Wood engraving – developing an idea with Harry Brockway


Ref: SLW11331

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About this course

A chance for those with some experience of wood engraving to develop an idea for a print using your own design.

Course Description

This intermediate course is for students with some experience and will provide you with the opportunity to develop an idea of your own. You will bring along to the course a proposal for a wood engraved print. This proposal might take the form of a pencil drawing made to the same size as the block or to the same proportions as the block. The first evening will be spent considering the design, perhaps making adjustments to the design and transferring the design onto the block. This will then leave a full two days, including evening sessions, to engrave the block with time to print the engraving on the final day. Every engraver works at their own pace. It would also be possible for you to bring along an existing project you might like to complete and print.

Printing from the block is an important part of the process and time has been allocated to introduce students to the subtleties that can be achieved by careful packing and making-ready when printing.

You will be shown how to sharpen tools – an essential skill for any wood engraver. Suitable paper is available in the shop for you to purchase should you require extra to produce a small edition of your own wood engraved print.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The College will provide all tools, oil based printing ink, black Quink ink, French chalk, white spirit, masking tape, parcel tape, tracedown transfer paper, newprint and 5 sheets of Zerkall printing paper.

What students need to bring

  • Bring along a design ready to transfer onto the block. Bring along any tools of your own if you have them. Glasses if you wear them.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Paper suitable for printing
  • Available from tutor:
  • Wood engraving blocks and practice blocks, 100mm x75mm
A 4" x 3" block will be available to purchase at a price of approximately £23. If students would like to work on a larger block of 5" x 4", priced at approximately £40, they should contact the tutor via the College at least one month in advance of the course. You can contact the tutor via the bookings office. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Harry Brockway

Harry Brockway is a wood engraver who trained at The Royal Academy Schools and has taught at West Dean College for 3 years. He exhibits regularly with The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers at The Bankside Gallery, London, and with The Society of Wood Engravers. Harry has wood engraved illustrations for a number of Folio Society publications - most recently 'The Vision of Piers the Plowman' 2014. Other illustrated books include 'The Man who Planted Trees' by Jean Giono. He is an associate member of the RE and former chairman of The Society of Wood Engravers.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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