Woodcut Illustrations

Contribution By Laura Eley, Tucson, Arizona

Why Woodcut?

By Jost Amman.AndreasPraefcke at de.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

By Jost Amman.AndreasPraefcke at de.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

When learning about art styles in pictures books, I was drawn to the styles that involved woodcut illustrations. I decided to further my understanding through researching the general history of woodcut illustrations and by creating my own. Woodcuts are relief printing, where the part you want printed is left on the block, and the rest is cut away. Some common types of wood for woodcut illustrations are cherry, maple, beech, boxwood, and basswood.

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History of Wooden Barrels

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An ox pulling a wagon loaded with barrel.
Image Source http://www.vroma.org/

Wooden barrels have been used for the transportation and storage of goods for around 2000 years.  Cooperage developed along with the growth and evolution of trade.  Ancient civilizations like the Egyptians had been experimenting with open-ended wood and reed vessels held together with wood bands long before, but it was not until the refinement of iron processing technology that the crafting of barrels could be reliable.  The Celts’ are credited with the development of the barrel around the beginning of the first millennium.  The Celts shipbuilding and iron working skills were critical to the development of the barrel.  Soon after, the Romans capitalized on the invention to store their own goods, and distributed the technology and the goods throughout their vast trade routes.

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WWII Wood Posters

During WWII, the United States set an impressive bench mark for unity and home front efforts that has yet to be matched. Everyone was expected to do what they could to help. Goods were rationed and factories were diverted from their primary products to products that could directly support the war time efforts. Lumber and wood product industries took and active part in these efforts. The United States government want to make sure they had a reliable supply chain for all wood goods. Continue reading