2 days with Angie Lewin

Well I have been waiting for this weekend since last year...and it was really worth waiting for a 2 day wood engraving workshop with Angie Lewin. Those of you that know me will know I have been an admirer of hers for a long time. I thought the highlight would be getting one of her pieces for my birthday last year, but no this was even better.

Angie and me by the piece I got for my birthday.

We arrived at the Hay loft studio at the Y.S.P. on a cold sunny morning. Eager to get started we made our way in to be greeted by Louise and Angie, herself. I was, to say the least, a little star struck to meet someone who's work I have loved for so long.
Angie started by explaining the basic principles of wood engraving so we would know the sort of thing we were aiming at before we started designing.

As usual I ended up working on my Dandelions and began to explore ideas for the block. It was harder than I thought as you had to work out which things would print and which wouldn't. Afte we had a few ideas we began working on a plastic sample piece to work out what the 'tint tool', 'scorper' and 'graver' did and how to hold the tools.

Sample piece done we then prep-ed our lemon wood blocks ready for after lunch. We painted then with a watered down ink and then transferred our drawings using tracing paper and chalk transfer paper.

Then came the nerve wracking moment where you need to start engraving your block, but once you got started you got into the swing of things. Angie was on hand to give advice and help where needed as well as to give hints and tips on what to do. After engraving a section I took my first and second proof print.

Second proof

It was like a magic show not knowing what was going to happen. After the reveal I then had to decide what was going next. Angie showed me the work of E. Leigh Pemberton to help me plan the black and white areas.

So after stage 3 and at the end of the day we were treated to a private tour of Angie's exhibition (and they kept the gallery open for us). It was lovely to hear Angie talk about her work and the process she goes through. Seeing the work again was fantastic especially as there was no one else there. Angie explained the different processes she goes through, her favourite work and was willing to answer the many question we all had.

On to day 2...

The morning was spent working my way through a number of proofs. Adding (or removing) a section at a time. 

After playing and faffing I final decided to stop before I went too far and made a mistake. I am really pleased with the outcome and after lunch we had time to play and try out other things.

The first thing I tried was to paint cartridge paper with water colour pencils and print on top. We also printed on a variety of Japanese papers that gave a really clear print.

I had 2 hours left so wanted to create a sample piece working on the plastic again. Trying out the different tools and mark making techniques. 

After printing this one I realised it was the same height as the wood block so I printed the three of them together. I am totally pleased with the outcome and all the work done over the 2 days. 

I have had the most fantastic weekend working with a talented artist and a lovely group of friends. I wish it was a week and we didn't want to go home at the end. But we are determined to continue experimenting with this process and continuing the work we have started.

Happy girl :)