Monthly Archives: May 2014


Project 13 - print 1

Project 13 – print 1

Project 13 - print 2

Project 13 – print 2

Project 13 - print 3

Project 13 – print 3

Hanging cage - steel - 54cm x 27cm x 16cm Cage in tree - steel - 30cm x 22cm x 19cm

Hanging cage – steel – 54cm x 27cm x 16cm
Cage in tree – steel – 30cm x 22cm x 19cm

Monument to Baras - Steel - 88cm x 28cm x 28cm

Monument to Baras – Steel – 88cm x 28cm x 28cm

In this soil... chine collé print

In this soil… chine collé print

Map chine collé print

Map chine collé print

Corn sunset chine collé print

Corn sunset chine collé print

Wow – If only all months could be this productive! Admittedly I have had quite a bit of leave and haven’t done much else other that art based activities this month. On to the final push with the printmaking now….

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Project 14 – Combination printmaking and chine collé

Research point

I looked for some examples of good use of chine collé in printmaking.

I started out looking through the printmakers council website, but with little success, although Sarah Garvey’s print ‘TANGLED UP IN BLUE’ monoprint and chine colle’ which I had looked at before did stand out again.

Looking further I found the following print from ‘DawnR@6’ (real name unknown) which makes good use of chine collé:

Then I came across Cybèle Young who does some very interesting work. These two prints in particular worked well for me due to their simplicity:

Then some work of Nicki Dennett whose website doesn’t allow links to individual images, but a number of the prints in this gallery use chine collé:

And finally another artist Liz Toole who uses simple single colour chine collé to good effect:


As with some of the prints looked at in the research, I thought I would try adding colour to an existing print. So I started with my small single colour linocut of a man at Kilnsey Show from project 6:

Man print

I cut tissue paper in blue for the sky and green for the grass, inked up the block and added the tissue paper, pasted it and printed. Result = tissue paper very well stuck to the lino block! That was with diluted PVA, so I tried again with the cornflour paste. Same result! I’m guessing the problem was that I was applying it to too dense an area of ink and the stickiness of the ink was stronger than the glue.

The only other option I could see was to add the tissue paper to an un-inked block, print, then print over with the ink.

I tried this with some success:


'Kilnsey Show'

‘Kilnsey Show’

This worked on the thicker paper, but gluing the tissue paper to the very thin Hosho paper distorted the paper too much.

At the same time as trying the failed attempt of the above print, I tried the opposite – applying the tissue paper to an area which wasn’t inked at all. My idea for the design of this print came from a quote from an anonymous poem by the Mapuche tribe in Chile – “in this soil dwell the stars”. I sketched out a triptych, initially having the words on the first and last blocks. Then drew in shooting stars in the sky area, rounding them off as they looked odd, then gradually changing them into seeds which looked better and fitted in well with the phrase.

The idea for the first block was to cut out the words, use a stencil to ink up the bottom half in brown, then add tissue paper and metal leaf and print. Result = tissue paper not stuck down. My start in chine collé was not going well!


So, I came to the conclusion that (as detailed in the course notes), there needed to be a background colour to give the tissue paper something to adhere to. Then the print over the top of the tissue paper needed to have something there, but not too dense an area of ink (as was the case with the last stage of the reduction cut lino used in the course notes example). So I modified the design of my block and tried again.

First I printed a light grey background using the uncut block. Then I tried two methods:

1) Adding the tissue paper to an un-inked block, pressing onto the paper, letting it dry, then overprinting


This one worked OK


A full covering of tissue paper also worked, although maybe it should have gone wider to provide a border?


In this one the line between the tissue paper and the printed area doesn’t line up very well. Maybe best to leave an overlap?


Adding metal leaf was a disaster! It took me three attempts to get the metal leaf to stick to the paper in the first place as it was so fragile and hard to place. In the end, the only way I could get it onto the paper was to stick a larger area of leaf to the paper first (you can see this under the tissue paper), then add the tissue paper surround afterwards.

