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MEET: Andy English


Wood Engraver & Print-maker by Karen Jinks of Chalk Hill Studio


Andy English is a talented traditional wood engraver and print-maker; UK Handmade caught up with him to find out what drew him to this traditional craft and how he is keeping these skills alive and kicking.


Please tell us about yourself and what you do? I live in a small village in the Cambridgeshire Fens and am a full time printmaker and, specifically, a wood engraver. I often describe myself as being an engraver for hire, making illustrations, bookplates (ex libris), commercial images (such as for use on wine bottle labels) as well as my own personal work.


What kind of formal education, training or experience do you have that applies to what do?


32 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


Like so many wood engravers of my generation, I am self taught. Everything I do, however, is based on a lifelong habit of drawing. I think of wood engraving as drawing but with a graver instead of a pencil and so “drawing” with light instead of making marks on paper.


What inspired you to become a wood engraver and what do you love most about it? I have always drawn and painted and I tried different kinds of printmaking but I always put off trying wood engraving because I perceived is as being difficult. However, when I first picked up a graver in 1991 and made a tentative cut across a block, it seemed quite natural to me; much more like remembering rather than learning a process. So much suits me about wood engraving: the


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