Dave Wood ~ Australia

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Dave Wood: " In my contemporary calligraphy art, I use floral illustrations, landscapes as well as manipulated calligraphic lettering, based on historical letterforms, to convey the message and sensitivity of the chosen poem or text.

" I also produce Vellum Illuminations, using traditional gilding in 23ct gold, based on the letterforms and illustrations used by the Scribes in Mediaeval times, however my focus is always to bring Calligraphy into the 21st Century"
Leaves of Grass
By Walt Whitman
Pomoma, Australia: D. J. Harwood & Associates, 2013. One-of-a-Kind.

15 x 6.5"; 23 leaves plus free end page and pastedown of marbled foil paper. 13 leaves of calligraphy. Bound in paper-covered boards with 3 marbled paper shaped ornaments. Laid in custom paper case. Signed by the artist.

A calligraphic presentation of a selection of poems from Whitman's iconic work with calligraphy and illustration by Dave Wood.

Jan Wood: "This one-of-a-kind book is unique in so many ways — it's shape, page designs, mediums used. This is a tactile book."

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Messing About In Boats
Text by Kenneth Graham
Pomona, Australia: Dave Wood, 2009. Edition of 50.

1.75 x 1.75 x 1"; 18 tulip-fold pages. Miniature book. Reproduced from an original artwork by Giclée process using a Roland printing machine onto 150 gsm archival paper. Marbled paper pastedown. Wraparound binding with fitted clasp closure.

This miniature is based on Wood's one-of-a-kind book of the same name (2009) with text and spirit taken from Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows.

Dave Wood: "Recently I have been exploring the endless design possibilities with Artist's Books, using the same serigraph print. I conceived the idea of creating a book using this existing serigraph, which I had created many years ago, as the basis of this book. I experimented with various design elements, making two A4 sized original books as well as this book where I used the tulip fold to create a miniature book.

"This project was an interesting challenge to make a coherent design of the entire book using the same print source to express the various design concepts. It enabled me to create different design elements as well as colour components to convey the movement and energy of this text.

"The cover was created using part of the same print introducing another new design element, different to the page designs in the book."

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A Selection of Verse from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam

By Dave Wood
Pomoma, Australia: Dave Wood, 2009. Edition of 50.

1.625 x 1.625 x 1"; 18 tulip page folds. Miniature book with tulip fold construction. Reproduced (from an original artwork) by Giclée process using a Roland printing onto 150 gsm archival paper. Marbled paper pastedown.

Wraparound binding with an embossed solid silver individually-cast closure.

Jan Wood: "The artist chose his favorite verses, allowing his creativity to endlessly flow with each page a work of art in its own right. Original artwork written on vellum with decoration in gouache and traditional gilding in 23 ct gold. This edition has been printed as the original by Giclée process."



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By Dave Wood
Pomoma, Australia: D J Harwood and Associates Private Press, 1992.
Edition of 26.

7.5 x 10 x .5"; 52 unnumbered pages. Printed using water-based pigment inks on Moab 190 gsm 100% archival rag paper. Enhanced with embossing, feathering, and gold foil decoration. Title page in gold foil with title embossed. Bound in paper covers with title letters embossed and debossed. Housed in black clamshell box.

Dave Wood: "This book was a challenging experiment with a successful result. It evolved into a graphic statement of historic content although I did have fun at times running off into whimsical textual byways which I hope has added a personal touch to this book."

A      Alpha
              First letter of the Greek alphabet
              First-class mark in an examination
              Chief star in a constellation
              Fast moving Alpha particles
              North Semitic symbol

$1,500 (Last Copy)

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Excerpts from Chief Seattle's Peace Treaty Statement
By Dave Wood
Pomoma, Australia: D.J. Harwood and Assoc Press, 1990.
Edition of 200.

6 x 2"; 38 unnumbered pages. Concertina style book. Printed on archival 195 gsm rag paper with archival pigment inks. Pages creased and folded by hand. Artwork hand finished with gold foil and schlag. Bound in Australian wood with 4.5" wide paper band closure.

