Wood engravings are usually done on the end cuts of evenly grained
hardwood with wood engraving tools. The ink is "sitting" on top of the
raised design. In Homer's day the blocks might have been printed on a
relief press like that used for moveable foundry type. Since the prints
have better quality when the paper is printed in the damp state, the prints
have a slightly embossed intaglio "look" about them, hence the confusion
about the position of the ink. In copperplate engraving, the ink is down in
the grooves and is picked up as the paper passes through an etching press
under great pressure and cushioning from layers of felt blankets. Hopes
this helps in your inquiry. I love Homer's works. I saw a great exhibit
of his work at the Met in NYC in 1996.
Ann-on-y-mouse in Columbus
|Is there someone out there who knows for sure how Winslow Homer's wood
|engravings were done? or was
|everything but the design cut away with the ink sitting on top of the raised
|design? I'm really looking forward to getting to the bottom of this!