Friday, 25 March 2011


I am still exploring the creative possibles of enamel, my last few posts have been enamel on steel and these spoons are an extension of those experiments. I am busy making lots of these for the Cheltenham Open Studio event in June.
I have also been working on these copper pieces where I have the advantage of being able to
etch through the plate with ferric chloride to make holes and lacy edges. The transfers are of the Natural History Museum.
The copper creates this green tinge as the piece is fired, the more firings the greener it goes. To of set the green in this composition I decided to rivet on a couple of red just had to be done! The spoons are bolted on so they have a bit of a swing to them.

Monday, 21 March 2011


The holy grail for many printmakers is to be able to print a dense black. In etching this can be achieved through mezzo tint or using a lung damaging resin which is melted on to the plate. For collagraph printmakers it is usually carborundum grit, difficult to ink and only really useful in large areas. Easier to handle and wonderfully affective is silk aquatint.

Using chiffon or silk attached to the card plate using acrylic paint, tones are then introduced using acrylic gel mediums and PVA glue in various layers, the white area on the above plate is a thin piece of card with detail scored into it.
When inked with colour the plate prints like this.
This silk aquatint has tile cement with leaves and wall paper pressed into it to make the textures.
The resulting print is full of subtle tonal contrasts. The chicken print is 5ins x 5ins and the rook is about 10ins x 5ins. Inspired by these 2 experiments I am now working on a much larger piece, wish me luck!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


I have been really inspired by a blog post by a friend of mine about her sketch book practice, , it made me contemplate my own need to work in sketch books.

Using a variety of techniques that appear no where else in my work I experiment with ideas and media.

I feel that this is where the hard work is done, where an artist can be privately creative. I often think that the work I do in my sketch books has more spontaneity and freshness than work I produce for public consumption.

I use my sketch books to record and rough out ideas. It is my safe place to draw badly and make mistakes. If I do not make a note of an idea immediately it will often be lost forever.

Artist's sketch books are the support to their work, most are private and it would be a tragedy to rip pages out to display as it is often the juxtaposition of one idea following the other when the page is turned that makes it so interesting to look at.

I love to see other artist's preparation, a sketch book, like a diary shows what is going on in a creative mind. Here are 3 of my favourite books, this one about Picasso's sketch book, full of spare gestural line drawings which shows the development of some of his most famous works.

This book about Palmer full of annotated drawings that look so contemporary, but then quick drawing does not date.

This well thumbed book is full of ideas and techniques to get a sketch book under way. Chapter 1 is entitled, Purposes of a Sketch Book: Pause, record, reflect, move on... says it all really.
So... what is in your sketch book?
Here is the challenge, let me know if you post about your sketch book, the techniques you use and what you use your sketch book for, do you have a favourite subject or technique. Like dieting and exercise, regular sketch book use is on that New Years resolution list. For inspiration check out Sharon's post from September 1st 2010 on . I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, 6 March 2011


So why have I been making these large enamel crows?
So that I can place them on fence posts of course, this one I found in a Welsh field...on the ground I might add after the farmer had renewed his fencing.
Adding the moths adds a lightness to the piece. Upwards and onwards!!