Monday, 27 July 2015

One finished

I’ve found several accounts on line giving information about Richard Taylor and Simon Brown. When I’ve finished both prints I’ll combine their stories in a post and credit the relevant sources.

This is the print relating to Richard.
He was a weaver who was sentenced to deportation for stealing. He was assigned as a cook to Sidney Hospital where he learned how to mend shoes from a fellow prisoner.  He eventually set up as a cobbler. He married and had three children.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Working with the archives

Lancashire County Council Archive Services are currently working with local art groups to make a response to Victorian Lancashire based on items from their collections. Preston Arts Society has chosen to focus on aspects linked to the cotton industry.

Whilst browsing the catalogue I came across all sorts of interesting things that I want to work with at some point but I have struggled with finding something that grabbed me that linked specifically to cotton. Eventually I found a set of letters from two step brothers to their father that started when they were awaiting transportation (for separate offences in different places) and continued sporadically thereafter. The brothers are Henry Taylor and Simon Taylor (also known as Brown). One was a cotton spinner from Lancashire (I’m counting this as my link). 

As I was further researching on the internet (there are some really interesting, detailed and useful Australian sites out there) it struck me that what I was finding fascinating, whilst following from link to link, was actually an awful experience to have lived through. At a distance researching and learning about these events can be like a form of entertainment. 

I decided that I could develop the iconography of my last collagraph print to explore this idea, using the imagery of puppets and puppet shows (entertainment) to tell the stories of the two brothers. The stylisation of the larger figure reminded me of folk art/fairground figures which I thought was appropriate to the Victorian brief.

I am working towards two prints, one for each brother. So far I have the drawing for Richard’s story ready for transferring to the block.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

More exploring

Now I think I can fairly reliably make a straightforward gum arabic print I want to push the boundaries a little. I’ve started to experiment using the technique to combine images (with a view to adding text for book projects) and  to print my own drawings.

Combining  photographic images
I like the torn effect and the layering but I’ll need to work out how to incorporate the coloured ‘plate tone’ in the negative space into the design if I’m going to use this technique for text  (unless anyone out there knows how to get rid of all the ink on the white of the plate).

I made 3 plates exploring hand drawn and computer generated marks using a combination of drawing, scanning and Photoshop for a three colour print.

This one was nearly A4, a bit difficult to register with soggy paper plates.
This second one  I printed the image plates smaller on the laser printer to make it easier to handle These experiments are more about the mark making and layering than the colour palette. They are a bit garish.
I do like the ghost print made from the last plate. It doesn't photograph well. The print is delicate in colour but the drawing lines are also visible. The paper plate lifted colour as it was printed the first time and then offset it when I ran it through the press a second time.
It will take more time but I think there are definite possibilities with this way of working