Chris Daunt is a former chairman of the Society of Wood Engravers and was born in Bedlington, Northumberland. Chris studied Fine Art at Newcastle Polytechnic, and later obtained an Honours Degree in English Literature at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He then spent four years as a Cistercian monk in the Scottish borders. Since teaching English for a year at the University of Gdansk, Poland, he made his living principally as an illustrator, specialising in wood engraving, wood and linocut. He brings to the making of engraving blocks twenty year’s experience as a fine woodworker and also twenty five year’s experience as an engraver. In addition to this, he also teaches wood engraving privately and in print studios.
In 2003, the firm of T. N. Lawrence, last survivor of the many blockmakers who had supplied the nineteenth century wood engraving trade, announced its intention of giving up in due course the manufacture of wood engraving blocks. This threatened the continuation of the whole art form and the Society of Wood Engravers turned at this point to Chris. It is particularly satisfying to see the provision of wood engraving blocks come to Tyneside – perhaps one should say come home to Tyneside – just across the river from where Thomas Bewick started the whole thing off over two hundred years ago.