Monday, 16 July 2018

New Book


I went to the Liverpool book fair last week partly to see the entries for the Frankenstein exhibition (my wire bound book started off as a response to the call for entries and although it soon morphed into something else I wanted to see what others had done with the theme) but mainly to meet the North West Book Artists Group. They were very welcoming. I joined in with their open session at the exhibition making scroll books. I hope to be able to join them again in the near future.
I’m not going to show what I made in Liverpool but working on the scroll book there gave me ideas for the archive project.

Usually I try and find a story that grabs me in the mass of information that the archive holds on the subject that is chosen. I’m struggling to do that with the Preston lockout. But what has struck me is the language used in handbills and reported in the press. I’ve decided to make a book ’Voices from the Lockout ‘focusing on the words used by people at the time.

One of the things I did come across was a letter written by the Rev. Clay describing the effects of the lockout on the people of Preston. In it he describes a school that ladies from his church set up giving lessons in literacy and in sewing to girls who would normally have been employed in the mills.

I’ve decided to print the words onto cotton fabrics and stitch them into a scroll.

Early experiments in printing...
And assembling.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Puppets and Currants


Still not a lot of art work done this month but I have been busy elsewhere.

Our production of Peter Pan finally finished on Saturday.  As a prop maker and scenery painter, married to the scriptwriter/director, it tends to take over your life especially when we had a full stage ship and a movable bed/ship/campsite to make and my solution to flying in a church hall was using puppets instead of installing trapezes’.
On the growing front this glorious weather means a bumper crop of blackcurrants, now harvested and nearly all put in the freezer (except for the ones that just happened to get turned into blackcurrant brandy and blackcurrant gin). The redcurrants are now ready to be picked.
I’ve been researching the Preston lockout and the effects of the cotton famine at the Lancashire Archives trying to find a way in for a print. Nothing visual yet but I did reprint my previous bit of letterpress, this time with the N the right way up. Thanks Fiona, it looks much better. Though I don’t think the colour is really appropriate. I used the tail end of a rainbow roll that I’d used to make a father’s day card.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Very little art


I haven’t made much in the way of prints or books this past three weeks but I haven’t just been twiddling my thumbs 

We have been on holiday for a week in Scotland, eight adults, one four and one three year old and two babies. The weather was glorious and I was so busy I didn’t take many photos., though I do have this one of a rather nice shed in Castle Douglas.
 I also spent a day in the gardens at Millbarn, they are the project of a member of the Art Society and we go there each year to draw and eat. Very little drawing this year but I did take photos, mainly of his wonderful garden structures. This one is half way up a cliff and you cross a rope bridge to get there from the garden.
And gardening brings us back to the allotment. This has been occupying us most days. We’ve had it 2 months today and it has gone from this. (Grandson and granddad surveying the boundaries on the first day)

Through this (starting digging)
To this
Its addictive. We go down after tea to water and do a bit and end up coming back in the dark.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Quick Update

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted anything. Things are ticking over but I just haven’t got round to writing about them.

There has been a lot of digging going on, and weeding, and trips to the tip with stuff left behind by the previous allotment tenants (including the remains of a garden shed which we found laid flat under a layer of couch grass). There are now things growing, some we planted like spuds, peas and beans, and some we discovered under the undergrowth, like rhubarb, strawberries and fruit bushes. We also have trees, a cherry, a plum and two apples (we think). 

The posters are ready for the next drama society production. Peter Pan, a play for children, based on the characters in JM Barrie’s book.
Sets and props are also in the process of being painted and made.

The books for “?” have been finished.  I decided in the end to make a something that was contained in a book cover but that opened to be quite sculptural, something that fitted neither category exactly.

 And finally a sketch ..
And perspective outline...
Have turned into the first allotment based print. It needs working into, the fench is lost and the shed it too dark but it’s a start.
(And yes, I forgot to reverse the image before transfering it to the plate).

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Books, letters and digging


Art work has slowed down somewhat these past couple of weeks. I said that I was going to the allotment to draw but so far I’ve been clearing edges, helping to sort out accumulated rubbish from inside and behind the shed (two trips to the tip, a third one pending) and liberating rhubarb, raspberry canes and fruit bushes. It is starting to look a lot less like an overgrown field so I’m hoping for some of the predicted sun next week and some sketching. In the meantime here is self portrait with shed (after clearing)
I have managed to cut and fold the pages for Artists Books #20 (?)
And I’ve made a bit of a start on the next project that is happening in conjunction with the Lancashire Archives. The subject this time is The Preston Lockout.  (A brief history can be found here)

I’m not sure what I want to make yet but I’ve been playing with wooden type.
  I’m wondering what will happen if I print it on cotton.