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.
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)!