My extremely talented friend, Elly (of The Bell Jar), has launched a lovely online store selling one-of-a-kind handmade necklaces. Just in time for Christmas! I don't expect these will hang around for long (in the store - they'll hang around necks for ages). Consider yourselves forewarned....
Back in 2010 I was commissioned by some friends to produce a commemorative plate for the birth of their first child, Arlo. You can take a look here.
2011 saw the arrival of their second child, Joseph, and I was honoured to be asked to make a plate for him. With his initials being JFK, it was impossible not to reference John F Kennedy. I replicated the style of Arlo's plate and went with Cadillacs, The White House and an olive wreath, but decided against a gun sight on his photo. Got to keep it classy!
I loved working on this plate (and the earlier one). It's not often that I'm commissioned to do pieces (ok, it's never happened before or since) but I really like the process. It suits me to have a brief to work to (and a deadline to meet!).
Not that I've been idle. I had a baby, after all. Coco's little sister, Frankie, arrived just before Christmas and between the 2 of them, creative time is minimal. Not that I'm complaining. :)
I did manage to find the time late last year to work on a few things. One was a commission for Arlo's brother - a matching plate, which I'll show you another time. While I was getting some printing and firing done, I thought I'd take the opportunity to whip up a few other ideas. The plate above was inspired by an expletive fueled speech at a fancy wine event. That's all I'll say on the matter - I wouldn't want to go incriminating anyone!
Ok, so I was going to show you the print after each colour, but that turned out to be a bit hard, as I was leaving it at the studio to dry after my class. I'm only at the studio at night so the lighting is terrible. Anyway, here's the finished piece (it's an edition of 8 - only one of which I'm not 100% happy with).
Longtime readers may recall (if you have Super Memory!) these ceramic insulators from a sneak peak of my home a few years ago. I guess I collect them, but I'm very particular about what makes the cut (they have to be perfect and have an interesting maker's stamp).
Here are a couple more pieces from the Kieron Broadhurst exhibition that we went to on Sunday.
'Cronus' (see previous post) was sold when we got there! And for a price I could've afforded. Devastated. But I had a chat to the artist and he does do commissions. I've never had artwork commissioned before. The idea of it makes me feel all grown up and rich (though I'm neither of these things).
I went to pick my 'Baudin' print up from the exhibition today. Great timing, as people were unloading artworks for the next exhibition so I got a sneak peak. I want everything I saw (particularly the painting above). The exhibition is called Bastard Son and is by Kieron Broadhurst, who is studying fine art in Perth (I can't remember if he's doing Masters or Honours - nor do I actually know the difference), though he's originally from Margaret River.
It was a great reminder that if I'm going to get creative, I should be true to what I like. As I said about my 'Baudin' print in the earlier post, it really does not represent my style, so why do it? I'm not claiming that I am (or have intentions of being) an artist, but in any creative pursuit I need to think about whether it's 'me'. You dig?
Anyhoo, the exhibition opens on Sunday night at The Margaret River Cultural Centre, and runs until the 29th. Buy me a painting?
Ok, so there's not much to see after the first printing, but that's just the way it should be. My image is made up of 6 tones, so it was important to get the first one a really light shade. I've managed to create a lighter shade in this layer by lightly hatching the lino with a fine cutting tool. You can see the lino here.
I've recut my lino for tomorrow night's class. Stay tuned for the results.
Some super lovely friends of mine have just launched their print studio - The Bell Jar. I can not begin to explain how incredibly talented and creative Elly Joel and KylieThévenau are. They create breath-taking surface pattern and textile design for fashion and interiors and I have no doubt you'll see their work in your daily life before long.
I've been a bit unwell so have missed the last few printmaking classes, but it's good to be back! Thankfully I don't seem to have missed too much, and am optimistic that I can catch up with my reduction linocut. Above is my first layer, ready to print. I REALLY want to cut the second colour, but as the name suggests, the lino is cut (reduced) between colours so until I print, I can't do anything (and I can't print until Thursday). Sorry if my explanation of reduction linocuts is a bit light - google it for more information!
One thing I've learnt from doing these classes, is that printmakers are completely under appreciated! The simplest looking prints can be extremely complex to produce.
Really?! A month since I last posted?! Where does the time go.... I have my excuses, but I'll spare you as they're really lame.
So finally, here is the linocut of which I showed you a few snippets. Of course I'm not totally happy with it, but I am really good at picking faults in what I do. (Like this photo - great forehead reflection!!).
The slightly exciting thing is that 'Baudin' is currently hanging in the Margaret River Cultural Centre as part of an exhibition in conjunction with the Readers and Writers Festival. My first exhibition - I'd be more excited if I like the piece, or if I thought it was a good representation of my style (which it definitely is not). Anyhoo, that's enough of trashing my own work for one night. :)
*Nicolas Baudin was a French explorer who mapped much of the coast of Australia, particularly the west coast. Where I live.
I had to add a post because I hate the photo in the last post. The colour of the shellac against the tiles - blurgh. So I thought I'd post a photo of something beautiful, and what could be more gorgeous than my little Coco?!! This was taken about 6 weeks ago and I'm sure she has a tiny bit more hair now. Growing hair is not her strong point. Being adorable is (most of the time). :)
OK, I admit that when the printmaking class moved on to doing collographs, I was less than excited. I mean, you make a collage by gluing stuff on some card. Bore snore. But then you coat it with shellac and it becomes a printing plate! Unfortunately, I didn't put much effort into my plates (I was too busy rolling my eyes) but I'm still happy with some of the effects I ended up with. I've now been inspired to do another plate, and am looking forward to shellacking it in this week's class. (By which point I'll be over collographs again).
*I've taken a break from my linocut. I'll show you a finished print when I end up with one I'm happy with. Right now, we just need some space.
It's not all about printmaking around here - sometimes it's about salads, which are even more delicious when the ingredients are homegrown. On the right is a simple tomato and cucumber salad (both from the garden), and on the left is a zucchini and risoni salad. Delicious raw homegrown zucchinis (peeled into strips) with an equally yummy dressing - olive oil and red wine vinegar, plus fresh chillies and mint (from the garden!). And some risoni and olives. Who says you don't make friends with salad? :)
Still plenty to do, but so far I'm happy with how it's going (which is not to say I wouldn't do things differently if I had the chance!). This is just a detail - I'll show the full piece when I finish.
I think I have to stop titling my posts 'Print Thursday', as it seems to be the only thing I'm blogging about! Last Thursday we started linocuts, something I've always wanted to try. I've taken on quite an ambitious design (I think) but so far the cutting is going really well. Of course, I won't know how it's really gone until I print this Thursday. I might only get a proof done, as I've decided to use some of the monoprinting techniques I learned in the first class to print a background. Stay tuned....