This is the editioned work of the original one-of-a-kind of the same title.

In 1854 the "Great White Chief" in Washington made an offer for a large area of Indianland and promised a reservation for the Indian People. Chief Seattle (1786 - 1866) counseled for peace. This bookwork contains excerpts from Seattle's speech regarding the treaty that would have the Indian lands controlled by the government.

Prospectus: "This is a wonderful sampler of Dave Wood's unique style and versatility of lettering and was one of three handmade books he completed in 1990 to gain his Fellowship to the Society of Scribes & Illuminators in London."

One thing we know
which white man
may one day discover

is the


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Persian Love Lyrics

Translation by Mrs. George Baskerville
Design, calligraphy, and illustration by Dave Wood
Pomona, Australia: D J Harwood & Associates, 2010. Edition of 50.

13.5 x 9.125 x 1"; 26 pages. Concertina format. Printed on Moab Entrada bright paper. Giclée printing with archival pigment inks. Bound paper over boards with giclée illustrations. Full length band slipcase of lightweight purple cardstock paper.

Dave Wood: "This Collection of Persian Love Lyrics were shown to me by a calligraphy student in New Zealand over 30 years ago. I immediately resonated to this beautiful translation and have consequently created many works of art on vellum using these poems.

"The book evolved as I researched Arabic calligraphy as a basis for some of my designs and I juxtaposed the fine writing with a hint of bold Arabic mark-making so each page became a work of art in its own right.

"I specifically designed the book in this large concertina format so it can be displayed on a book stand, so each double spread can be viewed and enjoyed simultaneously. Hopefully each page turning is a new and stunning visual feast for your senses. I have bound each book individually with some hand finishing in both gold and silver foils, to give specific pages a rich illumination where I feel it is appropriate to the verse.

"SPRING – my interpretation of each page followed the stanzas of uncertainly and doubt of one's observations of one's life experiences. The choices of colour and decoration relate to the each message expressed.

"MY FLIGHT – some folk have related these words to their own specific passion - music, travel, art or whatever it may be which I have endeavored to convey through the subtlety of the colours I chose and the informal style of lettering, incorporating Arabic influenced wings.

"TWILIGHT – the first verse is decorated with a classical form of floral leaf design in rich colours moving onto the second verse where the motif has been interpreted making a different pattern from the original leaf design, suggesting a sense of the mixed emotions of longing.

"REQUEST – if you look carefully you will see in the large graphics, the word 'love' appearing very subtlety. The colours were chosen to convey a sense of optimism and anticipation.

"MOUNTAIN STREAM – the waters of the stream are dancing down the page, complementing the words of joy and fulfillment in the experience of love.

"MY SOUL'S DELIGHT – I chose the minaret motif overlaid in varying colours and decorated shapes to suggest the dreamlike pleasure of a loving relationship.

"MY SONG – the graphic marks express the words "I made a little song" so with closer examination, one can enjoy the challenge of finding this message in conjunction with this sad poem. The strong colours were also used to convey this sense of unfulfillment.

"SWEET TORMENT – the ongoing saga of one's search for love is depicted by the continuous thought patterns across the two pages, using muted colours to suggest a sense of the tormented soul.

"DESPAIR – how can I express this? My feeling of despair has been interpreted in the large highly decorated letters using the spiral of life,
smaller in some areas and larger in others, suggesting the ebb and flow of one's emotional response to love.

"I have hand bound each edition of this concertina book using the highly decorated cover page of a minaret to express my interpretation of Persian art.

"I hope this book brings you as much delight and pleasure as I experienced creating these pages of these traditional and insightful messages which continue to be written or spoken by poets to this day."

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Sold / Out of Print titles by Dave Wood:

The Man from Snowy River
By A.B. (Banjo) Paterson
Sydney, Australia: D.J. Harwood & Ass., 1993. Edition of 100.

