Screen Printing - June/July 2013 - (Page 4)
e dito r i a l i n s i g ht s
ave you ever gone on an ancestry-tracing binge?
I did once, and it yielded some interesting results. My
family traces its roots back to William Beilby, the 18th
century glassworker who set up a family workshop in
the Amen Corner by St Nicholas’ Cathedral in Newcastle, England. William started out as a glass decorator
and enameller for a local glass maker in 1757. Eventually, the Beilby family, all artists, set up a business
with siblings William, Mary, Thomas, and Ralph (an
engraver) all working as glass makers and decorators. In 1761, William became
the first man in England, and quite possibly in the world, to fire colored enamels
into the glass, so that the decoration sintered in and became part of the glass
itself. Now pieces of Beilby glass are sold at auctions for thousands of dollars to
I spent time at Corning Museum of Glass (www.cmog.org) in Corning, NY, to
look at 35 pieces of Beilby glass (most decorated with a small trademark Beilby butterfly etched into the design) and to do a day’s research at the library dedicated to glass
there. It was amazing to see the colorful decorated glass goblets, decanters, and bowls
that were made by the Beilbys.
Though much of the skill was kept in the family, the Beilbys eventually took
on apprentices. In 1767, a 14-year-old student by the name of Thomas Bewick joined
the family business as an apprentice to Ralph Beilby. Bewick studied for seven years
under Ralph, a specialist in engraving. Though Ralph taught Bewick what he knew to
excel in the engraving business, it wasn’t until he recognized Bewick’s talent for wood
engraving that Thomas Bewick’s true skill developed.
By adopting metal-engraving tools and cutting hard boxwood across the grain,
Bewick revolutionized wood engraving and restored its popularity.
Today he is best known for wood-engraved and printed illustrations
in A History of British Birds (1797), General History of Quadrupeds (1790), and in Aesop’s Fables (1818), The Poetical World
of Robert Burns (1808), and more. Now there’s an annual Bewick
Prize funded by the Bewick Society in England, which is awarded
at the annual Exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers. It is
awarded to the best wood engraving submitted each year to encourage artists, printers, and wood engravers to enjoy the practice.
Speaking of passing on the knowledge, I think that as skilled
printers, each of you has an obligation to recognize and pass on the
talent that you possess, or to support students who show talent.
Therefore, let me encourage you all to visit the Tom Frecska Student Print Competition page at www.sgia.org/asdpt or call 703-385-1335. The competition honors excellent student work in the specialty imaging field in memory of the former editor of
Screen Printing magazine, Tom Frecska. The cut-off for submissions this year is on
July 31, 2013.
Who knows? You may have another Thomas Bewick in your company,
university, or business.
Photo courtesy of Corning Museum of Glass
You never know where students will end
up or how their talents will grow.
Ben P rosenfield
Mark coudray, tim greene,
andy Macdougall, rick Mandel,
andy anderson, Jeff arbogast,
albert Basse iii, reynold Bookman,
Bob chambers, don curtis,
dean deMarco, Michael Emrich,
craig Furst, david gintzler,
ryan Moor, Bob roberts,
Jon Weber, andy Wood
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Screen Printing Subscription Services
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - June/July 2013
Screen Printing - June/July 2013
Standardization Secrets for Screen Printing
Eliminating Variables in the Screenroom
Decorating Trends in Team Wear
T-Shirts to Medical Trays: An Intro to Ir Conveyor Dryers
Screen Printing - June/July 2013