A Treatise on Calico Printing, Of Engraving.

A Treatise on Calico Printing, VOL. I-II
Printed for C. O'Brien, Bookseller, Islington, and fold by Bew, Paternoster-row: Richardson, Royal Exchange: Murray, Fleet-Street: And the Booksellers of Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin, &c.
What has been before said: of the putter-on, and the Cutter well considering how to attain the effect that is desired, should likewise, be attended to by the Engraver; for before the pattern is begun, all impediments towards producing the desired effect, should be removed; hence the Engraver himself should start all the objections that he can discover to« wards that end, and if reasonable, they will reflect credit on his probity and judgment, as otherwise he might to be sure engrave it, and engrave it well; and yet the plate may not be able to do work properly in every respect; but, (as before- observed) if all impediments are pro vided against, no one need be told thure is the greater certainty of the success of the operation; besides, if mistakes happen (and happen they will to the most careful) they will be excuseable in proportion to the pains taken, to prevent them; therefore, that Engraver has the greatest merit, who can best engage for the effect his engraving will have on the cloth through its whole process, and can accordingly manage his work for that purpose, as well as being merely able to cut a clear stroke, or being an expeditious workman; and particularly, his value is enhanced if he be well acquainted with the mechanism of the copper-plate press, and the operation of working it; in short, whatever may be said of an Engraver's good fight, steady hand, neat touches, clean strokes, and so on, it is the appearance which his work has on the cloth when finished (unless ill-managed at the press) that marks his judgment, and makes his labour valuable.

*For this operation there is no fixed term, therefore if the above be an aufcward one, it is begged to be excused, as the writer cannot find a better.

** In the History of Callico Printing at the close of this work, see what is said on the introduction of Engraving into the business, its progress, and the innovations it has undergone till this time.

*** Strictly speaking, the  white cannot be a shade, but propriety must give way to arbitrary terms. — It is here said too, that this circumstance mostbe attended to in the first instance;—that is, in the drawing of the pattern, hence this observation, and perhaps others, may seem more properly belonging to the designer, but it is the rather inserted here to induce Engravers (as well as the Writer has endeavoured to induce Printers and Cutters) to look a little farther than to their immediate departments.
It may be observed, that as every Engraver has his peculiar modes of operation (similar to what has been said of Cutters and Pinners) therefore suggestions towards directing them must in many cases be unnecessary; though here an Engraver is not circumstanced as a Cutter, a Pinner, or Printer, engraving being an operation that stands alone, excepting its being so far connected with block-printing, that the Engraver by making his observations on it, may see wherein he can imitate or excell it in any shape, and if he will look carefully over the Rules for putting on the block, and even for cutting, he will find many of them which may be made useful to himself. For instance, Rule 2 points to the necessity of well considering how to transser the.effect ef the pattern from the paper to the cloth; Rule 4 points to the consideration of what are the most striking seatures of a pattern. Rule 6 directs the attention to the preservation of an even sace; Rule 10 is often necessary to attend to; and Rule 17 particularly so, if he has any thing to do with dark ground plates. Rule 23 may probably be useful in respect to two or three colour plate-work. Rule 24 may be made useful in an inverted manner, that is, by taking care to keep stalks, or whatever else is to join, rather too short than too long; as it is easier to lengthen when they may be rather too short, than to shorten when they are too long. In some cases where the stalks have to join to dark objects, the Rule may be of use as it literally stands. In short, as one principle inculcated through, this work, is, that expanded observation will form the basis of judgment; the end of which is to attain certain points; an Engraver, by keeping that principle G in his view, may be able toeduce some advantage from articles apparently very remote from his immediate department, and a stress is the ra ther laid on it here, because it is sometimes said, a person may be a good Engraver without being able to draw well; but, not to draw well, in its general acceptation, includes a. great deal, and perhaps more than is absolutely needful for an engraver to Callico-Printing to know, it is however, insisted on, that unless an Engraver or Copper puncher* study in what effect consists, as taking in taste, spirit, expression, &c. he cannot tell how to ensure it, much less produce it, if left to himself, or if his copy or pattern be not well managed: it may be true, there have appeared in stances of good Engravers producing good effect, and yet not able to draw; but to this it may be said, they must have had naturally the principles within them of drawing, though they have never operatively evinced it; and had such persons applied themselves to drawing instead of engraving, it is probable they would have shewn it; but how ever, this for certain will be granted, that an Engraver can hardly be the Worse for being able to draw, and therefore to contend about the necessity or utility of it to an Engraver, or that a man can be a good Engraver without it, is frivolous and a mere attempt to put the best face upon what the defenders of such a position are conscious must be a deficiency, whether originating from supineness, untoward circumstances, or that kind of obstinacy which hinders a person from calliag forth or improving those faculties with winch he may be naturally endowed.

Immediately respecting the following rules, the writer intimates, that he purposely omits saying much of real engraving (treatises enough being published concerning it) as what he chiefly adverts to can hardly be called engraving; yet even in the present mechanical mode of process, it seems very often necestary to adhere to the principle of engraving as adopted for Callico-Printing**, that is, in keeping three shades in view, for in the smallest modern patterns that are chiefly performed by punching, the keeping of those three shades must be attended to***, as in the first instance a light must be ensured, then a shade (which is best executed by diagonal lines) and then a solid; now in well proportioning these three articles, which constitutes, in general, the good appearance of this kind of patterns, it is necessary to be very careful (as observed above) that the white object, or whatever it is that is to appear white, rises up or stands forward as it were, as in general that it is which gives a spirit to the whole; then to observe that the strokes forming what may be called a shade, be not so open as to eause a coarse appearance on the cloth, or so close as that the impression of them will form a mass: And lastly, That the solid part be just sufficient to give (according to the nature of the pattern) a proper weight, or finish to the whole.  

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