Monday, 26 October 2015


So I have entered a new world and I have to admit I quite like it! I decided to try my first contemporary craft show and as Select Showcase was on my doorstep why not?
Initially it was like Printfest, everyone set up in their own spaces and then spent a weekend talking and explain what, how and why we make what we make. Sharing stories and secrets.
But on setup day the difference hit me like an articulated lorry. Not just a case of popping up a few Collagraphs, craft shows involve styling and setting your work into what I can only describe as an installation. A plan I have to say I had been working on for weeks!
Thanks to my lovely friend Caroline  and my long suffering daughter Holly, set up went very smoothly. The furniture was made by a lovely local carpenter Fred who came to visit the show and I hope he was pleased with his handiwork. (Could have sold those tables several times over)
Throughout the weekend I met lots of lovely friends, students from courses, people I had lost touch with and lots of talented interested folk. Thrilled to have talked to Viv of Hen's Teeth fame and Cleo Mussi...I have to admit a bit star struck on both counts.
And then there were my fellow exhibitors, well what can I say...?
The gorgeousness of Caroline Lingwood.
The exquisite beauty of Claire Cawtes textiles. Excited that she will be teaching at the yard:ARTspace next year.
The exuberant Julie Jowett (yes it is difficult to catch her when she is still) Another talent coming to the yard in 2016.
Her stories in stitch.
The quirky mixed media ceramicist that is Claire Baker.
Of course I have to mention Karen Suzuki while I am having a budgie moment.
But what made this show for me was the encouragement and friendship of  Claire, Julia, Claire, Caroline and Holly and to all the lovely exhibitors and visitors that took time to chat.

What next?

Thursday, 22 October 2015


This is the view of the yard:ARTspace from the street.
And behind the green door during term time I teach 3, 10 week collagraph 
courses on Wednesdays in the morning, the afternoon and evening. We have now reached half term and yesterday explored viscosity inking on the silk aquatints we have been making this term.
From this intaglio inked plate with a touch of chine collee to...
this plate with a viscosity inked surface.
From this blended colour plate to ...
this exciting richly coloured work.
Everyone had exciting results, lifting already successful plates
to ooohs and aaahs when printing.
I first learnt to ink in this way from the artist/printmaker
Peter Wray, now living in Cornwall.
The process was developed in the
1930's by the British artist
Thank you to both these artists for developing this inking technique,
I am sure you will
agree, it brings collagraphs to life.

Thursday, 15 October 2015


This term is moving at speed, next week is the last session before half term for the 10 week printmaking course at the yard:ARTspace. 
This week has been very exciting as everyone has started to print the 
 very carefully made Silk Aquatint plates made over the last 4 weeks.
It is such a sophisticated way of making a collagraph plate.
Rich, velvety dark tones can be achieved together
with subtle tonal variations.
Combined with Chine collee during the printing...!!! Well?
I have to admit to indulging myself this term, with 3 groups I did have to do a number of examples
and demonstration pieces. So I raided some old sketchbooks for inspiration
and hunted through my private chine collee stash.
So far we have all made small 5"x 4" plates. But next week we will be viscosity inking and I will be handing out A4 sized silk aquatint plates to work on for the last 5 weeks of the course.

For more information and how to book onto the next 10 week collagraph course go to 
the yard:ARTspace for details.

Monday, 12 October 2015


the yard:ARTspace was host to my favourite workshop last weekend, Sketchbook Techniques.
The key technique I like to share is Gum Arabic Transfer, using black and white photocopies as the printing plate.
Gum Arabic is applied.
Ink is rolled over the copy, the whole thing is then sprayed with water.
The copy is then placed face down onto paper, this releases the ink onto the receiving surface. 
Here are works in progress.
We experimented with lots of materials, ink, quink ink and bleach,
acrylic paint, oil pastel and embossing powder.
Large pages of mixed media mayhem where
produced. All these techniques
can be placed directly into sketch books as part of a drawing practice.
At the end of 2 days the many sheets of experimentation where
made into 4 page booklets. 
The next 2 day workshop covering all these processes will be 30-31 January, 2016, all the details are here.
The next big event in my artistic calendar is Select Showcase, 23-25 October at Cheltenham Town Hall. I will be showing my enamel work on Stand 8, so come and say hello.