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!