I’ve recently invested in some Linseed oil relief printing ink and have really enjoying working with this material. Although it creates much more of a mess then water based inks I find the printing quality much better. It also seems to work really well printing onto fabric. Here are some Scottie dog inspired hand printed bags I have been working on. I’m planing to make a run of these to sell along side my printed cat bags at Christmas Markets over the next few weeks.
More print related news, I now have one of my most popular greeting card designs available as an A4 print. This design will shortly be making its way to my etsy shop.
Wow I hadn’t quite realised how long it has been since I posted anything! I’ve been busy lately but mostly off grid!
I thought I’d get back into the flow of things with a post about inspiring adventures I’ve had over the last few weeks. Starting with a weekend spent in the Lake District at Abandon Normal Devices festival and Blackwell Arts & Craft House in September.
Abandon Normal Devices (AND) is a festival of new cinema, digital culture and art. It’s a bit of a nomadic festival, changing its location each year. For 2015 AND took place in the beautiful Griezdale forest in the Lake District.
AND’s intention was to create a space where visitors could experience the forest in new ways, through the eyes of the plants and animals that inhabit it. This involved an arts trail around the forest, film screenings and drones among other things!
The highlight of the festival for me was In the Eyes of the Animal a Virtual reality experience developed by Marshmallow Laser Feast. This was an interactive piece where participants could experience the forest through the journey of different animal species. This was an amazing experience, being able to move around a virtual forest simply using your eyes! Not sure if my explanation does the work justice but heres a photo.
I also made a trip to Blackwell Arts and Crafts, just outside Windermere, a beautiful building full of arts and crafts décor. I’ve been a fan of the Arts & Crafts Movement for some time and it was lovely to see so much in one place. Lots of Morris & co fabrics and wallpaper, as well as beautiful tiles and stained glass from that period. Also the view from the house across to the lake is absolutly stunning, well worth a visit!
I was recently asked to design an Oyster Catcher print in a style similar to the black and white bird greeting cards I made earlier this year. I was very excited by this commission, as up until this point I’d been experimenting by drawing different types of birds in a similar style but had not considered the Oyster Catcher. The Oyster Catcher really is an ace bird to draw and I had a great time sketching out ideas for this piece.
I was recently commissioned by a friend to design two bespoke 30th Birthday cards. As this was my first invitation to design tailor made cards I jumped at the chance. Two distinct briefs where set focusing on the tastes of each recipient. Vicki was described to me as a cat lover, an ideal brief for me as I adore them too! I set about designing a card using a printed cat silhouette from a linocut print I had made and adding a typewrite font. Laura I was told, is a fan of floral patterns and prints, such as Laura Ashley wallpaper patterns. This features heavily in the design work. I was also feeling inspired by William Morris Arts and Crafts wallpaper designs having recently seen Love is Enough: William Morris and Andy Warhol at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. It is a wonderful exhibition, definitely worth visiting if you get the chance.
I was very pleased with the results and have been informed that the birthday girls are too. On to the next commission!
Things have been very busy over the last few weeks but I wanted to take some time to write a bit about what I have been up to.
Two Sundays ago I took part in The Paper Dolls Handmade Market in Birmingham with my lovely friend Emma, a lady immensely skilled with all things sewing. We teamed up to sell our work, a combination of Emma’s wonderful quilts, cushions and textiles, along with my illustrated cards and prints.
I was really pleased with how well our work sat together, creating a colourful and divers display. (Although these photos in low light do not do the display justice!).
The Paper Dolls Handmade Market felt quite unique as it is more then just a craft fair, it provided an opportunity for local makers like myself to showcase and sell work, but it also felt like a real community event. I had some wonderful conversations with both visitors and stall holders, it was a great day of meeting new people, eating cake and listening to live music. There were also opportunities to take part in workshops, keeping both young and old entertained. I hope the ladies at paper dolls do more of these events!
In other news I have been experimenting with block printing onto fabric, here’s a sneak peek of how it’s going so far. I’m favouring cats a lot at the moment! I’m still having a little trouble working out how much ink to apply as this does feel different to printing onto paper. I’m also working out which inks are best to use. Here I have used Speedball Fabric Block Printing Ink. Hopefully I will have more print work to show soon!
This bank holiday weekend was a great opportunity to get back into linocut printing. I’m still working with single colours at the moment but plan to be more ambitious with my next set of linocut designs by creating prints using two or maybe even three colours. I also have plans to start printing onto fabric and designing my own canvas bags. Can’t wait to get started!