Snowdrops

A wood engraving on lemonwood with letterpress set in 12 pt Veronese Series 59 using Lyme Bay Press No 1 Printers oil based ink on 210 gsm Zerkall printing paper with deckle edges.

Whilst cycling the country lanes in February near where I live in Hampshire I passed great swathes of snowdrops. This year their emergence from the dark of mid winter seems particularly poignant as they are a symbol of hope – something much needed as we move towards a lifting of lockdown restrictions.

I began to research the folklore around snowdrops, and wood engravings and poems that had been written about them. Quite by chance I came across a listing of rare books which included some of the fine books printed by Lucien Pissaro and his wife Esther at the Eragny Press at the turn of the 19th century. Some of the book covers have a series of art nouveau style wood engravings of flowers, including snowdrops and daisies, which are striking in their simplicity and elegance.

So, influenced by these wood engravings, I developed a design with three snowdrops flowers accompanied by this haiku poem:

the winter moon wanes;

dainty white lanterns shine bright –

for hope and good cheer

I have chosen the Veronese Series 59 fount as this is similar to the ‘golden type’ designed by William Morris in 1890 and seems fitting next to an art nouveau style snowdrop motif. From research online it would appear that the Veronese fount was commissioned by the publisher J.M. Dent for his ‘Everyman’s Library’ in 1910 and released by Monotype in 1925.

Edition size: 50 (with 5 no. artists proofs)

Image size: 50 x 100 mm

Paper size: 150 x 210 mm

Price: £28