Thursday, 25 July 2019

Expanding the idea

I like the thaumatrope idea but I’m also considering other types of childhood ephemera such as playing cards, toy theatres and jumping jacks.

At the moment I’m taking the imagery from charcoal studies based on Victorian illustrations. So far I’ve concentrated on those that emphasised the effects of alcohol on the drinker and their families but the temperance literature I’ve been reading also talks about the 'beneficiaries', the publicans and brewers etc. 

So I thought I’d have a go at an image suitable for ‘Miss ......., the publican’s daughter’.

If she benefits from the proceeds of alcohol sales I figured she should be well dressed so I made a drawing based on a Victorian fashion illustration. But I thought she should be a bit over the top so I went back to a process colour pallette for the monoprint.
Far too garish. She reminds me of Grayson Perry's Claire on a bad day. And she lacks definition, she needs some linear drawing.

I bit of experimenting with photoshop and I've managed to change the charcoal drawing into a  halftone screen and lay it ontop of the scan of the monoprint. The line improves the image and the half tone dots are reminiscent of the appearance of the chromolithographic process.

And I've done the same to my drunk man on a chair.

Sunday, 14 July 2019


I finally found a way forward with the studies and prints that I’ve been making. 

Chromolithographic printing came into its own during the Victorian era. This printing process meant that it was possible to print colourful multicoloured ephemera quite cheaply. It led to an expanded market in children’s books and toys. Board games were often made with an educational or ‘morally improving’ content.

I reckoned that overprinting of several different colours based on a key drawing has echoes of this process.I liked my prints of figures in vessels but as a response to the theme I felt there was something missing.

I thought about devising a pastiche board game but during my research for this I came across a thaumatrope. It’s a scientific toy invented in the beginning of the 19th century. It’s a disc, with a different picture on each of its two sides suspended from two loops of thread. You wind up the thread by turning the disc than when you pull them apart the threads unwind, the disc spins and the two mages appear to combine. A light bulb moment!

I made another drawing
and print,
 and print of a tankard
Then scanned and sized them, and put them into circles.
Cutting ,sticking and threading
And it worked.
Sort of.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Weaver of Words

My recycle/reuse book for NWBA is finally finished.
Initially it was going to be three opening hexagons on a woven base but the base was a bit floppy. When I started to reinforce it with the cover of the book I’d cut up to make the weaving I decided that I like the framing effect of a black border round the base. Then this grew into a proper cover.

I'm pleased with it though I don't thnk I'm going to edition it.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Some development

Things are developing but they seem to be going quite slowly.
The recycle/reuse themed book for NWBA (which has to be finished for Saturday) now has words
And I’ve a final idea of how the images will fit together.
The teetotal project seemed to be taking one step forward and then another step back.

I’ve been making charcoal studies of sections of Victorian illustrations these two are from Cruikshank’s ‘The Bottle’ and Harry Furness’ ‘Tale of Two Cities’.
Then using my drawings as the basis for monoprints.
I don’t like these as much as my invented lady, child and doll in a teapot. I think that is partly down to the colour, I much prefer the lady’s more subtle palette.
They are a bit unsubtly didactic, but then again so is the teetotal literature I’m reading as part of my research.

However, this morning I had a bit of an idea about how to make this into more than just a set of strange monoprints but I need to do a bit more thinking and scribbling to see if it will work.