary; with splendid names like scorper, spitsticker, bullsticker, graver and multiple, while a further necessity is a leather sandbag on which the wooden block is supported while the work proceeds, so that it can be turned and moved smoothly and easily.

lottery funded