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Plates and Pistols
work by Weldon Lister

Friday, June 26th, 2015 Published in: 2015 Archives

Weldon Lister has continued in his exploration of hand engraving for printmaking, using traditional styles to create detailed images on papers. His print, the "Colt 1911" shows what a full coverage design would look like on this classic firearm.

The print features beautiful engraving over the whole pistol. Nearly every surface is covered in lush detail, including small areas like the trigger, hammer, and screws. Flowers and leaves embellish curves and add visual interest. A variety of borders traces the lines of the gun, emphasizing its form and separating areas of scrollwork. The background areas are small, but dark and well defined, creating a rich contrast against the bright paper.

Lister prepared his plate for engraving in the exact same way that he would prepare a firearm, using a block and a progression of fine sandpaper. He engraved the outline of the gun and then drew the scrollwork on the plate before engraving it. "The outline is engraved and then scroll is drawn in," Weldon described his process. "If I don't like what I see I'll redraw it until I do. I usually have a concept in my mind's eye that I'm trying to get out and onto the gun, plate, etc. Drawing directly on the object is how I accomplish that." He worked on the pistol design until he was satisfied, adding in the checkered grips and border around the image last. After creating the border he debated about whether to add some scroll elements to the background, but decided to let the firearm be the sole focus of the print. Thanks for sharing, Weldon!


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