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Kate Dicker- San Gimigniano


San Gimignano: This wood engraving has an exacting composition. Five very tall Italian towers burst high into the sky, with houses and a busy piazza below at ground level. I sat on the steps looking at this view, taking in the structure and all the movement of birds soaring, people busy and the march of shadows crossing the whole scene. I made a quick felt tip pen sketch.

Later in the studio I worked on a formal drawing that was transferred, in reverse, on to the end-grain woodblock. I engraved the sky first, with a tool called a ‘spitsticker’ and then the building facades with a ‘scorper’ and ‘tint tool’. The enigmatic work of the artist Giorgio de Chirico was in my mind as I worked, leaving black for the shapes of shadows. The shadow on the right became the silhouette of a medieval soldier. With a balance of tones and a feel for a bit of drama the engraving was completed - after about fifteen hours.

Kate Dicker studied at Camberwell College of Arts and then at Winchester School of Art, where she completed an MA in Fine Art Printmaking. She has been awarded a number of prestigious prizes, including Winner of the Intaglio Printmakers’ Prize (RE Original Print, 2018), and was Artist in Residence at Southampton Solent University in 2012/13 and at Southern Arts and Colle Verdi in Lucca, Italy in 2001/02.
Kate’s wood engravings are made from direct observation and created on end-grain wood blocks. She enjoys the demand for detail they entail, and the need to develop a graphic balance between black, white and the middle tones.
As well as wood engraving, Kate makes atmospheric monotypes, based on industrial views across rivers and estuaries. She also runs courses in wood engraving at Badger Printmaking Studios near Winchester.

Medium: Wood engraving


Picure size: 10 x 10cm

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