May 27, 2014

The Etcher's Studio

        Etching is not my thing (not that I’d mind trying it some time), and colored etchings are, on the whole, even less interesting to me.  However, I found a really cool book that I have to share.  Arthur Geisert is an author and illustrator of picture books for kids, and all of his illustrations are etchings.  (I mentioned him in the post on wordless picture books a couple weeks ago.)  In this book, he tells the story of how a boy helps his grandfather in an etching studio, and thereby explains how etchings are made.  With intricate pictures showing both the factual 
details of the process and the imagination of the art, Geisert makes a potentially dry non-fiction lesson into a fun and fascinating book.
        I love that this book illustrates the process of etching with story, with invitation to imagine, and with pictures 
that are themselves etchings and therefore further illustration of what this is all about.  I really wish there were a comparable book for relief block printing!  Unfortunately I don’t think I’m the person to do it, but I can picture Mary Azarian doing an awesome job. (Are you listening, Ms Azarian!?  We need you!)

[Pictures: “Coloring by hand,” pp 14-15 (cropped by the limits of my scanner);
“An Etcher’s Studio,” pp 28-29;
“How an Etching is Made,” pp 30-31, etchings by Arthur Geisert from The Etcher’s Studio, 1997.]


Karl Marxhausen said...

Geisert is a character himself. I worked for him in his hillside studio during the summer of 1977 in Galena, Illinois. Back then he was proofing this large cross-sections of Noah's Ark.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

That's interesting, Karl. Got any stories to share? =)