Abigail Rorer

Born: Norristown, PA 1949
Education: BFA in Printmaking, Rhode Island School of Design 1971
Proprietor of The Lone Oak Press, Established in 1989

Abigail Rorer was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania in 1949. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design concentrating on etching and lithography. After graduation she taught art in several schools for a few years until leaving to concentrate on pen and ink book illustrations and etchings. She had always been drawn to woodcuts and wood engraving through the work of the German Expressionists and Leonard Baskin. The first print she ever acquired was during her high school years when she bought Leonard Baskin’s wood engraving Walt Whitman. Although she had only done a few woodcuts in high school and none in college, she had a desire to learn wood engraving and was fortunate to have met the wood engraver Barry Moser through a mutual gallery. He very graciously explained how one wood engraves and the tools needed to make a print. She purchased the necessary materials and had at it. Learning the art of wood engraving is basically a case of practice, practice, practice and looking at the work of other engravers. 

In 1989 Abigail established The Lone Oak Press as a sole proprietorship in Petersham, Massachusetts. The press publishes limited edition, letterpress printed books and broadsides illustrated with her relief engravings and etchings. The selection of works to be published begins with either a text that inspires the creation of images or the desire to create images reflecting a certain theme with the text chosen later to support those images. Works are considered for their literary merit as well as a vehicle for illustration with nature being the overriding theme. All of the images are printed by Abigail from the original blocks and plates with many of the images being multi-block color engravings incorporating reduction printing and frequently having some hand coloring. The design of a number of the books and all of the bindings are collaborations with others more knowledgeable in those aspects of bookmaking. Abigail has also taken up the fine art of silverpoint drawing, a medieval art form.