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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Growing Tips: Part 1

Over the summer I worked on two projects which I haven't yet had time to write about.
This first one was something I had been wanting to do for a couple of years.
I am trying to make better boxes and am rather fond of the shapes of the tips of growing plants.
So I made a triangular box to contain the work.  Well in fact I made two. One to see how it would work and then the one which would house these " Growing Tips"

Roughs and first go at the box.... Yes, its not simple to make a triangular box that works nicely!

first trials...

It was an exercise in combining printmaking. (Lino and collagraph) with some scanned digital work.
In my mind there would be a small field of emerging plants and on the back of each plant a tip about how to encourage growth in both plants and people.

First I designed and cut the blocks for the tips and proofed them:

I wanted them to stand up so made lots of paper trials to try to find a stiff paper that would laminate and print well as well as stand up. I eventually chose some 300gm watercolour paper. I could have used a thin card mill board but then there was the problem of cutting a tab... there is always an issue. And it seems to me that lots of time is spent trying to solve these incidental problems than actually doing the creative work.

I decided to make a small background shape to add to each design to add some more colour and made a registration sheet to try to get the designs in registration. Trying not to waste paper I jigsaw cut the paper to fit in as many triangles as possible. I have three different sizes of triangles.


Printing was interesting but rather time consuming. I tried a few different techniques including rainbow rolls.. some worked and some didn't and the watercolour surface sometimes poses a challenge to print, getting the ink consistency and pressures right were a bit tricky.
In the end I had 26 images good enough to use.

I had printed some papers to cover the boxes ... nice!


more to come :)

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Monday, 2 September 2019

Countdown to P-Day

It's only a few days now before the Autumn Country Market At Easton this Sunday, where we will be showing our completed "Salute the Pig" book.
I have spent the last few months getting just 10 of the 25 books bound, prints made, some accompanying ceramics prepared and all the bits of faffing around that go along with having a stall.
It has been very, very time consuming.. But we will be ready for Sunday!!!

The Books:

I am not a bookbinder as such, so the most nerve racking aspect of all this has been trying to bind the main letterpress printed books.  There are only so many beautifully printed sheets to work with, and I cannot afford to make any serious mistakes.

Covers and endpapers were handprinted. Books sewn and glued then all assembled and the original lino print plates tipped in and stamped. Phew..It's adhering the endpapers to the covers that I have found most difficult... but it is good to try and get things right. All I can say is, I have made them the very best I can at this stage of my bookbinding ability!

Chris's accompanying recipe booklet was digitally printed and so we designed it in InDesign echoing the type style of the main book. I converted my piggy sketches to monchrome red and dropped them into the text. The books are finished with a binding of ... what else but... stripy butcher's string!

The Well Fed Pig

The Well Fed Pig:

We are selling a few prints from the book seperately and I worked on a large two colour combined lino/woodcut of the Well Fed Pig. I had already explored this theme of the pig tattooed with its favourite food in some earlier experimental ceramics and it has developed nicely into the print. The original image is A3 and I am selling these, plus a smaller digital A3 version.

Three Little Pigs 

I liked some of the sketches from the recipe book so much that I decided to have some cards printed of the piglets. More may follow!

The Ceramics 

I like to make ceramics occasionally but I could never say I am a ceramicist. However over the last year I have played with some ideas which I thought might work for the pigs.  My ceramics are a bit like my bookbinding.. rather experimental, so sometimes ideas worked, but very often not, due to my own inexperience and/or firing issues, which rather dampened my initial enthusiasm.
But eventually I have enough good ones to be able to add them to the Pig Box and offer a small number for sale....and for me to consider continuing....many thanks to Gay and Julie for dragging me out of the slough of despond!

 I am making a page on the blog about this project... I wonder if it will ever be finished :)

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