Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hot Bed Press, Salford - Open Studio

Open Studios Weekend – 26th & 27th November

All 3 studios housed in The Casket Works in Salford [Hot Bed Press, Suite Studio Group and Cow Lane Studios] will be opening their doors to the public this weekend from 11 am to 4 pm.

It’s a great opportunity to see the Hot Bed Press print workshop facilities and a wealth of art and creativity in one visit. There will be free demonstrations, the full 20:20 exhibition of 238 prints will be on display, and there's an ‘Under The Bed’ print sale, to help raise funds for the workshops and offer some great bargains! See Hot Bed Press website www.hotbedpress.org for more details.

Open: 11am to 4pm this Saturday and Sunday. Address: Hot Bed Press, The Casket Works, Cow Lane, Salford M5 4NB

If you would like to take a look, you’ll be made very welcome. I’m planning to go along on Saturday for most of the day.

20:20 Print Exchange Online

This year's 20:20 print exchange has just gone online at Flickr.

19 printmaking studios across the UK and Ireland have taken part – with over 230 prints in the total collection, including my latest linoprint “Distant Pebbles”. It's the first year I've got involved - and 20 other Hot Bed Press artists participated in 2011 .

The print exchange, organised by Hot Bed Press, is growing in popularity each year and covers a wide range of printmaking media and styles. 

To see my print and the rest of the Hot Bed Press artists, click HERE

Or, to see the entire collection of 238 prints please click HERE

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

20:20 Print Exchange 2011

This year's 20:20 Print Exchange goes live on Flickr on Saturday November 19, to coincide with the time that 230 printmakers from across the UK and Ireland swap prints. I'm delighted to be taking part for the first time. 19 print workshops are participating in the biggest 20:20 event so far, organised by Salford's Hot Bed Press. Each printmaker has created an edition of 25 prints with the paper dimensions 20 x 20 cm. Almost 6,000 prints will be sorted and randomly re-packed so that every printmaker will receive back a boxed set of 20 original prints - their own and 19 others.

The rest are used to promote the Print Exchange and are included in physical exhibitions, like the one taking place in Salford as part of the Open Studios weekend on 19 & 20 November at Hot Bed Press on Cow Lane.

My linocut design, called 'Distant Pebbles' , was created in 2 stages. Firstly I printed a yellow and blue background, using both colours on the same roller. See below for the rather unexciting background image:

 Over the top of this I add the main image in a blue / grey ink:

The beach is one I love in South Wales, full of rockpools at low tide, close to Nash Point. I hope that the printmakers who end up with one of my prints in their pack enjoy them! I'll add the link to the 20:20 Flickr exhibition to the blog once it goes live.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Until 26 October!

Thank you to the lovely people at Didsbury's Cheese Hamlet!

Our work will now be on display in their window on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury village right through until 26 October, when they will be filling the window with Christmas stock! This is a fantastic extension to the Didsbury Arts Festival's 'Art over the Counter' event and we have had some great interest as a result.

Below are some pictures of our work - Cathy Gibson's and my own - in the window. We loved being there and really appreciate the help from the Cheese Hamlet team.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Didsbury Arts Festival Countdown!

I have had a few weeks without posting, as I've been busy printing more items and preparing for Didsbury Arts Festival, which starts on Saturday 24 September 2011, less than a week away!

From this Wednesday Cathy Gibson, fellow printmaker, and I will have our work on show in the window of the Cheese Hamlet on Wilmslow Road in Didsbury Village. I have selected 4 of my linocuts to go in: Scottish Sheep, Rooftop, Barn Owl and Manchester Old & New I. And Cathy has created a "Say Cheese" 3 colour reduction linocut print specially for the occasion. It sounds as though we will be taking over much of the window space - and we can't wait to fix things up Wednesday morning, with the help of the Cheese Hamlet team.

On Sunday 25 September we will be taking part in Craft Cafe at the Northern Lawn Tennis Club on Palatine Road (corner with Lapwing Lane). Entrance to the Craft Fair is £1 and it opens from 10 am until 4 pm. As this is going to be our first ever craft stall, we have a lot to learn and plenty to prepare. With the help and advice of friends - and the loan of quite a few items - we will be all set for next Sunday! I really hope you can get along to Craft Cafe - and please tell all your friends too!