6 x 2"; 31 unnumbered pages. Concertina style. Screenprinted in 17 colors on 3-ply Red Star Hsun paper. Hand finished with water colour crayons and schlag foils. Screen printed on one continuous sheet, folded, and inserted between bushboy boards. Leather tie closure. Calligraphy, design, and illustration by Dave Wood.

Mountain Man Graphics, Australia, Southern Summer of 1995: "In the ballads and poetry of Banjo Paterson are captured the spirit of the Australian Outback, and the essences of the bushmen and women who pioneered it. The vast distances, the droughts, the floods, the flies, the heat ... and the harsh and beautiful places of Outback Australia were brought to the city people of the late 1880's through the writings of Andrew Barton Paterson.

"A true folk poet, a recorder and publisher of Australian Bush Songs, Banjo brought the legendary magic of the Australian bush into the household, the schools and the government. His mythical ballad Waltzing Matilda would be described as Australia's unofficial national anthem, and there is no doubt he contributed much to Australia's heritage.

"The Man from Snowy River tells the story of a young mountain lad, mounted on a small mountain pony, who rides out with the experienced stockmen in pursuit of a runaway horse. Because of his size, and the size of his pony he is first ridiculed, but when the wild bush horses take to the wild and rugged mountain tracts, he and his pony grow in stature ...."

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Messing About in Boats
By Dave Wood
Pomoma, Australia: Dave Wood, 2009. One-of-a-Kind.

10.25 x 13.5 x 1"; 20 unnumbered pages. Serigraph pages printed on Canson paper. One tri-fold page. Reflective paper on pastedowns. Handbound with a concertina-fold cover and a fabricated rope to suggest a nautical theme. Japanese stab binding with glass fish tassel. Housed in a simple lidded box of light cover stock (the top royal purple, the bottom black) with a small teaser sample of calligraphy and illustration tipped onto a bottom corner.

Each page has excerpts from Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows. The reflective paper on the pastedowns is used playfully for effect to establish the book's magical tone. The text is rendered in different calligraphic styles with color and verve suggesting the lively pace of Graham's story - and above all the sense of joy and fun.

Jan Wood: "Originally these serigraph pages printed on Canson paper commenced their life as larger artworks and the idea was to then develop a book using the graphics as a basis to explore various design computations.

"As this first book evolved, exciting design elements challenged Dave's creative thought process which resulted in this unique book."

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By Hone Tuwhare
Sydney, Australia: D.J. Harwood & Ass., 1992. Edition of 100.

6 .5x 2.5" closed; 8 unnumbered pages. Concertina style. Screen printed on Korean paper, Beauty Hseun/Monigami. The word RAIN printed in varnish then hand colored. Decorated with foils. Bound in handmade paper with silk tie closure. Laid in a handmade silk Japanese folder with bone and cloth loop closure. Calligraphy and design by Dave Wood. Signed on colophon by artist.

New Zealand Book Council: "Hone Tuwhare was New Zealand’s most distinguished Maori poet writing in English. He was born in Kaikohe into the Nga Puhi tribe …. He began writing during his apprenticeship on the railways, where he became involved in trade unions. He was an organizer of the first Maori Writers and Artists Conference at Te Kaha in 1973 and participated in the Maori Land March of 1975. Tuwhare won two Montana NZ Book Awards, was Te Mata Poet Laureate, and held two honorary doctorates in literature. In 2003 he was among ten of New Zealand’s greatest living artists named as Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Artists. Tuwhare passed away in 2008."

I can
      in the
rain ...


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Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Poem by Robert Frost
Paper sculptures and calligraphy by Dave Wood
Pomoma, Australia: D. J. Harwood & Associates, 2016. One-of-a-Kind.

12.5 x 9.4"; 18 pages, including 4 paper-sculpture pages. Materials: BFK Rives paper; PVA; Crafters Pick Glue; Nepalese paper; Glosse enamel; Sumi; acrylic; gouach paint; liquid glass. Brushes with steel nibs used for calligraphy. Design, calligraphy, paper sculpture, and binding by Dave Wood. Signed and dated by the artist.

