Thursday, 26 September 2013


This week the weather at Hampen Factory is a bit different.
Mists and mellow fruitfulness come to mind.
I love that at this time of year, the hedgerows adorned with lace
and encrusted with fruity gems.
Back in the studio everyone inked up and printed their silk aquatint experiments. Ink it like an etching plate and use damp paper and an etching press. There were lots of very nice results, I feel that everyone produce some lovely prints and embraced the technique. This image shows a print on the right with the plate on the left.
This is a print of thick wood glue just dribbled onto the chiffon surface.
This demonstrates taking a proof then reworking the plate showing how it is possible to lighten areas dramatically.
Cleaning the plate well and degreasing it  makes it possible to add more glue or acrylic gel to lighten areas and add the differences here.
The technique produces images that look very painterly and atmospheric, not typical of a collagraph plate at all.
Same plate, different approach to inking. What a transformation.
These are just a few examples from yesterdays class, I have not picked favourites as everyone produced such interesting results and I will share them as the weeks go on. I am very excited at how everyone has got stuck in and really experimented with this technically tricky plate making technique.
I think I ought to do a weekend workshop for those who can't come on a Wednesday?

Thursday, 19 September 2013


The Autumn term started yesterday at Hampen Factory.
The sun shone lighting up the reds and oranges that herald the start of the season.
Set in the Cotswold countryside Hampen Factory is a fantastic place to hold a creative course.
I have been blogging about Hampen since 2009 and have run printmaking and sketchbook courses from there for several years more. So I though it was about time I showed you what we get up to.
This term my morning group will be experimenting with the sophisticated collagraph process, silk aqua tint. Week 1 introduces the group to this method, with biscuits to keep the creative flow sustained.
Silk aqua tint is a collagraph plate making method using chiffon attached to a card substrate as the base plate. The plate for this example is on the right.
This collagraph plate produces an image that would be mistaken for a mezzotint or an etching using tradition aqua tint resin, the latter being a toxic plate making method. When printed you get what you see on the plate ( plate on the left)
By painting on to the chiffon and card plate acrylic mediums, wood glue and even emulsion a set of tonal ranges can be achieved.
Everyone spent a happy 2 hours experimenting on sample plates with different liquids and of course writing on the back of the plates what was used where...!
Next Wednesday when these samples are dry we will print them and see what we get.
The pitfalls with this process is putting enough glue on ( you need several thin layers allowing them to dry in-between) to achieve white. Acrylic paint (the yellow) makes a mark, but will not produce light tones, good for gentle shadows, a bit counter intuitive. Trying out different acrylic gels and mediums found on the shelves of art shops is worth a go.
Over the next few weeks you will see this technique develop, I think silk aqua tint is one of the most exciting of processes as it gives such unexpected results and the print has a very different quality to a traditional collagraph....if there is such a thing?
For more information about Hampen Factory, or contact me for details about 2013/14 weekend workshops and the 10 week printmaking course, 2014.

Monday, 16 September 2013


I have been invite to exhibit at the Quartz Arts Festival at Queens College, Taunton.
These are 2 new moth domes
made for the show.
These along with several spoons and ladles will be delivered on Friday. The exhibition will start  
25th September – 5th October 2013 for more details.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


Back from my week in the Isle of Skye it is now full steam ahead on the making front.
I have made a set of festive Lost Relatives for Crafted at Christmas for New Brewery Arts, Cirencester.
Some of these pieces have a touch of twinkle in the way of gold leaf fired into the surface.
This one is called , 'Off Duty', couldn't resist really.
I know it's early, but this one says it all.