Sunday, 14 October 2018


I finished Tracks today. In my interpretation of the NWBA theme I’m using bits of record tracks that mean something to me. They may not be songs I particularly like but they all evoke memories.
Given the subject matter a circular format seemed appropriate. Tony cut the covers out of an old LP for me.
I’m please with it but now that I’ve shown myself that it works any thoughts of making an edition have been banished. The idea of mounting 30 circles back to back on an accordion fold for each book doesn’t appeal at all and given the subjective nature of the choices I don’t think it would sell.

Monday, 8 October 2018

A print, a holiday and a workshop

The print

When I started working on the etching for the 20:20 I was just playing with shapes and trying quick resists. I used sellotape to blank out part of the plate and stencilled circles and stars through sequin waste with acrylic paint. When I looked at it I thought that stripes would work in the blank spaces and after proofing I decided that text would improve it.
Looking at it the circles evoked chain link fencing , together with the stars and stripes I thought something from the poem in the statue of Liberty might be appropriate. (Although I’m not sure, given the ridiculous political situation we find ourselves in in Britain at the moment, that I have the right to seem to criticise any other countries attitude to borders and immigration)
So I etched the text onto a blank plate and redid the composition behind it. When it was proofed it wasn’t successful. The text and image fight each other. I may play with it with different colours but not for the print swop.
However I had another go at inking the first aluminium plate using a warmer coloured ink. I liked the look of it after wiping with scrim (but before polishing with tissue). I decided to test print and I was really surprised. I’ve now printed the rest of the edition
The holiday

We went away last week to Port Isaac, a beautiful village in Cornwall. We walked and I took lots of photos. Have got some new ideas for books and prints

 The Workshop

Linked to an exhibition at Salford Art Gallery Sean and Lois at Hot Bed Press are doing a workshop over four days, two weekends. Rather than concentrating on a specific printmaking method or producing a finished image it is aimed at making you look, mix processes, think and experiment. The first two days, looking at line and mark making, shape and composition, were great. No work that I’m going to post but lots of ideas to take forwards, which is the whole point of the exercise.

I am so looking forward to the next session next weekend

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Part way there

I’ve managed to move two projects further on

The 20:20 print exchange is half way through printing. The prints are drying under weights at the moment so posting pictures have to wait until later in the week.
And I’ve started on a book for the next meeting of the North West Book Artists. The theme is Tracks
I decided to use this as a reference to music tracks. Specifically those tracks that may not be your ideal choice of music but which take you back to a time and a place.
Tracks from my youth were on vinyl records so I started making a mock up based on circular pages.
I decided that the spine was too prominent in this version so I stitched it together. This has the advantage of making the structure circular.
Given that this will involve a lot of text I’m making the pages on the computer. Some are easily identifiable....

some more obscure.

Thursday, 13 September 2018


I’ve signed up for the 20:20 print exchange at Hot Bed. I missed lasts years exchange because I left it all until the last minute and the collagraph printing plate fell apart after eight prints.

This year I’m starting earlier and I think I’ll use a more robust plate. I’ve been etching.

A deep bite on top of a failed plate from a few months ago. I wish I could reproduce that texture.
 An attempt at etching zinc without an aquatint. I wanted a deep bite bit with not much tone so I could try viscosity etching. 
The plate didn’t behave as I expected and the etch wasn’t deep enough.
 I  reproduced the composition on aluminium so I can play with it more.
I’m going to try colour inking on this plate and I think I might try another plate developed from this composition incorporating text.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Finally Finished

I’ve finally finished “Voices from the Lockout”
I had been intending to make a box covered with white cotton book cloth to house it in but decided instead to make a wrap out of recycled cotton cloth. I thought that the mills girls would probably carry their sewing wrapped in a similar fashion in order to keep it clean. 
My husband turned the scroll rods for me. The ends reference cotton bobbins from the mills.
This weekend I’ve also been to the September meeting of the North West Book Artists. We made miniature fishbone books and discussed future projects. There was a train strike and it turned into a bit of a trek getting back but it was worth it. It’s good to meet and share with other book makers. 
I also spotted an interesting book structure whilst browsing pinterest. I can’t find it again but I think it was called an Australian reverse piano hinge binding and I think it was credited to Alisa Golden (if I’ve got that wrong I appologise). I had a go at making it using some gelliprints I made last summer. 
The double spreads are cut in the middle of the centre fold and put over the mountain folds of an accordian pleated spine. They are locked in place with a strip of paper pushed through the accordian pleat.
 I like this structure. I'm thinking of adapting it for one of the NWBA projects

(I have no idea what blogger is doing to my font sizes!) 

Sunday, 19 August 2018

X cut experiments

We’ve just got back from holiday, staying with friends in France.

It was very hot so we spent as much time as possible in the shade but I did do some work in Mary’s atelier. I’d bought an X cut die cutting machine in the sale a while ago and I’ve been reading about its use as a printing press so I decided to take it with me and do some experimenting.
It printed collagraphs reasonably, though it couldn’t deal with some of the depth of texture. I think at some later date I’ll have a go with lightly etched plate and relief printing.
There was an email waiting when I got back letting me know that the exhibition date for the lockout book is the 5th of October. However the deadline for photographs for the catalogue is the 1st September. I need to do some serious sewing.