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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sticky Hands

My hands are all covered in dried glue and it's hurting the fine hairs on my wrists as I pull it off, though it is strangely addictive. My brother when he was little, attending playschool, used to  paint his hands with glue, or if that wasn't available, paint, and spend the rest of the day peeling it off. I'm not quite that bad and I have actually achieved something today.

I decided it was about time I tried to bind my Crow Story book. The components of it (the etched pages and the embossed front covers) have been sitting in my studio for a week or so, I've just been waiting for a day off work to buy some board. I'm now back down to 2 days a week in the gallery where I work, after working 4 days for the past month (didn't enjoy that) so I went to Dean's Art yesterday and bought all the things I needed and got down to it today.

As you can see the book is concertina style, but with a regular hard back cover. The cover is made from lovely black Hahnemulhe cotton rag paper which I embossed using a plate made from cut out pieces of card arranged in a feathery pattern.

The plate (below) looks like it is made from balsa wood, but that is just the layer of shellac painted over the card. I actually used the reverse side of the embossed prints in order to get the full wing effect, otherwise it would have been in relief. I have also made a number of embossed prints as pictures in both black and white. I like the effect.

Monday, July 27, 2009

New Work For Market

Markets have been quite slow these last few weeks, probably mostly due to the cold winter months, but I was also worried that maybe my stall didn't have enough new work. So I've decided to get down and make some new things. Here are some examples of new pen and ink drawings with a kitchen theme. I'm now mounting them up ready for this weekend's markets!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Crows

I've been working most days in the gallery that I work in at the moment. My boss is away so my shifts have increased from once a week to four days and I'm just not getting much of my work done, hence no blog posts! 

But I've finally managed to print a few of my smaller crow plates. I've in fact made all eight plates into an artist book which I have yet to bound, but which hopefully will be included in my exhibition in September. I have also printed a number of the plates separately exclusively for my etsy shop which you can view here.

The prints are dry point and carborundum on 6 x 6cm recycled copper plates. I used the back of other plates for these, I wanted them to be rough and have lots of foul bite marks but many were a lot cleaner than I had hoped! But I feel they have turned out similar to how I planned. I really like the thick dark grainy tone of the carborundum and enjoyed painting straight onto the copper. 

As I learn all these little bits and pieces of technique and experimentation I get more and more excited about moving to Belfast at the end of September and getting into the Belfast Print Workshop and work larger scale again. I'll definitely miss Australia but I'm glad I'll not have to endure Melbourne summer next year. I would indeed prefer 9 months of winter than experience another summer like the last one!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Turquoise Crow

I think this is the largest print I've made so far. It only just fit on my little press. At an estimate, from memory, it measures about 40cm across. It was made by drawing with thick PVA glue straight from the bottle, then grit poured on top, like glitter! I then sealed the plate with shellac.

The texture is very deep and it embosses the image into the paper as well as printing the inked image. I went through quite a bit of tarlatan (the cloth used to rub back the inked up plate) because the grit kept ripping it up, like rubbing cloth over sand paper. I also used an etching needle to score into the cardboard plate for the lose lines around the bird. I wasn't sure how this would work, but it seems to have worked as well as if it were dry point into copper. The edition is small, only 4 or 5. I'm hoping to have it in my upcoming exhibition at Bird's Gallery, Kew in September.