When Easter bank holiday is over we all have another long weekend to look forward to, so why not pop over to Ulverston in the Lake District and check out Printfest, Britain's only print fair held in a rural location dedicated to exhibiting and selling original contemporary prints. Printfest will be held at the Coranation Hall, Ulverston on Saturday 30th April and Sunday May 1st between 10am and 5pm.
I have been experimenting with liquid enamel in red, silver and chestnut brown. I like to draw through to colours underneath and wet enamel is easier to handle, sifted colours can create technical difficulties and it is harder to layer. The silver is a revelation, it is soft and subtle and just slightly twinkly. I have also fired glass headed steel pins, this adds another element. The black letter transfers pull these little abstract compositions together. I can't wait to try these on larger pieces...red spoons? Or the irony of silver enamelled spoons?
I have been lent a wonderful resource, an 1867 catalogue from the Paris Exhibition. Thankyou Brian. This has inspired me to try different imagery with the gum arabic transfer technique I like to use in my sketch book.
But I can not help but draw the occasional bird.
So what's in your sketch books at the moment? Check out the blog spot, Wendy Rhodes-Artist, her latest post shows how she turns work from her sketch book into etchings. Fascinating and inspiring.
I spent yesterday at UWE making this collection of spoons ready for my Open Studio event in June. All went very smoothly, there are usually a few moths that come adrift or flop in the heat of the kiln, but no, I had a morning of hitch free enamelling. But my luck did not hold out for the whole day and not all experiments go to plan, but the more one has technical difficulties the more one learns. At a quick glance these 2 pieces are not completely lost and if I ignore where the enamel has blown off one part to land neatly in a smooth white area I could almost be pleased with parts of them. These are close ups of the sections I like and will repeat on other pieces.
I particularly like the way the text breaks through on the grey.
And through the spaces on bare steel.
With a mistake comes a nothing to loose attitude which can generate other ideas.
This is a silk aqua tint and tile cement collagraph measuring 65cm x 35cm and has been a delight to make. I was spurred on by the success of the smaller silk aqua tint experiment I made a few weeks ago. This shows the textures where I have pressed leaves and wall paper into tile cement. The high lights and details on the crows are achieved by painting wood glue onto the chiffon, this is the silk part of silk aqua tint.
This is an enamel on steel, not quite finished yet, I am toying with the idea of adding some colour here and there, but I do rather like the moodiness of it all.
I particularly like the way the transfers react on bare steel. And yes I cut the shapes out by hand.
I am happier with the colours, or lack of colour in this piece, the previous enamel on copper was way too green for my liking.
Both these pieces have been a pivotal learning experience for me and I am looking forward to working further with these techniques.