This week I have been busy! I have proofed the 6 new collagraph plates and I am glad to say they only needed a few “tweeks”. On Wednesday and Thursday I started to edition them. In the past I haven’t been interested in doing editions, so after one or two prints from one plate I would be thinking about making a new plate … This was when printmaking was my hobby. Now I need to think like a businesswoman and do larger editions for each plate. The cardboard collagraph plates can only stand up to a certain amount of being squeezed under a metal roller before the prints become foggy. I am hoping to get 30 prints from each of the 6 new “Gossip” plates. However, I was wiping the plates clean after Wednesday’s session on the press and one of them nearly came apart where I had scored a bit too deeply with the knife! A bit of UHU just about saved it, so I don’t know whether it will withstand hand-inking, wiping with scrim, and going through the press thirty times!! Typically, it was my favourite one. I now have 24 prints stuck around my dining room/studio – the first stage of editioning … I find it hard to focus for too many hours; I know other printmakers may print 30 in a day! In my defence, I have a dog nagging me to take her for a walk at around 3pm. Oh, and my youngest daughter has been home all week feeling unwell and also needing attention. Too many distractions! Hopefully next week I can edition more “Gossip” prints. Focus, Focus!!
I have been making some new collagraph blocks/plates this week. They are only 10 x 4 cm in size, so they will be affordable if I take them along to sell at craft fairs. Even though they are small, I forget how fiddly they are to make and therefore much more time-consuming! These faces belong to my “gossip” series. The idea for these faces started out as a rough doodle, while I was feeling a bit uninspired a while ago. I was wandering about the house, feeling restless, needing something to kick start me. I drew the silhouette of the 2 wine glasses sitting on my kitchen windowsill, then I absent-mindedly added a nose and some lips – just playing about really, but it was fun – and my first “gossip” print was born. This week, I am adding 6 more to my initial collection. I hope to finish the plates by the end of tomorrow and apply the shellac varnish, so hopefully I can see how they print up next week!
Thanks to my eldest daughter I am officially a blogger; she recently started a great blog about her low FODMAP diet she is following to combat IBS. As a university student on a tight budget this has been a challenge!
(read about it on: http://www.textbooksandtapioca.wordpress.com)
Anyway, to follow her blog I had to set up my own blog – I have only just recently started using a smart phone and Facebook! I spent most of the summer building my own website (using a template on Moonfruit), so I have really been dragged into the 21st Century at lightning speed! As I write this first post, my daughter is sitting next to me on the sofa with her laptop. She is posting about the delicious soup she made for lunch, and the chocolate brownies she baked using sweet potato. It feels quite convivial, blogging together! Anyway, I need her to sit next to me at the moment because I am a virgin blogger and haven’t a clue what I am doing!
Don’t expect too much in the way of printmaking content until I have repainted the wall in the “studio” (dining room!) – currently it’s bright red, but it is too dark and I need a colour that reflects more light. I have been focusing on doing my printmaking workshops since August, but I have no more bookings for this year (people need to save their money to buy stuff for Christmas, I expect) so I can now start to think about my own printmaking projects: I have written a short story and want to do some small prints to illustrate it. I also have a list of animals I want to have a go at: parrots, owls, crocodiles …….
I recently did a walk on Holt Heath, near my home in Wimborne. I took a photo of a beautiful white cow grazing on the heather. I need to check what breed it is. I want to see if I can produce a collagraph of this cow with only 3 materials: PVA glue, carborundum grit, Polyfilla.
So many ideas! Not sure what comes first and when, but as soon as the decorating is finished I am going to get started. 2015 will be a year of creativity for me I hope.