in stock

I’ve done some updating of the items on my online shop.  You can now find a series of collagraph prints on there, including some of my Spurn Marks prints.  These feature rust prints with collagraphs over-printed.  There are also a few concertina books, various cards and some framed pieces as well.  Because each item is unique things change on there quite frequently, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what is currently available.  The link to the shop is always on the right hand side of the blog and I’m happy to post to anywhere in the world.

>old habits

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…

>the ‘c’ word

>I’ve been finishing off those Christmas cards that I started a couple of weeks ago.

The printed sheets have been cut and pieced together and stitched. Each little art work then gets attached to the card blank.

It’s quite a production line. Each little job (stitching, trimming, sticking, signing, printing on the back, putting in sleeves with their envelopes) doesn’t take long for each card but when they’re multiplied by 150 or so cards it takes quite a while.

They look rather lovely lined up on my desk.

Card making listening: As the sun has been shining (well it was yesterday and now today’s rain has stopped) I’ve had the skylight above my desk open and have been enjoying the gentle outside sounds and a quiet house!

>printing sticks

I have this beautiful little set of ‘printing sticks’ which I can remember finding at my Grandparents’ house as a child. They’ve made appearances at various times in the last few years: teaching, playing, working. I re-discovered them this week when I was playing about with ideas for the Christmas card experiments I was doing.

They’re beautifully made, are double-ended, having a different shape on either end of each stick so as to maximise the number of different things you can do, and they are covered in the colourful evidence of past use.

They sit in this round box, presenting their simple but lovely shapes to the lucky person that pulls off the lid.

I have no idea how old they are, but there is plenty of life left in them and I know they are going to make numerous appearances in future card making projects.

>now the paint has dried

>on these sheets of print (acrylic paint) and wash (procion dye) I’ve been able to make my Christmas card samples. Don’t really want to mention the ‘C’ word seeing as it’s still only September but I have to think ahead as the shops want their orders pretty soon.

So this

became this

which went alongside these to make up the basis of one range.

Some weave experiments I did the other day on my loom…

planted the seeds for this

which became this.

And this

became this

which went alongside some other ideas in the same colours to make this group.

I then took these sheets of pattern, cut them up and combined different elements with machine stitch to make the little work of art that goes on each card. More on the finished cards another time…

>waiting for the paint to dry

>on these

These are the first stages of a set of Christmas c
ards. I know its only September but shops want them fairly soon and I will be pretty busy once terms starts at college so I’m trying to get as much done on these as I can this week.

Current listening: Mahler Symphony 1 on Radio 3 – bringing back memories of county youth orchestra, amazing how familiar it all seems even though it is years since I played it.

>new work

>This morning, as I was sorting out my stock to take to the maker’s fair at the weekend, I thought through all sorts of things to do with my cards and how I will sell them or not sell them in the future. I’ve made and sold cards for 6 years now, stocking various local shops, selling through different craft fairs and maker’s fairs. It’s been a kind of bread and butter. It’s the more substantial and more satisfying (to do) pieces that are what I really want to be making and selling but cards have been a really useful and accessible way to make a few pennies and get people to see my work. Many of my cards are small versions of things I’ve done on a bigger scale or I treat almost as samples for trying out ideas that might get used for other things. I have various ideas about where I want things to go after my degree and, although cards will hopefully not be the main thrust of my business after that point, I recognise how that they are a good way of people being made aware of your work and can sit really nicely alongside other things.

I was musing over the fact that I have stock I’d like to shift and wondering at what point I actually stop selling certain things, make a break. It felt like everything I was putting in my box was stuff people have seen before (not always a negative thing but something I’m conscious of). Then I found a little piece I did earlier this year as a trial for the work I did connected with Sense of Place. I trimmed it and found the right canvas to mount it on …

… so now I have a new piece that says something about where my work has gone to recently. Its just small and quite simple but I like it and it means that I have something new to put on my stall at the weekend.

stripes and stitches

Long train journey complete (London and back… V&A Quilts exhibitionNew DesignersGarden Museum… lots to think about…)

and stitches added to my printed stripes on my return.

I am always over optimistic about what I’ll get done on a trip, always take too much ‘just in case’, always have, probably always will! Despite meaning to sit and stitch all the way the chance to read, but also to spend time watching the fields wizz past and let the mind drift along with them, was too seductive. On a trip like that it is always tempting to pack as much in as possible but then you are left with so much to take in and process that you need some head space to let it settle.

Anyway, on return I got down to work finishing off these cards for ArtParade in Saltaire. Some with machine stitching…

and some with hand stitching.

Current listening: Radio 4: Grayson Perry On Creativity and Imagination. Worth a Listen Again.