2. Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle linocut illustration

Updated: Jan 17

The Sutton Hoo ship burial is one of the most significant archeological discoveries ever made. It provides remarkable insights into early Anglo-Saxon England. The seventh century royal burial ground was excavated in 1939. Inside Mound One, The Great Ship Burial was discovered, containing a burial chamber and Anglo-Saxon treasure.


I created a linocut illustration of the gold belt buckle discovered at Sutton Hoo’s ship burial mound in 1939. This has been used for the cover of the May to August 2019 ‘What’s on at Sutton Hoo’ leaflet.

‘What’s on at Sutton Hoo’ leaflet. May to August 2019

Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle on ‘What’s on at Sutton Hoo’ leaflet

The early Anglo-Saxon piece is a hollow cast ornament covered in a zoomporphic interlace design. It depicts serpents, birds and animals and is one of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon metalwork.


The Sutton Hoo buckle was the most complex design to create but the one I enjoyed carving the most. Hand carving the design, I could feel the connection with the artistry of the person that would have originally made it. The design took 3hrs hours 40 minutes to carve. As it requires a lot of concentration I carved in 15 minute blocks with breaks in between. One mistake and the whole piece would be ruined!


I was fascinated by craftsmanship and skill that would have been used to make this piece. I recreated the punched circles that accent the design by punching the lino with a scribe tool.

Transferring the design of the Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle onto the lino block.

Transferring the design of the Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle onto the lino block.


Carving the Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle into the lino bloc

Carving the Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle into the lino bloc

Creating the punched circles for linocut illustration of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle.

Video: Making holes for Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle linocut illustration commission




Close up detail of the carved linocut block of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle.

Video: Close up of making holes for Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle linocut illustration commission



Finished linocut block of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle.

Finished linocut block of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle.

Video: Inking Sutton Hoo gold belt buckle linocut illustration commission


Printed linocut illustration of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle.

Scanned image of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle linocut illustration.

Printed linocut illustration of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle.

Printed linocut illustration and lino block of the Sutton Hoo Anglo-Saxon gold belt buckle.

‘What’s on at Sutton Hoo’ leaflet. May to August 2019

See the step-by-step blogs about how I created each of the linocut prints for Sutton Hoo in the links below:

Part 1. Sutton Hoo, National Trust: Linocut illustrations commission


Part 3. Sutton Hoo copper butterfly linocut illustration

Part 4. Sutton Hoo river view walk leaflet - Nightingale linocut illustration

Part 5. Welcome to Sutton Hoo leaflet - Linocut illustrations



There are five more linocut illustrations which include King Raedwald, wild flower meadows, geophysics, grazing sheep and Basil Brown. These will be used later in the year for further Sutton Hoo marketing materials. I’ll share these as soon as I can.


Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I loved creating the linocuts.


Get in touch if you would like to chat about any commercial linocut illustration commissions.


Michelle

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© 2016  Michelle Hughes