Here’s the trick: Read the other reviews that point out how Woodcut could have been better, and get the point that this is a small book of very large prints, and be disappointed that it is not an “art” book for the coffee table. Instead, it’s a $20 introduction to a fabulous line of art work I would never have found, or been able to afford, elsewise. Then, it becomes fascinating and wonderful, and full of inspiration for finding more ideas in your own line of art than you could have imagined.
Orginals of the author’s work are available for +- $4000.00. This is out of my range. Some of the art books I want on my coffee table, perhaps printed in America, are now OOP and available in the used book market for > $200. Your call on whether you would be able to buy Woodcut if it were printed in America at the ideal size for its content.
If you liked / already own One Tree, by Garry Olson & Peter Toaig, you’ll love Woodcut. If you love Speck, by Peter Buchanan-Smith, you’ll love Woodcut. If you own both of Bruce Hoadley’s books about wood, Woodcut will add more to your understanding of this material.
The book is what it is, a collection, probably not complete, of one artist’s fascination with the most basic form of woodcut. Who’da thought there was that much to see, to know? I don’t care what grows in Connecticut, particularly. (Not all that different from central NC, except we use holly and juniper where they have yew.)
Usefully, to me, the interview / explanation at the end of the book provides a lot of detail about how the prints are made and how the artist works. Inventory management is, to me, the most interesting part of many (non-painting) artists’ work; how do they keep and manage the material that becomes their artwork? Gill shares.
I’ve put Woodcut on the shelf above my desk I look at every day, next to Art and Fear (as a perfect example of “find a way of working and follow it”). I may not take it off the shelf every day but simply looking at the spine reminds me there’s way more art within arm’s reach than I have even scratched the surface of making. I’m pretty sure the author and publisher didn’t not intend to create a book of creative inspiration, but it’s way more useful, again to me, perhaps not to you, in this line than ANY of the “improve your creativity with these 20 exercises” genre.
I am VERY happy I was able to get a copy of this book.