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As with many wood engravers, it was Thomas Bewick's work that inspired me to try the medium. The vignette form, a favourite of his, has always appealed to me. The scenes, no longer enclosed within the four edges of the picture frame, can be sprinkled on the page and mixed with type, so that the white paper becomes space inhabited equally by the black marks that make words and those that carry the eye to distant views. As I am a writer as well as an artist, it seemed the perfect medium for me. But over the last thirty years letterpress has disappeared and the muffled, blurred effect of pixellated images has become universal. Nowadays, to see metal type printed alongside wood blocks, I have to compose it myself, as I did for the Fakenham Festival of Print. I prefer to work on the scale of the hand held object - book, greetings card or letterhead: but I also do some larger prints in limited editions for hanging on the wall.
The books Hobberdy Dick and Kate Crackernuts, by Katharine Briggs, were published in Japanese by Iwanami. My illustrations to these two books have led to numerous exhibitions in Japan, where my work sells better than in this country. In 1991 Iwanami published a Japanese translation of my own book, A Cat Called Camouflage, originally published in England in 1970.
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