Wood Engraving Books

farleighI own some out-of-print, antiquarian books about wood engraving and other relevant topics that I would like to make available here.

Here I am offering John Farleigh’s 1954 publication, Engraving on Wood in a virtual book format that allows you to flip the pages back and forth with your mouse. In some strange way, a satisfying interaction with the cursor and page as it curls over to reveal another.

I was granted permission by Mr. Farleigh’s estate to display it in this manner. I am very grateful for their generosity.


  • marsha

    Great John! Thank you for sharing John Farleigh’s book. Very Useful information. I am now interested to try wood engraving. 🙂 its takes me courage try this kind of art.

  • John Steins

    Thanks Ann, I’m happy that John Farleigh’s book has inspired you to revisit wood engraving. Hopefully I’ll put some of my other old volumes online, as time allows.

    All the best,

  • Ann Kronheimer

    Thank you for sharing John Farleigh’s book. Having been motivated to dig out my long un-used engraving tools by a recent visit to an exhibition of St Jude’s Gallery in London, and now finding your book on the web, I feel well and truly inspired and equipped to have a go!

  • joel

    Really useful. It’s a great instruction manual and I like the section on kids. My two year old always watches with interest!

  • Sherrie Y

    Hi John! This is fabulous… and of course I’m curious to know how you did this virtual book presentation. Hope all is well, it’s quiet in your corner.

  • John Steins


    Thanks for your encouraging comments. I’m glad that I’m getting a favourable response to the ‘virtual book’ project. Good encouragement for me to carry on!
    I’ll have to get back to you on the software. It’s basically a flash movie that allows you to input images so that they behave like turning pages.

    I don’t mind describing my block-making process. I haven’t posted in awhile so perhaps I’ll make that my next entry.


  • Paul Constance

    This is a wonderful way to share a book. Thanks very much for taking the trouble, and please do add additional ones. I am an amateur wood engraver and, like you, a collector of books on the medium. I have for many years lamented how difficult it is to “see” the enteriors of rare and beautifully printed/illustrated books on the web. I don’t understand why libraries don’t do what you have done. Could you describe the software that you used?

    Also, I am fascinated by your description of making boxwood blocks on your own. I am trying to make my own blocks out of castello boxwood, a South American substitute that is comparatively cheap. Would you mind describing the process?

    Many thanks and contratulations on your beautiful website and prints.

    Paul Constance
    Falls Church, VA

  • Florin Stoiciu

    I’d like very much your idea!!!!
    my name is Florin Stoiciu and I’m a lecturer Ph.D. in Visual Art at the Graphic section from National University of Art, Bucharest/ Romania.
    I teach Traditional and Modern printmaking and I think is excellent course for young and fresh stundents. Maybe after this virtual experience with a book they like to return to the traditional library.
    All the best!
    Lecturer Ph.D. Florin Stoiciu

So great if you could take a minute and leave your thoughts on this.