When I came to print it though, the ink pulled the metal leaf from the paper. Arghh!!

2) Inking up the cut block, laying over the tissue paper and printing


This worked better than the same design glued to the paper first as it lines up better and having much less ink on the tissue paper meant that it stuck to the paper and not to the block this time.

More experiments with metal leaf

I tried out some different types of glue with metal leaf, figuring that as it was almost impossible to cut and place it accurately, I would draw the shape on the paper, paste the paper and stick the metal leaf to it.







The size gave the best and flattest adhesion to the paper, but it did colour the paper which was then visible in the areas where the metal leaf did not stick – a second coat and re-application of metal leaf might solve this though? PVA was the best at giving a more even coverage.

The final results – not quite as much of a disaster as before, but not a success either:

Nori print

Nori print

PVA print

PVA print

Size print

Size print

Well I tried, but I think I will leave my experiments with metal leaf there!

Final prints (without metal leaf!):



Final? Well it works, but it has become rather boring now. Thinking back to the research and how some of the artists had used roughly cut shapes to add splashes of colour, I decided that adding colour to the seeds might work better and had one last go:

'In this soil'

‘In this soil’

I also tried a couple of other prints using chine collé. First of all I cut a lino block of a close up (imagined) map which I planned to print on top of a wider map view from a road atlas. The second block was an outline of corn which I planned to print in front of a rainbow rolled sunset with tissue paper sun:


For the map print:


After printing the first of these, I realised that I should have left a border around the edge, so I tried to get ink into the cut areas to give a better block feel:

'Inset map'

‘Inset map’

And for the corn print:

'Cornfield sunset'

‘Cornfield sunset’


I also thought I’d try some different corn prints using an orange background and yellow / pinkish red tissue paper on top:


There is obviously plenty of room to play around with this printmaking method, but I must move on to the final project before my 2 year deadline runs out!

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Project 13 – Combination mono and linoprint

I decided to explore abstract images in this project as I had not done much in this area so far on the course.

I started out with some sketchs of shapes, which developed into this drawing:


I tried a few colour combinations in my sketchbook, but the only one which seemed to work well was the green on a yellow-red rainbow background:


I decided I would experiment further with colours when it came to printing.

Mono print backgrounds used:

  • Rainbow rolling

  • Scrunched tissue paper

  • Masked print

  • Ribbons pressed in

  • Painted background

With the lino, I either printed a single colour or rainbow rolled the lino block.

The results:


With the three chosen for the assignment submission:


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Hot and Cold Sheet Metalwork Course – Yorkshire Sculpture Park

I went on a 5 day “Hot and Cold Sheet Metalwork” course at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in May 2014, run by Brian Fell and Owen Cunningham.

I hadn’t gone there very prepared, thinking that they would run through various techniques and we’d have a few days to come up with a project. However, after a quick demonstration of some of the kit, it was straight into it.

My first project was a metal standing stone, cut and riveted together and then decorated with ground lines on one side, and a map of Baras on the other (drawing from my printmaking work I have done using maps of this location).

Shaping the metal

Shaping the metal

Adding the rivets

Adding the rivets

Cleaning it up

Cleaning it up

Monument to Baras - Steel - 88cm x 28cm x 28cm

Monument to Baras – Steel – 88cm x 28cm x 28cm

After that, I did a quick piece for “consequences”, an art project I am starting with my family where we each start a piece, pass it on to another family member to work on, then on to another family member to complete (more of this later hopefully!). The thinking behind this piece is a rolling hillside with footpaths over it, with holes drilled at the ends and middle to allow threads/material to be attached (if that is what the next person decides to do – who knows!).

Untitled (as yet) - 35cm x 13cm x 7cm

Untitled (as yet) – 35cm x 13cm x 7cm


Then I started work on a couple of pieces for “residencies – homes for unknown creatures” an idea I have been mulling over for a while. Neither of these are complete at the moment, but I will post images of them again when they reach that stage.

