Thursday, 18 December 2014


Have you been waiting for this seasonal post? About this time of year I start to get that Christmassy feeling. A little later this time as I have had a great deal going on.
Is red the theme or do robins just get me in the mood?
I am pleased that it was not raining when we got the tree, it is a half hour drive home with the roof back!
The mantle piece is decorated, just trying out a print in a Perspex box...another robin sneaking in there?
                       Yes Rudolf is on back the wall.                                                 
And the tree made it safely home. 
Yes my old favourites are up, just can't resist that touch of vintage.
And finally this years fairy challenge is, 'edible' fairy. Quite how I managed a middle aged, platinum blond in marzipan I'm not sure, but apart from the cocktail stick holding her head on, she is completely edible and gluten free.
Happy Christmas one and all and here's to a very creative 2015. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014


I know I set myself a challenge this year when I announced I would make a print a month,
and December is probably the busiest time of the year, finishing off classes, preparing for the festive season and getting everything ready to open the yard:ARTspace in January.
But I just couldn't resist, so I have created a suite of prints along side my lovely students.
We spent the second half of the term creating collagraphs that could
be embellished with a gum Arabic transfer.
Experimenting with simple collagraph plate making techniques making abstract prints, designing them with spaces to
pop a gold, silver or bronze transfer image from drawings I found in a old sketch book.
I think I may explore this idea further in the New could be a whole new direction?
Now, there is more than one print here, does this mean I can carry 5 over to next year, this would take me to May...if only I could stop!!

Thursday, 4 December 2014


I started blogging 5 years ago, the first ever post was about holding a Cheltenham Open Studio event at Hampen Factory.
This was our second Open Studio exhibition. In fact I have been running courses and workshops at Hampen for nearly 10 years now.
But now it is time for me to pack things into my 2CV and move my studio and business to
the yard:ARTspace, Cheltenham.
There was a frenzy of printmaking activity
throughout the day.
Experiments went on in both the morning and afternoon groups,
with lots of colourful chine collee appearing on prints
The wall filled up with gorgeousness from everyone.
Both groups came together at lunch time and were join by Hampen alumni with a bring and share buffet; we ate, we chatted and memories were shared.
I have so much to thank Carolyn and Richard for, my business would not be what it is today without their imagination and support. Hampen has been a very special and creative space
for so many people.
It is not an end but a new beginning.

Thursday, 27 November 2014


This week has been the penultimate class. Everyone has become confident printmakers over the 9 weeks and stunning work has been produced.
We added Gum Arabic transfer to the printmaking methods learnt this term, applying the technique directly to dry collagraphs.
I have posted just a taster here as everyone produced gorgeous pieces and as I get so excited I tend to stop taking photos because I like to be there with the work and not behind a lens. 
Using this technique means that a photographic element
can be added to the composition without using nasty chemicals.
The transfer naturally incorporates into the composition because it uses the same ink.
I think it is difficult to tell where the print ends and the transfer begins.
I have to say it is one of the best things to teach, I love the look on everyone's face when a transfer has been successfully made.
And look you can do it on feathers too. Go to for details on 4 colour separation using Gum Arabic Transfer, have fun!

Friday, 14 November 2014


I have to admit I am finding my print a month challenge stimulating.
It is making me draw
and my sketch books are filling up with
ideas, some of which
will be made into prints, others may languish on these pages.
I try to make my collagraphs look almost the
same as my drawings.
But of course in the flesh collagraphs have a lots more texture.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014


I have just returned from a weekend in lovely Leicester teaching
the collagraph technique of Silk Aqua Tint at the Leicester Print Workshop. 
Everyone worked really hard and produced rich atmospheric images.
Silk aqua tint is in my opinion the most sophisticated way to use collagraph. 
The images produced look like tradition mezzo tint or etched aqua tint, but no nasty chemicals are used to achieve these results.
Using mount board as your substrate apply a layer of chiffon to the card.
Thin layers of acrylic or glue are applied to develop a varied tonal range. 
Ink the plates in exactly the same way you would an etching or any other collagraph plate.
Then using viscosity rolls, 
depth and several layers of colour can be printed in one pass through the press.
The LPW is excellently organised and I was shown great hospitality by Sarah Kirby, 
I am looking forward to the next workshop I will be running there next Spring.
 I will also be planning a Silk Aqua Tint workshop at The Yard, ARTspace Autumn 2015.