Wood engraving with Harry Brockway


Ref: SWE12163

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About this course

Develop a small black and white design, transfer it onto an endgrain wood block, engrave it and make prints.

Course Description

Wood engraving is a relief printing medium executed on the end-grain of a closely grained wood. With graver, spitsticker and scorper, white lines are engraved into the blackened surface of the uncut block, bringing light and texture of great richness and variety to the drawn out design. Wood engraving can express fine detail and a great variety of textures on a small scale.

On this course, you will develop a design for an engraving, transfer the image onto an endgrain wood block, engrave and print.

By the end of the course, you will have developed your knowledge and understanding of how to transfer a design to an engraving, increased your understanding of the qualities of wood used and know how to print from a woodblock.

You need no previous experience of wood engraving, but some experience of drawing is helpful. Please do not buy any tools before the course. However, if you already have some at home, do bring them along with you. There are plenty of tools at the College for you to borrow during the course. You will be able to continue with engraving at home, as you will not require much space or elaborate equipment.


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 until 9pm, 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 tools, printing ink, Quink ink, masking tape, parcel tape and chalk to be shared amongst the group. Some newsprint, Zerkall printing paper and tracedown paper will also be provided. You can purchase more paper if required from the shop.

What students need to bring

  • Spectacles if you need them
  • Tools if you already have them
  • Apron or old shirt
  • Please bring along any ideas for an engraving that you may have, such as carefully prepared drawings or preliminary thoughts. Those with previous experience may like to continue to work on a block they have started.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketchbooks, tracing paper, pencils and additional printing paper
  • Tools: some tools are for sale in the College Shop, but all tools are available on loan from the College and you are strongly advised not to buy any tools before the course.
Additional Charge: Lemonwood blocks 75mm x 100mm and sample off-cuts of end grain blocks will be available to purchase. They will cost between £5 – £20 according to type and size. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


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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