Monday, January 25, 2010

The Woodcut Artist's Handbook and On Writing Well

I'm reading a great new book about how to make woodcuts, The Woodcut Artist's Handbook by George Walker. The book explains everything in such a way that a reader (in this case, me) is likely to jump up, tear up the day's to-do list, gather the tools and supplies and start cutting immediately. Here is the first paragraph from Mr. Walker's introduction:

Printmaking is all about making an impression on paper, both figuratively and literally. Successful woodcut artists use their drawing, carving and printing skills to creat images that have an enduring meaning and make a lasting mark. Making prints is both an art and a craft; it combines the art of creating original images and the craft of making them into prints.

What a great way to set the grand stage. And the rest of the book is written as beautifully. I find it no less than spell-binding.

I've read only one other instructional book I'd call spell-binding - William Zinsser's On Writing Well. It was such a compelling read, I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it! Now, that is a good instructional book on writing!


  1. Thanks for the recommendation for Zinsser's book. It's on my Amazon wishlist now (along with your book).

  2. You'll be able to get a more recent edition of Zinsser's book. They keep reprinting it. And regarding my book, you are on the Very Special Friends list, so watch your mail... :)