A lot of my art practice is preparing stuff, using tools and chemicals and getting equipment ready way before I move onto the creative bit. I’ve always loved tools and woodwork and metalwork. I was one of that generation that went to a single sex school and these subjects were not available so imagine the thrill I had when I went to art college and immersed myself in fully equipped workshops.
I spent this afternoon at Swansea Print Workshop, preparing some aluminium plates for coffee bite etching. There’s a layer of plastic film on one side, protecting the soft surface and the first job is to file the edges to get a nice chamfered edge. Then the rough filed edge has to be smoothed with a scraper and finished with a burnisher. The scraper / burnisher above is by Intaglio Printmaker Ltd in London. Finally, I peeled the plastic backing off and carefully degreased the plates with a cloth dipped in soy sauce and powdered chalk, rinsing it off with hot running water. I dried them on a hotplate ready for the coffee bite process. But that’s for another day……
I have been travelling across South Wales with Rhondda-born archaeologist Dewi Bowen and Swansea film maker Melvyn Williams, hunting the wild megalith, accompanied by my portable drawing board, portfolio of Fabriano paper and a bag full of assorted artist’s materials. Dewi is researching his latest book on Neolithic monuments and Melvyn is making a documentary film of our literary and artistic adventures.
If you want to know more about my solo show in The Worker’s Gallery in the Rhondda Valley in September, please click here.
And if you want to see some of my other artwork, please click on the image below.