Bewick’s Nature Print



The Hedge Warbler or Dunnock
Printed from the boxwood block engraved by Thomas Bewick for his
History of British Birds, 1797

For many years now we have been the lucky recipients of beautiful hand printed Christmas cards from Iain Bain. He is the guardian of Thomas Bewick‘s woodblocks and each year he brings a different image back to life. Last Christmas we received this handsome engraving of a dunnock in winter, together with a curious little booklet that Iain printed and bound for The Wordsworth Trust.

When we first took over the running of The Rowley Gallery in 1995, probably before we even had our own computer, it was Iain Bain who generously designed our headed notepaper –

Iain is presently President of The Bewick Society. There is a fascinating video from the Ikon Gallery called Tale Pieces in which he discusses Bewick’s woodblocks and demonstrates how prints are taken.

Making His Mark
Printed from Thomas Bewick’s
woodblock engraved as a tail-piece
for his General History of Quadrupeds, 1790

PS: We also received this Christmas card from Annabel Keatley in Spain, printed directly from an inked leaf, precisely the effect Bewick’s nature print was designed to replicate.

feliz navidad

PPS: As a banknote engraver perhaps Bewick would have been interested to see A Bundle Of Walnut.

Frames of reference

6 thoughts on “Bewick’s Nature Print”

  1. You could probably make a book called Quality Christmas Cards I Have Received! Love the hedge warbler, is that another name for a dunnock then? There are a couple on the bird feeders, I was mistaking them for the sparrows, of which there is no sign here of the general shortage

      1. There’s a load of sparrows opposite the Guardian building on the canal at Kings Cross! Living in a Russian Vine – one of my pet hates, but it’s obviously providing them with the habitat they need.

        1. Are there?! I know that vine! I often pass by, I must drive with my eyes closed. It must offer protection from marauding magpies. Perhaps its not a vine but a creeper like your friendly Mr Creeper ghost.

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