Tag Archives: antiques

Stitching And Tying

6 Jan

I’m working flat out to finish this print installation made up of almost 50 small prints on Shiohara paper sewn onto handmade Tate Gallery Indian paper. I’m assembling them onto a wooden clothes horse. I had originally intended to put them on with wooden pegs but the bars are too thick for pegs so I’m stitching ribbon onto the prints and then tying them on. I’m getting there ….. maybe another couple of hours of sewing to go.

nearly there

I’ve been using a gorgeous antique Singer sewing machine, Edwardian and over 110 years old, and here’s a short video of it in action. I love old machines – I get mechanics, so easy to fix, just a screwdriver and maybe a pair of pliers. This installation will be exhibited soon at the Penarth Pier Pavilion Gallery as part of a joint exhibition between Swansea and Cardiff Print Workshops. Please click here for more details.

The Beautiful Machine

31 Dec

sewing 1

A while back, I had a small rubber stamp made up from a silkscreen print I did based on the fabulous Frida Kahlo, an artist I admire very much. I printed it onto small leftover pieces of a beautiful Japanese Shiohara paper that I had been using for another print job.

sewing 6

I had been wondering what to do with them and I finally decided on making them up into a self-contained installation that I will be building over the next week.The first stage is to make them more robust  – the Shiohara is a lightweight tissue and won’t take a lot of handling. However, it’s also a well-made natural fibre paper and can be sewn so I made a start by sewing them onto a very robust handmade paper – 300gsm – that I’d bought at the Tate Gallery a few years ago. I’d been wondering what to do with that as well! They really suit each other.

sewing 3

I’m sewing them on an antique Singer sewing machine. It’s Edwardian and dates from around 1904 and it’s a great piece of mechanical engineering as well as being extremely beautiful. It’s so finely balanced, it’s a joy to use. I’ll be carrying on with this in a couple of days, after the holiday.

So a very happy New Year to everyone, I really appreciate you looking in at my blog. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd.

 

 

Pulling The Columbian

22 Nov

columbian

I had a very busy Sunday pulling some woodcut prints down at Swansea Print Workshop. I used the beautiful old Columbian press, an antique dating from the 1850s, when Queen Victoria was on the British throne. How many prints have been pulled off this press? How many hands have pulled the lever?

It’s not only lovely to use, but also lovely to look at, with beautiful cast iron decoration, brass inlays and large, smooth wooden handles. Invented by American George Clymer around 1813, it took over from the Stanhope Press and allowed a whole newspaper page to be printed in one pull. It didn’t sell well in the USA so Clymer moved to Britain a few years later and established a very successful business manufacturing and supplying the Columbians across Britain and Europe. Many of them, like this one, have a bald eagle as a counterweight.

 

Here’s a video of it in action:

A friend who is an antique furniture expert went into raptures about the patina on the wooden handle and said to never ever clean and polish it. That sort of patina is only acquired with age and enhances the value of the piece.

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