Thursday, 9 August 2018

Kettles Yard



This is another new print 'Ede's Spiral', one of the largest I've done for some time and in fact as large as my press will take.  It's a monoprint/collograph featuring the 76 pebbles inspired by the spiral of pebbles found on the low table in the bay window of Jim Ede's bedroom at the wonderful Kettles Yard house.


The gallery has been closed for a couple of years for a period of refurbishment and extension of the gallery space, so I was thrilled to go back there and spend a wonderful afternoon looking around the Antony Gormley exhibition, which runs until 27th August, and sketching in the house with my daughter.

Antony Gormley exhibition

Some of my favourite views in Kettles Yard House

Circular things that caught my eye in the house

The print itself was a labour of love.  Firstly drawing the spiral to scale, then cutting out the 76 pieces of card to represent the round pebbles.  I then hand painted them all with oil paints to match the tone and patina on the actual pebbles I'd photographed.  I hoped that the oil paint wouldn't dry out before I had time to print it as it took nearly four hours to paint them all.  Once painted I laid them all out on a numbered template on the bed of my press, VERY carefully placed the Somerset 300gsm paper on top (crossing my fingers that I didn't move any of the pebbles in the process).  Then I rolled it through the press.

This summer has been extremely hot in the UK and although the paint hadn't completely dried out, it had become sticky.  So as I lifted off the paper I realised all the 'pebbles' had stuck to the paper, so I had to individually flick them all off so they fell from the paper without smudging the print.  A heart stopping moment.  But when I finally revealed the finished print I was very pleased with how it turned out.  Once it was dry I added a tiny bit of watercolour to some areas to create shadow below the pebbles.

I have printed three so far as I haven't had time to do any more.  The edition will be no more than 15 and will become progressively darker as more paint absorbs into the card 'plates'.  For details about availability and pricing please message me.

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