print room

I spent a morning in the print room at college this week.  As a recent graduate I was able to apply for access to the facilities for this year and got it, so I felt it was about time I started making use of it.  As my studio is still a little way off being workable in and I needed to do something other than planning, paper work and sitting in front of this screen a session in the print room made sense.

I made two screens, one based on the silhouettes of items found beach combing a year or so ago and one using part of a poem written by a companion on the same trip. I purposefully made the text pretty small so that it wouldn’t all expose clearly and so some of it would be legible and some wouldn’t.  I wanted to experiment with this and use the shape of the words on the page as much as the words themselves.

I layered prints over pages from my sketch book that had been dyed, stained and rust printed, playing about with the tones already on the paper and using different combinations of prints.

Some of these pages will be worked on more, stitched into and further dyed.  Some are quite striking as they are.  All are part of a process, growing ideas, developing thoughts…  

>result

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I’m thrilled to announce that I have been awarded a first class degree. No detail yet on breakdown of marks but the hard work was worth it!

>packed up

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The show has been up all week and there have been some lovely comments about how professional our room looked and how well our show came together. I also had some really positive feedback on my work, so I’m feeling very pleased indeed.


But today we took it all down and packed it away and into the van to go down to New Designers next week.


So all that is left are some holes in the wall…


some bent nails and pins…


and good portion of excitement about next week.

>an end and a beginning

>It’s a very strange feeling coming to the end of something that started five years ago and has dominated so much of my life during that time. Many changes have taken place, affecting so many areas of my life, many positive, but also twists and turns that were so unexpected: it is difficult not to feel a bit melancholy at this time. Of course this is also the beginning of so much and I’m ready for that. It’s time to move on, take on new challenges and have new adventures…

The preview went well, there were lots of familiar faces coming to see what new ideas this year’s graduates have produced. It was lovely to have the support of good friends on an occasion like this. I’m determined not to fall into the void that so many past students have spoken about when you finish a degree like this: exhaustion, not knowing quite where to turn next… I already have a long list of things to be getting on with but of course it is a little overwhelming and from now on so much has to be driven by the need to have an income. Finding that balance between financial concerns, the demands of family life and satisfying creative needs is always going to be a challenge, but it’s one I’m up for! In the mean time I’m going to do my best to enjoy the show being up and the excitement of going to New Designers.

The show at Bradford is open Monday to Thursday this week, 10.30 – 4 each day.

Current listening: Britten’s string quartet No. 1

>old habits

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I’ve been making cards. In a way this feels strange; part of the point of doing this degree was because I don’t want to be making the cards for the rest of my life, but old habits die hard! And actually I think it is something I will always do alongside my work. I’m set up for it so it makes sense to.


So I’ve made a batch of cards that I can have for sale at the show in Bradford and in London – ever the opportunist. And I’m using things up, recycling: I’m making the most of my screens at college before they’re cleaned, and of the pigment that is left over from my screen printing. The card and envelopes are all made from recycled paper and the bags that the cards go into are completely bio-degradable, something that wasn’t available when I started making cards seriously, about 7 years ago.

As for tonight and the preview of the degree show, I’m excited but also a little nervous…

>tension

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It took most of yesterday to set up my tensioned wires and fixings for the stitched and dyed felt pieces that I am suspending as part of my final show.


They were really fiddly but I had been primed well on how to do it and I’m pleased with the result. Thank goodness for invisible thread!


Nearly there…

>final push

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I have a few days left until my final deadlines at college and I still have a good long list of jobs to work through. Half term comes at a bad time but, having spent most of the week on family and other commitments, I can now give my full attention to that list.

All my development samples are mounted, labelled and their technical details recorded accordingly. I have lots of small pulling together and finishing off kind of jobs to do.


The beautiful weather we are currently having means that when I do leave my desk I can sit in the garden for a few minutes or eat out there. I love sitting and noticing the detail of all the little changes that have happened since I last sat in the same spot.


What is it that makes iris leaves do this? I’ve noticed it before and I can’t find an insect that might have caused this intricate puckering.


There have been insects at work on my gooseberry bush – saw fly larvae. But even if they have stripped half the leaves the fruit is unscathed and swelling nicely.


Current listening: lots of radio in my studio: BBC 6 music with interludes of Radio 4 today.