Tag Archives: Mari Lwyd

The Grey Mare

18 Sep

Horsehead 2

 

Here’s another view of the horse skull I drew yesterday evening at the little Zoology Museum at Swansea University’s Wallace Building. The Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) tradition in South Wales centres around a horse skull, which is made into a lifesize puppet and decorated with flowers, bells and ribbons. It’s paraded around on the night of Hen Galan – the Old New Year – as part of a ritual that goes back thousands of years to the ancient Celtic horse goddess Epona, also know as Rhiannon in Wales.

 

 

Drawing A Horse’s Head

17 Sep

Horsehead 1

I spent a great hour or so down at the Zoology Museum in The Wallace Building on the Swansea University Singleton campus this evening. A drawing group meets there twice a month to make the most of the specimens tucked away. I fancied studying a horse’s skull, to tie in with my previous work with the Mari Lwyd. It was nice to draw a still one that wasn’t carousing all over the place. I used a biro pen in the continuous line method with a wash of home-made walnut ink into a small, A6, sketchbook.

 

 

The Haul

8 Jun

 

the haul

This year I entered the Leftovers IX print exchange, organised through Wingtip Press in Idaho, USA. It’s a great premise; use up all those lovely little leftover scraps of printmaking paper and produce a small edition of miniature prints; send them off to Boise, Idaho; wait a few months; get a dozen prints by other artists through the post to add to your art collection. A nice little haul.

I sent over an edition of my little Mari Lwyd linocut prints with chine collé.

Leftovers

Precision

22 Apr

mari drop 3

Working with Andrew Baldwin at Trefeglwys Print Studio last weekend, I got in some practice doing a double drop print from my aquatint plate. It’s a very specific and precise process. After carefully printing in Vermilion and taping the print to the press bed before peeling it back, we put a heavy weight onto the etching plate to hold it exactly in place and then put a couple of Perspex squares tightly against the plate, along 2 edges, and again placed very heavy weights on them. Then the plate could be very carefully removed, cleaned and inked up in Prussian Blue.

The First Colour

21 Apr

mari drop 1

After inking up my little zinc aquatint plate with a Vermilion oil-based etching ink, I worked with etching expert, Andrew Baldwin, to print the first colour of a two-colour double-drop print. Working with utmost care, I taped the long edge nearest the roller before peeling the damp paper back from the plate. It’s imperative that nothing moves, not even by a millimetre.

Vermilion!

20 Apr

mari vermilion

I started making this aquatint plate back last September the first time I spend a weekend at Trefeglwys Print Studio, but it was the third plate I made that weekend and I didn’t finish it. So during my recent, second, visit to Trefeglwys, I prioritised finishing and proofing it. Here it is being inked up in Vermilion, the first colour in a double drop print process….

An International Bunch

1 Apr

workstation

A Temporary Print Workstation. This is how I print small blocks at home. I use the top of my plans chest but you can use any surface – desk, table, kitchen work surface… Cover the area with old newspaper (or similar) stuck down with masking tape.

Left to right:

  1. Registration sheet (I blogged about this 2 days ago)
  2. Printing area – where you actually rub the paper onto the inked block – I use Japanese barens
  3. Gluing area – for preparing the chine collé (I use Pritt stick – always use really good glue). Click here to find out more about chine collé.
  4. The inking area – see yesterdays blog for more on this.
  5. At the back I’ve put the stack of pre-cut printmaking paper and the prepared chine collé papers.
  6. I use Cranfield Caligo Safewash relief ink (made in Wales); Hosho Japanese paper for the print; and for the chine collé I use Indian hand-made recycled sari paper. I’ve used vinyl for the block, inked with an excellent roller from Intaglio Printmaker in London. And chine collé is a French term translated as China collage. An international bunch.

 

Easy Peasy Quick Ink

31 Mar

prep 4

I often print small blocks at home as I can do them by hand and don’t need to use the fabulous Columbian press at Swansea Print Workshop. This is how I set up a little inking station without fuss or mess.

Stick some newspaper onto your work surface with a bit of masking tape.

Stick a piece of ordinary white paper down onto it, with masking tape. I used a sheet of A4 size white computer printout paper.

Stick a sheet of thin but sturdy PVC / plastic / acetate over it with some masking tape. I used acetate document covers you get with comb binding machines.

There it is. Easy Peasy.

 

 

Registration

30 Mar

prep 2

Yeah I know, really boring but so vital for printmakers. I’ve been printing up a simple one-colour linocut with chine collé as a small edition  so the registration is fairly simple.

 

 

After you’ve cut your printmaking paper to size for your edition, use one of the sheets as a guide to draw it out onto a sheet of ordinary white paper.

Then place your block where you want it positioned on your final print and draw around that.

Finally, stick it onto your work surface with a bit of masking tape AND THEN…

Cover it with a sheet of thin but sturdy plastic / acetate – I used one of those clear PVC covers you get with comb binding machines but any thin sheet of smooth, clear plastic will do.  Stick it down with a couple of pieces of masking tape.

 

Ready to print…

 

 

Chine Collé

29 Mar

chine 4

I have just printed an edition of my little Mari Lwyd linocuts with chine collé to add flashes of colour. I use hand-made paper made from recycled silk saris, a lovely range of colours and lots of fibres.

 

 

From left to right: ripping up the paper for cine collé, putting it onto an inked block – it must be glue side UP; taking the print with a traditional Japanese baren.

 

I used Cranfield Caligo Safewash oil-based relief ink in black, Japanese Hosho paper and Pritt Stick glue. Don’t skimp on the glue – I always use either Pritt or UHU. The combination of Safewash ink and Hosho paper is excellent for taking relief prints by hand. This little edition is heading off across The Pond to Wingtip Press in Idaho USA for the Leftovers IX print exchange.

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