Shona Branigan is a wood engraver, printmaker and photographer and has always been drawn to trees. Shona discovered Brain Nash Gill’s tree printing work recently and was delighted to find that it is possible to relief print wood itself.
A National Trust ranger very kindly gave Shona a round of wood from a 190 year old oak tree which had fallen at Allen Banks, and so this has been incorporated into her printing. It is possible to create a relief print of wood by using the Shou Sugi Ban technique of preserving wood. This involves charring it which raises the grain, removing all the ash with a wire brush, sealing with shellac and then finally inking and hand burnishing. Each millimetre of the paper is rubbed against the wood which also creates an intaglio ‘feel’ as the paper becomes an physical ‘imprint’ of the wood as well as a relief print. The paper is then wet and stretched for framing.