The Art of Wood Engraving

Wood engraving is an art form that has been used for centuries, creating beautiful pieces of ornate wood. It is something that is still very much admired today, especially for its personalization and timeless or rustic feel. Engraving wood is more than just carving. There are more precise techniques needed to create the perfect piece. These techniques include the same ones that are used to create gorgeous gifts at Engraved Cutting Boards!

The Beginning of Wood Engraving

Although evidence suggests wood engraving has been used as far back as 770 AD in China, it really became popular in printmaking in the 15th and 16th centuries. At the end of the 19th century, wood engraving became less popular. This was due to the rise of photography. However, wood engravings are still treasured today, especially as gifts like our engraved cutting boards, adding something special to our everyday wood blocks.

Modern Technique

The modern engraving technique started in the later 18th century thanks to engraver Thomas Bewick. Bewick wanted something more efficient than a knife as he was carving from harder woods like boxwood. He used a tool called a burin (also known as a graver) that had a V-shaped cutting tip. This technique was adopted throughout the United Kingdom and even into the United States. Notable engraver Thomas Bolton developed a way of putting photographs onto the wood in 1860, making it even easier to engrave elaborate engravings. These two tools helped make modern wood engraving what it is.

Its Use Today

Today, wood engraving blocks are still normally end-grain wood and from boxwood, lemonwood, or cherry. The block of wood is put on a semicircle sandbag that makes it easy to move around and get every angle. This makes it easier on the hands and wrists as well being able to tilt the block rather than manipulate the wrists. Tools like the lozenge graver, similar to Bewick’s burin, are used and come in a variety of sizes to get every detail just perfect. Other tools include a flat scorper for clearing large areas, spitsticker for very fine lines, and the round scorper for curved areas. Another more recent engraving technique is using lasers. This allows for extreme precision and endless possibilities! Pictures, quotes, and other elegant designs can be put onto wood and make a fabulous gift.

The end product is a very smooth, clean-cut design on a sturdy piece of wood that will last for years. Engraved Cutting Boards are proud of all the amazing wood cutting boards created already. Hard work is put into every single piece, whether the engraving is a monogram, special quote, or something to mark a special occasion. See examples of laser engraved cutting boards here!

Category: Featured, General

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