Divinations poems by J.J.McFarlane with three wood engravings by Simon Brett. Paulinus Press 2015. 250 copies. A late offering from Paulinus Press to present this first collection of poetry. Available from the artist at £15 + £5 UK postage.: cheques to 'Simon Brett' please at Paulinus Press. 12 Blowhorn Street, Marlborough, Wilts SN8 1BT, UK.
As well as illustrating books, I have written about wood engraving from the point of view of the practitioner and the enthusiast especially for contemporary work and also in 2013 about my own work as an artist and engraver. The first two books here, with complementary, similar titles, were part of that celebration. Two others may be essential to the student of wood engraving, because there is little else available covering the same ground - they have been hailed as doing what they set out to do, well.
An Engraver's Progress: Simon Brett: Fifty Years of Wood Engraving Published on the occasion of the artist's 2013 retrospective exhibition, this catalogue-style paperback illustrates a rich selection of the work, accompanied by essays from several hands and a complete catalogue to date of Simon Brett's wood engravings. 112 pages, 280x215mm. Available from the artist at £15, or £20 including UK postage. See Contacts page.
Endgrain Editions Four : Simon Brett, An Engraver's Progress Also containing the full catalogue and partly employing the same title, this is a sumptuous 'fine print ' publication from Barbarian Press in British Columbia containing over a hundred engravings printed from the blocks by Jan Elsted, one of the finest letterpress printers in the world. It also contains a Publisher's Foreword by Crispin Elsted and a specially-written Introduction by the artist on his experience of wood engraving and his relationship with the craft. 175 copies. Page size 380x265mm. Available from Barbarian Press barbarianpress.com
From Barbarian Press's website:
Simon arrived safely this morning, almost in person, gosh what a triumph, the images sparkle on the page, and the blacks are so beautiful, and the binding gorgeous. The lay out, the space, the feel ... just gorgeous.
Hugh Harrison, Subscriber
The Book has arrived. I was expecting something pretty special, but my expectations were blown out of the water by the thing itself.
The scale is magnificent, enabling the largest engravings to breathe, and the smaller ones to glow amid their surrounding snowy acres.
The sequencing of the engravings is immediately pleasing to the eye, with a gentle rhythm of sizes, densities and styles. Clearly there is a rigorous intellectual organisation at work too... There is no other engraver who has achieved such a distinctive voice in wood engraving working in such a wide range of fields, from modest vignettes to flamboyant spiritual allegorical statements. A voice which is essentially humane but also constantly striving to see behind the surface of the material world – oh, and funny too!
Joe Whitlock Blundell, Design and Production Director of The Folio Society
Wood Engraving - How To Do It
The first edition of this manual was published in 1994 in pocket-book format. The revised second edition, 2000, was completely redesigned in a larger and clearer format and has a considerable amount of new material, much of it about the printing of wood engravings. The book seeks to retain in print all the salient information from earlier how to do it books as well as providing clear guidelines of its own. It differs from most previous manuals in that it proceeds from first principles and understanding rather than from materials and tools - priorities are put first and practicalities fitted in around them. Third, revised edition published by the A&C Black ISBN 978-1-4081-2726-1 and available through all good booksellers
An Engraver's Globe
Wood engraving world-wide in the twenty-first century
This 750-page book is the follow-up to two earlier directories of currently working wood engravers, Engravers and Engravers Two. Where they listed artists belonging to or known to the Society of Wood Engravers, this new, international survey shows the work of 250 artists from 23 countries. Nothing like it has been attempted since Clare Leighton's 1930 survey. It is the 'bible' of the late twentieth century return of the medium and while it does not and could not claim to be comprehensive, partly because it was assembled out of responses received from artists contacted, it will be a considerable time before anything replaces it as an insight into the diversity of current practice in this versatile and lovely medium. Available, with many other books on engraving, from Primrose Hill Press primrosehillpress.com
The Engraver's Cut: Simon Brett
Thirty-one Wood Engravings Chosen by the Artist with an Autobiographical Note
Published by The Primrose Academy, the fine print 'sister' of Primrose Hill Press, and printed by Sebastian Carter, this was among the first of what became a distinguished and definitive series of monographs in which artists were invited to make their own selection of their own work. The thirty-one engravings are printed from the woodblocks with sparkling precision. Available from Primrose Hill Press primrosehillpress.com