Sunday, 25 February 2018

Cambridge Contemporary Crafts - featured artist

The exhibition at CCC is now underway and going well so far with four already sold in the first two days including Autumn Branches, Oystercatchers, Starlings Halt and the new Kingfisher print.  As well as my original prints, they also stock my cards and tea towels.

New Kingfisher drypoint print

I've had an idea to produce a print of a kingfisher for some time and decided to make it the fourth in my series of birds in the 31cm x 23cm format.  We are very lucky to have two nesting pairs in Milton Country Park and it's unusual for a week to go by if I don't see one on my daily dog walks.  The iridescent blue flash never fails to thrill.

The print is a drypoint - made by scratching into perspex with a sharp tool.  The plate is then inked like an etching; thick black printing ink is spread onto the surface of the plate, ensuring that the ink penetrates into the lines.  I then carefully wipe the surface of the plate with tissue paper, just leaving the ink in the lines and making sure the background is completely clean.  This inking and wiping process can take up to an hour.  The plate is then placed on my etching press and 300gsm Somerset paper is placed on top and rolled through the press, which presses the ink into the paper.

The plate can produce about ten impressions, all are inked up individually. Once the ink has dried, I add watercolour and blue metal leaf to try and capture the shimmering kingfisher feathers. I then sign and edition the finished prints.

I'm really pleased with the set of four cards.  They will also shortly all be available as coasters.

Monday, 5 February 2018

New publisher - Flamingo Paperie

At the end of 2017, Phoenix Trading, the publisher I'd worked for on a freelance basis for about 12 years, went into administration.  They couldn't find a reasonable buyer, so closed.  However from some of the team behind Phoenix, comes Flamingo Paperie.  Launched this month, I am really pleased to say that I have several new designs in the range plus some of my best sellers from Phoenix retained in the new catalogue.  Have a look at the new website to find out how to buy things and support an independent UK based business.

The eagle eyed amongst you may think these are familiar.  The Pots of Narcissi are based on the Snowdrop Pots, which was a best selling Christmas design in 2016 and also features in my range of coasters.

Cute 'gender neutral' new baby card printed and embossed on matt textured kraft paper.

This is another re-working of an old design, brought up to date with gold foil.   I love the bright colours in this birthday card, which I now prefer to the original design.

There is also a set of new Penguin designs - wrapping paper, postcards and a die-cut card, which I'll post at a later date when I have samples.

2018 update

Well it's been a busy couple of months, hence the lack of blog posts.  Don't forget you can see more regular updates on my Instagram page, which also has video clips of prints coming off the press and more information about my inspiration and process.

All the Christmas shows went well, it seems a while ago now, but it won't be long before I start applying for 2018 events.  I've already signed up for my 23rd Cambridge Open Studio in July and have applied for the Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale (fingers crossed) in September.

Woodpecker (drypoint print)
I've been busy working on a couple of new prints for a bird themed 'featured artist' exhibition at Cambridge Contemporary Crafts, starting on 24th February and running until 21st March.  Having looked through my back catalogue I have twenty prints featuring birds, so there will be plenty on offer, both framed and unframed, plus my cards and tea towels.