Blocks & Plates    Engraving Tools    Woodblock Tools    Whetstones    Brushes
Brayers    Ink    Baren & Presses    Kits & Sets    Paper    Videos    Books 

Dedicated to the Art

and Artists
of Relief Printmaking

15685 SW 116th Ave
PMB 202
King City, OR
97224-2695 USA







You can instantly unsubscribe from these newsletters at the bottom of this page.

Go to McClain's

On-line Catalog

Request a catalog

October 2007



Barry Moser Self Portrait

We recently interviewed Barry Moser who is considered the foremost wood engraver in the United States and one of the finest book designers and illustrators.

Barry has studied with the artists George Cress, Leonard Baskin, Fred Becker, and Jack Coughlin. He also studied printing and typography at the Gehenna Press and now owns the Pennyroyal Press. Many titles have been published under the Pennyroyal imprint including Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, all illustrated and designed by Barry himself. He also designs for other publishers, such as Arion Press for whom he did Melville's Moby-Dick. The books Barry has illustrated and/or designed form a list of over three hundred titles.

Barry now lives in western Massachusetts where he is Professor in Residence at Smith College. He also holds the title Printer to the College.


Why engraving? You, yourself, admit that it can be "excruciatingly frustrating” and the medium “relentlessly unforgiving”. What is it about engraving – such a methodical, laborious craft – that lures you back?

Barry Moser:
I have a tenacious personality. If something pushes hard against me, I want to push all that much harder against it. And so it was with engraving. Indeed it is excruciatingly frustrating and relentlessly unforgiving, and for those reasons (as well as the basic aesthetic of the medium) I wanted to “master” it, and that was over 30 years ago now. I love the crispness of it; the absolute contrast of black and white; and the honest and straight forward simplicity of the medium

Click here to see more of Barry's images and to read the interview.


Resingrave with micro-fiber particles is the newest generation of Resingrave. Compared to the original formula, this Resingrave is much more resistant to chipping under heavy pressure from large tools. However, as with wood, a sharp tool is the key to clean, smooth carving.

Resingrave blocks are made with a hard, white epoxy resin that gives the same precise, finely detailed and clean edged marks of traditional end-grain boxwood, but at a fraction of the cost.

Resingrave can be cut with perfect control of direction and width. Unlike other plastics, gravers will not skid or jerk on Resingrave, nor will they leave tailings clinging stubbornly at the ends of cuts. It actually carves more smoothly than some boxwood, encouraging a fluid style. Resingrave also resists bruising and is easy to repair with off-the-shelf epoxy glue. Never use woodblock or linocut tools on Resingrave as it will damage these tools. Instead, carve with rotary bits (Dremel®) or standard wood engraving tools.


The Tin Woodman, Barry Moser




Toning your Resingrave Block

There are several ways to tone engraving blocks, but this is the method we prefer.

To Start:

You will need a mixture of sumi ink or black writing ink and water (50/50) and an absorbant, non-abrasive cloth like DynaCloth.

Step 1:

Evenly cover the surface of the block with the sumi/water mixture.


Step 2:

Remove the excess sumi using a clean cloth. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have a medium gray tone on the block.



The medium gray tone allows you to draw on the block with a darker medium like a felt tip pen, soft pencil, or carbon paper.


Toning your block allows you to see where your drawing is and where you've carved.




We are pleased to introduce our newest employee at

McClain’s, Josh Hulst!

Josh graduated from the University of Oregon this past spring and has an MFA in printmaking with a focus on etching, litho and relief.

Originally from Zeeland, Michigan, he decided on the University of Oregon after looking into graduate schools around the country.

Josh rides his bike to work, runs almost every day and can cook like the devil. He is involved with Flight 64, a print co-op, and his work can be seen at the Chump Change Gallery, both in Portland, Oregon.