Finally, weather permitting, we will also have work on display on the same Sunday afternoon from 1pm until 5pm, as part of Art on the Railings in Fletcher Moss Park, close to Didsbury Arts Festival's Creative Space - near the Cafe and Botanical Gardens.The full DAF 2011 programme is out now at www.didsburyartsfestival.org

Saturday, 27 August 2011


As part of the Hot Bed Press Summer School this month, I took a great course in Textile Screenprinting. Tutors Mandy Tolley and Kiran Williams packed a lot into 2 days and by the end we had created repeat designs, printed them up and made our fabric into bags and tea towels.  I’m especially pleased with my bag which is in regular use!

Taking the same repeat design principles, last week I had a go at translating this new learning into the world of lino blocks.  I’d sketched some large and small daisies this summer and the arrival of Daisy – a beautiful kitten who lives next door - prompted me to use the drawings to create a small repeat daisy design, to celebrate her arrival.

drew the initial design onto a small tracing paper square in order to reverse my design for the lino block and also to make it easy to cut up and rearrange the design to create a 2 way (horizontal and vertical) repeat pattern. The tracing paper square became the irregular shaped template pattern for my lino shape and after transferring my design onto it, I cut the lino block. Here you can see the rearranged tracing paper and lino block ready to print.

The experiment worked and printing the lino 4 times side by side in Crimson ink, I gained a design which could extend infinitely. This is the first result which still needs to be worked on further. It’s a good start!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Grizz gets ready for Didsbury Arts Festival

This week Didsbury Arts Festival programme was released. The Festival starts on Saturday 24 September and is in its third year. It’s the first time that I’ve been involved and I can’t wait to take part, with fellow printmaker Cathy Gibson. You can meet us at our stall in the ‘Craft Cafe’ at the Northern Lawn Tennis Club between 10 am and 4pm. And later the same day we’ll have work on the railings of Fletcher Moss park in ‘Arts in the Park’- both on Sunday 25 September. We’ve also now heard that we’ve been teamed up with the wonderful Cheese Hamlet in Didsbury village. Our linocut prints will be in the window of Didsbury’s Cheese Hamlet for the duration of the Festival as part of the ‘Arts Over the Counter’ event, along with scrummy chutneys and lots more.
Just 7 weeks to go! Plenty to prepare for, including some new work for the Festival. I’ve been busy lino cutting and printing some first tests, including this one of “Grizz”, aimed more at the kids.
I’ve noticed how interested people are in the printing ‘block’ as much as the print it makes.  This is a simple mono wood block. It’s been cut but not yet inked. You can see how hard it is to see how it’ll turn out at this point.

As soon as you ink up the block, you get an immediate impression of the image. It brings it to life and you find out if you like it. I was really pleased that the strange shadows made by the bedside lamp contrasted well with the sketchy solid feel of “Grizz” the teddy bear. At this point the image you see is the reverse of the final print.

The first print from the press gives you a really good idea of how the design will work – it’s like a first draft. You get a feel for contrasts, boldness and detail. It also shows you which bits need some tweaking and refinement. Some small adjustments are still needed – but Grizz is looking fairly pleased with himself so far!

Friday, 29 July 2011

"Most people don't know very much about printmaking"

It's true! And printmakers spend a lot of time explaining that their work is not a reproduction, but an original work, conceived of in a printmaking medium...The language can confuse. It's strange, given that so many people have done linocuts at school and we do have a vague understanding of terms like "etchings".

If you like the work and it's been created using a printmaking technique, that's a great start! For a smile, why not look out for the fantastic printmaking dog (quoted in the title) in Aardman Animations' Creature Comforts USA piece on Art. Love it!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Stockport Open Contemporary Art Exhibition until 14 August 2011

I'm really excited every time I visit the Stockport Art Gallery's new Open Contemporary Art Exhibition. It's in a fantastic airy, quite traditional space - and is very contemporary. It has a lively, welcoming feel and covers so many media. My Scottish Sheep linocut also greets me from a wonderfully prominent spot opposite the entrance!

The exhibition has been organised this year by Skarts (Stockport artists) with a prestigious panel of judges. There were over 750 pieces of artwork submitted for selection and around 150 of these entries made it to the walls of Stockport Art Gallery, on the main A6. If you haven't visited it yet, it's well worth going. The Open runs until Sunday 14 August (gallery closed Mondays and weekday mornings) - and many of the artworks are for sale. Click here for a link to the exhibition.

I was interested by the number of printmaking works on display, from linocuts to etchings - including from other Hot Bed Press print workshop members. It was great to see such exposure for original prints in this showcase of North West contemporary art.