Tag Archives: Somerset paper

Something Of Myself

18 Jun

rose drypoint watercolour[2]

I have always done a lot of teaching with adults and I think that an important part of my  technique is demonstration. I always work alongside the people I teach, going through the same processes as them, and facing the same highs and lows.

 

I was running a weekend course at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, linked to their Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. We went into the gallery to draw from her work and then went back into the studio to develop drypoint plates and woodblocks inspired by her prints. I drew directly onto a paper drypoint plate with a fineline pen, studying a small section of her etching ‘Raped’ from 1908, a few square inches around a foot and some sunflowers. Once I had incised the lines into the surface of the plate, I inked it up (Intaglio Printmaker’s Drypoint Shop Mix) and printed it onto wet paper (Somerset) and while it was still damp, I worked into it with some light watercolour washes (Winsor & Newton). Her original is monochrome so I’ve put something of myself into it.

Recycled Sketchbook

9 Nov

cover

I’ve had this handmade leather Steampunk style sketchbook for ages and used up all the paper a while ago. Its simple design meant that I could remove its innards and replace them with new (old) paper. I have loads of bits of paper left over from drawing or printmaking projects, some plain, some covered with ink or some sort of print or even squeegeed acrylic or cyanotype. I cut the leftovers down to fit and reassembled the sketchbook. Bob’s your uncle!

protest-1

I did some scribbles en plein air at an event in Swansea’s Castle Square, the city meeting place, a few weeks ago. It was organised to offer positive support to refugees in the area.

protest-2

The grey/white pages on the right are recycled bits of Somerset paper that had been squeegeed with Daler Rowney acrylic screen-printing medium and overprinted with a photoscreen image in white. I’ve been trying out some new UniBall pens – Uni Pins – and they work really well on the plain white paper, but a bit less so on the bits squeegeed with acrylic which dragged a bit.

waa-invite

I have a new piece of art in the Womens Arts Association exhibition, opening on Saturday 11th November. Please pop by and take a look if you’re in Cardiff🙂

Having A Play

18 Sep

layout

I started this piece a few weeks ago. It’s for an exhibition, “A Victorian Tapestri” which starts on September the 25th.  I cut the 12 pieces of lovely Somerset Velvet paper from a vintage pattern for a Victorian corset. I will be coating each piece with an image in cyanotype, an archaic Victorian form of photography invented by John Hershel. The paper cannot be sewn to make up a corset so I intend to attach the pieces to each other with eyelets and ribbon.

I laid the pieces out on the floor in sequence to take a photo and I quite liked the pattern they made, so I had a bit of a play on Adobe Photoshop. Nothing serious, but sometimes it’s good to relax and play around, it helps the creative process.

 

A Victorian Corset Part 1

25 Aug

Today I started something new. After months of making artwork for my exhibition at Oriel Ceri Richards, I launched into my next piece for a group exhibition at the end of September, “A Victorian Tapestri” based on Victorian Swansea. I’m doing something with cyanotype and a Victorian corset. Cyanotype is an early Victorian method of photography, one of the earliest, invented by the astronomer Sir John Herschel. I am using an historic pattern of a Victorian corset by Butterick and I have cut the pieces out of a heavyweight Somerset printmaking paper, a beautiful soft white, acid-free, cotton, deckle edge paper (250gsm) from St. Cuthbert’s Mill in Wells, Somerset. They’ve been making fine papers there for about 300 years. I like the idea of working with very old patterns, materials and techniques. Now, what am I going to do with it?

The Blues

11 Nov

DSC08118

Spent a happy few hours at Swansea Print Workshop this evening experimenting with cyanotype. I want to do some onto fabric rather than paper so I had to try out some different materials and methods of application today. I had three different fabrics; a very lightweight white muslin, a cream coloured stiff cotton and gesso-coated canvas. I cut 2 pieces of each and I dipped one of each pair into the liquid and squeezed it to remove the excess and brushed the cyanotype chemical onto the other. I used up the leftover chemicals on pieces of Somerset paper. Waste not want not.

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I had prepared some acetates as negatives by scanning some of my sketchbook drawings into Adobe Photoshop and inverting them before printing them out on an inkjet printer. I exposed these onto the dried coated fabrics and paper in the large ultraviolet unit at the print workshop for 6 minutes. Then I developed them in cold running water. At first, the prints are a greeny grey, then the blues start to come out. The best results were on the creamy stiff cotton and dipping gave better definition than brusing the chemicals on. The process bleached the cotton from cream to white, which I wasn’t expecting. Now I can begin to construct the final works.

Cyanotype is one of the earliest forms of photography, surviving into the 20th century as engineering blueprints. It’s now crossed over into fine art printmaking.

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