Wood engraving is a form of printing that uses a wooden block to print text or images. The block is carved so that the raised surfaces will hold ink, and the depressions will not. A piece of paper is then placed on top of the block, and pressure is applied. This transfers the ink from the raised surfaces to the paper, creating an image or text.

Wood engraving was first used in China in 868 AD. However, it did not become popular until the 1400s, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. Wood engravings were often used to print illustrations in books because they produced high-quality images with lots of detail.

Today, wood engraving is still used for printing illustrations and text. However, it is also a popular art form. Artists carve intricate designs into blocks of wood, which are then inked and printed. These prints can be hung on walls or given as gifts. They are also often used as greeting cards or invitations.

How Has Wood Engraving Changed Over The Years?

Wood engraving is a craft that has been practised for centuries, and the techniques used have changed very little over time. The main difference is in the materials used; early wood engravers would have used whatever type of wood was available to them, while modern engravers can choose from a wide variety of woods, each with its own unique grain and character.

The other major difference is in the tools used. Early engravers would have used hand tools such as chisels and gouges, while modern engravers often use power tools such as routers and sanders. This means that modern engravings can be much more intricate and detailed than those of the past.

What Are Some of The Most Famous Examples of Wood Engraving?

Some of the most famous examples of wood engraving include Albrecht Dürer’s “The Knight, Death, and the Devil” (1513), Hans Holbein the Younger’s “The Dance of Death” (1538), and William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and of Experience” (1789).

Who is The Most Famous Wood Engraver?

There are many famous wood engravers, but the most renowned is probably William Blake. He was an English poet, painter, and printmaker who is best known for his work in the medium of wood engraving. Blake’s work was highly influential in the development of Romanticism and has inspired many other artists throughout the years. Other notable wood engravers include Durer, Goya, and Rembrandt.

What Type of Wood is Best For Engraving?

There are a few different types of wood that can be used for engraving, but the most popular and common type is basswood. Basswood is a softwood that is easy to carve and has a smooth grain. Other types of wood that can be used for engraving include cherry, maple, and walnut.


Wood engraving is a form of relief printing that involves the use of a sharp cutting tool to cut away wood from around an image or text. This type of printing is believed to have originated in the 15th century, and has been used for everything from book illustrations to advertising. Wood engravings are still popular today, and they can be found in a variety of different mediums, including books, magazines, and even jewellery.

If you want to know, you can speak to The Engraving People, who can tell you more about modern day wood engraving.