Hanging cage - steel - 54cm x 27cm x 16cm Cage in tree - steel - 30cm x 22cm x 19cm

Hanging cage – steel – 54cm x 27cm x 16cm
Cage in tree – steel – 30cm x 22cm x 19cm

The course was excellent and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Brian and Owen were both very friendly and helpful, there was plenty of material to choose from and kit to work with. A few images of the workshop and people at work:


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Land Art research continued

Yorkshire Sculpture Park exhibition – Uncommon Ground : Land Art in Britain 1966-1979

My overall impression of this exhibition was that it was very 70’s! Making pictures by burning card with a magnifying glass for 5 hours (Roger Acking “Five hour cloud drawing, 1980”), filming the lighting of fires in grids (Anthony McCall “Landscape for fire, 1972”), photographs on walks (Richard Long & Hamish Fulton), etc. It would be interesting to know how many of these artists are continuing with similar work today or whether they have moved into new fields.

Andy Goldworthy’s images (e.g. “snowball, 1979”, “Black (soil covered) snowball, 1979” or “Forked Twigs in Water – Bentham, 1979”) are very distinctive and obviously his work. Whilst they do show his style, they do seem less perfected / beautifully photographed than his later work.

Tony Cray “New Stones – Newton’s Tones, 1978” is a surprisingly beautiful work given that it is made out of plastic debris, but the colour arrangement (in the approximate sequence of colours in the spectrum of white light) and the arrangement of the items in a perfect rectangle make the piece work well. He is also making an obvious statement of ecological concern by using plastic rubbish sources from along the banks of the Rhine neat to his home.

I also particularly liked John Hillard’s “Across the Park, 1972” which is a series of 8 photographs framed in pairs one above the other. The top photograph of each pair is the same section of a photograph of a man walking, the bottom photograph of the pair reveals more of the scene below, to the right, above and to the left of the man. The overall effect of which was very clever and brought a smile to my lips!

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Hepworth Gallery

I went along to the very interesting Leeds study weekend run by Gerald Deslandes. I think I am still absorbing the vast amounts of information he went through on the influences of artists over the ages, so I am not going to review those lectures here. What I was going to look at here was our visit to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield on the Sunday.

What was very interesting to me about this gallery is that it was more about the working processes and models than the final works, due to the Hepworth family gift of Hepworth’s plasters to the museum. As someone who wants to get into making sculptures, this was fascinating. There was a great focus on texture in her work, especially on work line “Figure (Archaean) 1959”, but even on the more “mechanical” work like “Winged Figure 1961-2”, where texture has been added to sheet aluminium using Isopon, a polyester resin filler (used in car repairs by the looks of it).

Most of Hepworth’s sculptures are designed to be viewed from all angles and often provide discoveries of new elements as you move around the piece. Many of them are reminiscent of standing stones or ancient sculptures or water-worn rocks – they all seem to have a great age.

It was interesting to see how she colours the plasters by painting them in the colours of the patina she wants in the final bronze casting. Interestingly, reading the Tate interview linked to above, this was also done to highlight blemishes before sending them away to be cast, or to colour them for exhibitions.

I also like the way that the sculptures often show her working methods, the impressions of her fingers, the lines from her files, etc. These marks are part of the sculptures and they wouldn’t work the same if they were perfectly smooth. Others in comparison such as “Two Forms 1937” carved out of marble are very smooth.

Trophy (Flight) 1965

Trophy (Flight) 1965

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Test collage block print


Blacksmithed hooks

My final 'Working the View' exhibition

My final ‘Working the View’ exhibition

Collage block print 1

Collage block print 1

Collage block print 2

Collage block print 2

Collage block print 3

Collage block print 3

Collage block print 4

Collage block print 4

April was mostly spent catching up with my Printmaking course as my 2 year course completion date is fast approaching.

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