Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Fan of letterpress

Another year is flashing by. Printing & blog postings have been slow. My letterpress fan was made last Autumn with much cursing: it's really tricky to master the precise folding required so that the fan opens and closes smoothly. Printed on japanese paper. I am a fan of letterpress.

Thursday, 23 November 2017


Attempted expression of jazz music by layering large wooden punctuation marks, plywood offcuts & children's wooden toy blocks (conveniently almost type-high) in a mix of letterpress & litho inks.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

words like seeds broadcast

Visiting the Norwich Print Fair in September, I discovered Colin Johnson's work: 'I walk and I collect artefacts and fragments, my work is an exploration of these found pieces.'

Alongside Colin's prints, there were fantastic pick-n-mix style mounds of detritus from Norfolk beaches that Colin had given a uniformity to by cutting everything to a small square size. I was drawn to the pieces that contained letters and text.
Using objects found whilst walking as source material for print is very attractive. I like the fact that what you find depends not only on the location of your walk, but also on what you happen to notice & pick up whilst walking. I used 4 of Colin's pieces in this print along with ash seed from a street in Norwich, and cut up cardboard pieces.
I discovered the line of text (printed here as blind embossed metal type) whilst walking near Reepham on Marriott's Way, which follows the route of a disused railway line. Along the path you come across benches and sculptures made from railway sleepers and tracks. The phrase 'seeds like words broadcast' was carved into one bench. I can't find the origin of this phrase, but it stuck in my head. I changed the word order on this print. I enjoy the fact that you can put these 4 words in almost any order and still find a meaning.

This print, along with 2 others in the series, will be on show in an exhibition entitled 'Found' at The Old Passage in Arlingham, Gloucestershire from the end of November until April 2018.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

That time of year

Another year flashing by & I realise that I have not posted anything here since February 2016. Winter is slowly creeping up and I have at last got back to printing. The kick-start to printing was a 2-week artist residency in Norfolk with no computer, car, or internet access. Just me and a small Furnival etching press in a peaceful spot with a 45 minute walk to the nearest bus stop. I decided that collecting objects (leaves, plants, rubbish, abandoned stuff, flotsam & jetsam from the coast etc.) would provide my printing matter. This print was made using a piece of 'found' wood from Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire and the tree element is a piece of 'something' (not sure what material it is) found on a Norfolk walk with added branches cut from card and printed over the initial wood printing. I like the way the different wood textures describe their own tree forms. I have blind embossed metal letterpress (not easily visible here) onto the bottom of the print: That time of year. Print currently part of 'Out of the Woods' exhibition by members of the Gloucestershire Printmaking Cooperative at Westonbirt Arboretum.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Hand & Heart

Rings & hands & hearts & what I only just realised is the Boy's Brigade emblem. I like the way the right-hand edge curves of the wooden ampersand bend protectively round the ring and trade mark symbol. The old image blocks come from the archive of Large & Sons who were printers and stationers in Byker, Newcastle. The elements all turn around ideas of truth, commitment & promises. In need of reassurance, maybe?

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Dum spiro spero

I heard somebody on the radio the other day make reference to this motto dum spiro, spero: while I breathe, I hope, or while there's life, there's hope. The concise elegance of the latin and the rhyme, rhythm and poetry within these three words got me thinking & printing. My first version included the word 'hope' but I removed it, preferring to leave space for the word 'breathe' alone.
With very little wooden furniture, making do with odd pieces of wood and magnets works fine to lock the wooden type on the press bed.