The Shabbiest Possible Mouse Print

Fiona Hamilton
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‘The Shabbiest Possible Mouse’ wood engraving by Fiona Hamilton.
Printed on Zerkell smooth white 145gsm.
Engraving measures 6cm x 3.5cm approx.
Paper size 20cm x 20cm.
Signed, titled and numbered by the artist in an edition of 100.

This print depicts a mouse, sleeping or dead?

This original art print is a wood engraving of a a rodent that has met an untimely end. Taken from a story from Aesops Fables, the mouse is the worst around! It is a very detailed illustration using fine wood engraving tools on a highly carved piece of boxwood. Printed using an old Gem Letterpress proofing press and an Albion at Spike Print Studio in Bristol. It is printed in black ink onto white Zerkall paper. Please note that this paper is a warm white colour, not cream as it may appear on some screens.

Wood engravings are made by carving into the end grain of a very hard wood such as box, maple or lemonwood and is different to wood cut which uses side grain. Due to the hardness of the material, very fine details can be achieved. This technique was originally used for illustrations in books and newspapers alongside letterpress until metal image blocks arrived. It was revived in inter-war Britain by artists including Eric Ravilious, Agnes Miller Parker and Eric Gill who saw it's potential for artwork.

About the artist:

Fiona Hamilton is a Bristol based printmaker. Her work explores the ecological sublime and an appreciation of the majesty of nature. She uses detailed intaglio etching, drypoint, lithography and chine collé to draw the viewer into an ethereal landscape that has an impact on our sense of place in relation to the natural world. She uses primarily black and white with natural tones of chine collé and sometimes layers of lithographic texture to introduce warmth to the stark palette and to invoke a sublime emotional connection. She works from sketches, photographs, notes and memory to create her prints.

Fiona has an MA in Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking from The University of the West of England (2023). Previously she studied Graphic Fine Art at Canterbury (2002) and established Soma Gallery in 2004.