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Xylography is a wood engraving technique used to reproduce copies of drawings
or inscriptions in prints. In order to achieve good results wood with a
compact grain, cut at the head, is still preferred today. The most suitable
woods are those of fruit trees, such as pear, as their characteristics include
clean and thin signs that can sustain a high circulation.
Preparation of the wood is a very important stage. Once the piece has been
trimmed to the desired dimensions, the surface should be perfectly smooth
and clean. The drawing is then transferred onto the block of wood to be
notched by tracing or outlining the sketch of the figures. Steel gravers
of various sizes are used to outline the shapes of the drawing by creating
small grooves and removing the "bottom" until total isolation
of the figures and their outlines. The skilled hands of the artists manage
to provide the images with extreme plasticity by creating very important
Prints are created using the flat or roller press. The ink is put on a smooth
surface and is subsequently spread using a wooden roller. The amount of
ink used is very important in order to achieve the shades of colour desired.
Overlapping of more than one piece of wood, of different shades, allows
for the creation of multicoloured xylography with light and dark effects
of an extremely rare beauty.