Jan Wood: "The creative process of this book followed the original paper sculptured Artist Book Dave created of the Shaw Neilson's book, Reedy River … . The content in these two books is unique — the combination of calligraphy with paper-sculptured images. This Robert Frost poem depicts images of what it feels like to be cold in the snow and ice, so Dave has used liquid glass over the calligraphic handmade paper pages to suggest this sensation of cold. The paper sculptures have been encaptured in a frame to allow for the three dimensional effect."

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text by Walt Whitman
Pomoma, Australia: D. J. Harwood & Associates, 2011. One-of-a-Kind.

6.75 x 9.25 x 1.75"; 36 pages. Text written in gouache on Canson acid free black paper. Hand bound using acid free foam boards. Illustrated covers in acrylic and varnished; the word "Trilogy" cut out with foil laid behind the lettering.

Dave Wood: "This one of a kind interpretation of three of Walt Whitman's poems gave me an opportunity to explore a diverse range [of] design concepts and lettering styles to express this well known American poetry. Having never read these poems previously, I started this book with a totally blank canvas. Using his love of nature, I chose an imaginary forest scene with a sense of the ethereal to create an enticing feeling for the front cover, in the hope of leading the reader into an exploration of Whitman's mind.

"Oh Captain, My Captain: My focus for this poem was to capture the mood of the verses using a variety of rich blended colors together with a freedom of letter forms, The large text was written with a aluminum nib made from a soft drink can, which allowed my expression of spontaneity in the letter forms.

"I Saw in Louisiana a Live Oak Growing: These pages surprise the reader with popup illustrations of the oak tree, depicting the seasons and its longevity. The varying sizes of the tree convey a sense of growth and stability, leaving the reader the opportunity to make their own judgment and interpretation of this poem.

"Patrolling Barnegat: It seems that every line of this poem ends with an interesting adjective which gave me the idea of expressing words visually with different styles of lettering, integrated colours and textures. The recurring wave formations on each page create a flow and continuity throughout this poem. The idea of these waves reminds one of ancient depictions of ocean and water, sometimes seen in medieval manuscripts. The word 'flaring' is written with a dry brush to suggest the distress signal."


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Wisdom of Kahlil Gibran
By Dave Wood
Pomoma, Queensland, Australia: D. J. Harwood & Associates, 2013. *One-of-a-Kind.

7.5 x 11"; 20 leaves. Calligraphy and papercutting. Design, calligraphy, and illustration by Dave Wood. Canson, Roma, and Ingres papers. Gouache and acrylic applied with steel nibs and brushes. Bound in paper over boards with leather spine. Laid in cloth clamshell box with title in calligraphy on the cover. Binding by Fred Pohlmann. Signed and dated by the artist.

Dave Wood created this book for the 2014 Emirate Airlines LitFest in Dubai. He combines calligraphy and Persian style to illustrate excerpts from The Prophet by Lebanese writer and philosopher Kahlil Gibran. Originally published in 1923 by Knopf, The Prophet has been translated into more than forty languages and has never been out of print.

Dave Wood: "My intent for this book was to capture the essence of the Arabic script. I was inspired by the beauty of these Persian manuscripts in their visual tradition with their freedom and spontaneity. I was very aware of not copying any marks but simply to invent my own subconscious interpretation of these very elegant forms.

I have always resonated to the sensitivity of Kahlil Gibran's writings in
The Prophet, so this book was my very special journey to honour this great philosopher. The upward movement of the Persian text, afforded me various design opportunities on each page to create an ongoing pleasing flow of subtle textures and colours. I used the appropriated decorated “Persian” patterns on many of the larger graphics. the cut-out pages added a further interesting and different dynamic to some of the pages.

The calligraphy is written in various weights, sizes and colourways to convey Kahlil Gibran's inspirational thoughts and sensitive messages. "


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Page last update: 07.03.18

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