Sunday, July 8, 2012

New technology

'High tech' woodblocks often contained embedded nail heads for detailing. This added an element of shading or texture. Thin copper or brass stripes could also be turned on their edges and hammered into the woodblocks to print not only details of a floral motif...such as thin stems and vines...but also backgrounds of twigs. This was known as 'coppering'.

Early toiles featured finer details that were possible only with the engraving of the copper plates. Copper roller printing was invented in 1783 but it was not until 1815-20 that this new technology was able to produce a polychrome with exquisite details. Note the delicate fronds and shaded stippling of the sample.

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