Page:Life of William Blake 2, Gilchrist.djvu/236

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[In an early part of the same book from which has been gathered the foregoing Public Address, occur three memoranda having reference to the methods by which Blake engraved some of his designs.

These receipts are written immediately under two very curious entries:—'Tuesday, Jan. 20, 1807, Between two and seven in the evening. Despair.' And—'I say I shan't live five years; and if I live one it will be a wonder. June 1793.' The last-quoted entry is in pencil, and pretty evidently made before the subjoined.]


To engrave on pewter: Let there be first a drawing made correctly with black-lead pencil; let nothing be to seek. Then rub it off on the plate, covered with white wax; or perhaps pass it through press. This will produce certain and determined forms on the plate, and time will not be wasted in seeking them afterwards.


To wood-cut on pewter: Lay a ground on the plate, and smoke it as for etching. Then trace your outlines, and, beginning with the spots of light on each object, with an oval-pointed needle, scrape off the ground, as a direction for your graver. Then proceed to graving, with the ground on the plate; being as careful as possible not to hurt the ground, because it, being black, will show perfectly what is wanted.


To wood-cut on copper: Lay a ground as for etching; trace, &c., and, instead of etching the blacks, etch the whites, and bite it in.