Earlier this year I exhibited in the “Pine-apples” exhibition. A collaborative project that was an initiative of Hunter Island Press, Hobart and Impress Community print studio in Brisbane (my old stomping ground). The prints were exhibited here in Tassie at Pat Zuber’s Church Studio in Franklin and then in Brisbane at Jay Dee’s , Myrtle Street Studio. The exhibition was fantastic & featured a wide variety of prints from both Tasmanian and Queensland printmakers. It always fascinates me to see how a theme is interpreted in so many different ways. I created the prints “Tassie Girl” & “Queensland Girl”. Essentially they are self portraits – I used to be a Queenslander (with a sunny pineapple on my head !) and now I’m Tasmanian (with a crispy apple on my head ! ).
This week at college I’ve been proofing some collograph test plates and experimenting with the use of stencils. Here are the proofs. I created the plates by shellac-ing grey board and using crackle medium, glue, shellac and paper stencils to achieve the marks. The crackle medium works incredibly well. I’ll probably work the plates a little further with drypoint and print them in at least 2 colours.
I’ve hand coloured the proofs with watercolour paint but I’ll try chine colle at the next printing session.
It’s all about the mark making at the moment and I can achieve some defined and very textural printed marks with the crackle medium – it prints up extremely well and conjures many ideas for future prints.
I have finally made myself a Drying clip stick thing a mi jig in the Green Room. Easy to do – just any old piece of timber with some pegs nailed to it. It gets the drying prints up out of the way and off the bench tops ! I’m starting to get the Green Room into shape and I’m trying to make use of the small space in the best possible way. Boris has recently helped me to build an above head paper rack for all my rolls of paper and this is also a great space saving device.
“Culross, Fife” – Lino Cut by Douglas Halley – 1940
My Grandpa, Douglas Halley, passed away some years ago now. He made this lino cut in about 1940. This we know, because among his lino prints we found “Culross, Fife” made into a Christmas card that says “Christmas Greetings 1940”. I have been studying Printmaking at college in Hobart and I finally felt brave enough to revive this lovely 70 year old printing plate of Grandpa’s and reprint it. Here’s a photo of the lino block. As you can see it has been ravaged by time and is very cracked. I was extremely apprehensive about printing it and having it crumble under the pressure of the press rollers. I held my breath as I rolled it through the press for the first time. Would it just crumble to pieces ? Well, it seems that lino is tough stuff – it survived the pressure of the press extremely well and is no worse for wear !
I have made an edition of 12 to give to family members. I have some of Grandpa’s original prints of “Culross, Fife” – printed onto paperbags and pages from an invoice book! There is also one or two on “good” paper. Grandpa did some other lino prints but he was primarily a watercolour painter. Mum thought there may be other printing plates among Grandpa’s art materials, but this is the only one she found. What a charming little printing plate. I had a tear in my eye as I was printing it and thought lots of good thoughts about my Grandpa, his studio space that he called his “rumble room” in Berwick upon Tweed, Scotland. It is wonderful to revive his lovely 70 year old lino cut.
The 70 year old block !
Grandpa’s original 1940 Print and My re-print
…and this is the man himself, my Grandpa – Douglas Halley. (What a great photograph…… don’t you just love my Grandpa’s “Hip” beach attire and the little chap in the background putting his knickers on)!
Printed etched lino block today…..it was difficult to print as it was not bitten deeply the result was “splotchy” and fuzzy. I definately need a better roller ! The prints weren’t terribly successful and I’m trying to enhance them by hand painting ! Managed to “waste” lots of paper – trying to achieve a good print of something today ! But as usual BIG learning curve.
“Morning Yoga – the first 2 “not so successful” experimental bleed prints
“Morning Yoga” – the etched lino block
The lino was blocked out using bitumen paint (and the use of paper stencils) then etched with caustic soda. Lino mark making is usually so direct and considered but etching lino provides a whole new and exciting twist – you can achieve whimsical, painterly, marks. I am enthused about lino again.
I’ve been Rusting paper and this is the result. Beautiful, earthy, rich colours (the digital image does the colours no justice) ! I’ll use the papers for book pages or print backgrounds. What a great and surprising process.
Collographic marks are deliciously textural. I’m just creating some test prints at the moment (above) and experimenting with anything I can get my hands on to glue down to try to produce as many different printed marks as I can.