I will be demonstrating on the Artists in Action stand at the Knit & Stitch Show in Harrogate this week. The show is on Thursday to Sunday and I’ll be there on Thursday and Friday mornings. There are six artists working on the stand at any one time. We’ll be on stand C590. Do come and say hello. I’ve never done anything like this before and have to admit I’m a bit nervous about having people watch me working. But I was thrilled to be invited to do it and am looking forward to meeting lots of lovely people at the show.
At the weekend I spent a really inspiring two days with Emily Harvey, printmaker. My printmaking experience has been bitty (kind of on the back burner for a number of years) and, although I did have some access to the printmaking room at college, I never had enough time to give to it properly. But the desire to integrate it more into my work has remained and this was an opportunity to learn a bit more and test out some of my ideas. Collage is a tool I have often used as part of my design process; here it is key to the bringing together of texture and contrast that is used to make the print.
This intensive weekend was just what I needed to confirm to me that these processes suit my sensibilities. I am comfortable with the whole routine of printmaking (more so, I have to admit, than with screen printing); I love the experimental nature of both making collagraph plates and of printing from them; I love being able to concentrate on texture and line and that the 3D element is important, even though it is a low-relief kind of 3D. And, importantly, I can see how I can integrate my use of stitch into both the making of the plates and the resulting prints (something I started in my college work but that I want to push further).
We spent the first day making collagraph plates using a whole range of different techniques and resulting in a good bunch of different ones to then print from on the second day.
There were just two of us with Emily this weekend, and it was perfect – enough energy and ideas bouncing around between us to have kept going for a week I reckon! Here is the product of our labours (a bit more colourful than I would have naturally gone for, but using all that colour was a great way to understand the different effects you can achieve):
It was really interesting to see how different the resulting print can be using the same plate but with different inks and combinations of intaglio and relief printing.
When I got home I spent a good hour scribbling down lots of notes and ideas. It was a really inspiring weekend, I just have to let it all sink in and work out how to take things forward. At a time when I’m trying to focus my work in I am suddenly faced with more possibilities than I know what to do with!
Last weekend I had the pleasure of leading a workshop for ladies from various textile groups based around Fulbourne in Cambridgeshire. What is lovely about this group is that they’ve come together from various different specialist interests (including patch workers, knitters and stitchers) and are joining with a creative writing group who are investigating the history of their village. They are all collectively working towards an exhibition in 2012 that celebrates that history.
I’m doing some final preparation for a workshop I’ve been asked to lead at the weekend in Cambridgeshire. It’s the first time I’ve done anything like this so I’m a little nervous. I’m sure preparation is the key and it’s been difficult to shoe-horn it in with everything else I have to do at the moment but hopefully it’ll be all the better for it. I’ll let you know how it goes…