WOOD ENGRAVING & THE MAN
Evergreen Press, 2014
Designed and printed by John Grice at Evergreen Press.
Published in an edition of 110 standard copies, and 40 specials.
This is by far the most impressive and substantial edition to date from John Grice’s Evergreen Press, and what an absolutely stunning publication it is! What started as getting hold of a sizable collection of old engraved woodblocks a couple of years back snowballed into this most extensive study of one of Britain’s great unsung artists – particularly as a wood engraver – Norman Janes. After a great many months of extensive research, the author (the printers’ journalist sister, Elizabeth) has been able to write in depth about the life of Norman Janes, and the broad range of his artistic output. This is clearly the product of a long – and no doubt at times laborious – task for both Elizabeth and John, but the resulting publication in my hands makes it well worth it.
The book itself is most handsome, as I’d expect from Evergreen Press, and makes a bold statement on the shelves with its bright green leather spine lettered large in gold. The well designed content is clearly set out, with a large selection of illustrations throughout, ranging from wood engravings printed direct from the wood, line block prints from proofs of original blocks long since lost, and offset litho reproductions of several other works in different styles and mediums.
Collectors of fine press can understandably be wary of books about artists they know little, or nothing, about. All I can do is urge those with even the slightest interest in wood engraving or book artists to seek this volume out. To say it is an attractive, worthwhile volume containing a wealth of highly accomplished work doesn’t come near to doing this publication, or Norman Janes, justice.
Click here to see more of the edition on the Evergreen Press website, where copies may still be available.
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