At the beginning of the year, the DCA Print Studio got a little 3D printer, and I have been experimenting with my own print plates and experiments. At first, we all learned how to print our own 3D selfies! Here I am:

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Haha. The 3D scanner really picks up a lot of detail in the short amount of time it takes to compile the image. It then took just under 2 hours to print.  Shortly after that, I had a go making and 3D printing little intaglio/relief printmaking plates. It went pretty well, but I haven’t fully explored the technique yet. Here are a few pictures! They are all small test plates printed through an etching press on somerset satin paper.

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Still want to develop that further when I have the time! While I was playing with 3D possibilities, I really liked the mesh that made up one of the failed 3D scans of my own self. I got to making a screen and digital print from it. I don’t have a great picture of the final thing yet, but here’s the mock up. It’s actually the back of my head looking inside, with various holes and deformations that the scanner made on its own. I flipped it so it almost resembles a mountain scape.

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I also started to think about ways in which I could use this technology in my own practice. I have been looking at the huge amount of open source 3D models available for free online. I downloaded several and sliced their arms/hands off in 3dsMax, then printed them at this miniature scale, suspending them from silk thread.

 

You can download and print just about any object you desire. What future world could we create with this over-abundance of information? How many hands are ‘connected’ to the internet right now, typing and swiping away? Could I be printing a 3D scan of your hand as you read this blog post?

I once had a big blog post on Grayson Perry, but I searched for it and it seems to have disappeared, perhaps during one of my rather enthusiastic website clear out phases… :3 What, when you have an six year old blog sometimes you have to clear out the rubbish to save on space. Anyway!

Grayson Perry is one of my all time favourite artists. I was aware of his celebrity when I was recommended to look at his work back in art school, but I hadn’t been expecting his stuff to be so up my street. After winning the Turner prize back in 2003, his numerous books, lectures, TV series and high profile shows in London made him one of those ‘famous artists’. Guess he’s living the dream :P

Perry works with ceramics, textiles, and numerous other ways of working that all can be considered as ‘craft’ by many in the art world. This is a deliberate decision which works with his subject matter, sometimes in harmony or sometimes in juxtaposition. For instance, here are some pots. They are crammed with information and drawings, they sometimes have photographs and objects added to their surface. Included an etching, too, so you can see the range of detail/tone in his drawings.

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The first chance I had to go see a show of his was ‘Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’ at the British Museum. One of the only shows that has stuck in my mind, and that I keep coming back to when thinking about my own stuff. The venue choice seems odd at first, but it was actually very suiting. The show was presented in the way any other history museum would show artifacts and relics: glass cases, dark walls, text boxes with dates etc. But all of Perrys work was shown alongside items he had selected from the museums archives. At times it was hard to tell on first glance who the work belonged to, or who it was made by. A lot of the historical objects looked very odd in this context, but this seemed to say that the creators were just like us, and that even our own culture and rituals look ridiculous when looked upon objectively in a museum. There was all this interconnected dialogue about class, art vs craft, consumerism, society and sexuality. And it gave me just a whiff of a far off future where Perrys own work had become relics of the past, with historians explaining their own projected truths onto the objects. It was immersive and mesmerising.

As well as ceramic artifacts and illustrated pots, there was a huge tapestry on show.

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There is a huge amount of detail in these tapestry works, which he draws on computer software that can then be produced by specialist weavers. Some of the tapestries are absolutely massive. But I love the detail on that scale. Makes me want to play with larger scale textile stuff too. If only I could tapestry! These tapestries were one of my early influences for my lace pieces, too. The second piece there is a portrait of a lady printed onto a beautiful silk hijab.

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Anyway, if you like the work, you should listen to what he has to say about it. There are a few different tv shows on channel 4: All in the Best possible taste, and Who are you. He also recorded 4 BBC Reith lectures for Radio4, which you can listen to online: they are very good.

Me with Alan Measles the Teddybear in his motorbike shrine, outside Perrys show at the British Museum in 2011, looking worn out from London antics.

Hello! I have been busy working away on new pieces, applications for things and new projects in general. Last month, I got really into bookbinding after trying my hand at coptic binding. It is so relaxing, and I have made some book pieces I’m really proud of. The one bound in green thread is a luxurious  sketchbook made of grey fabriano paper. Can’t wait to do some drawing in it. The other two are books I designed as pieces for sale on Etsy- they are blank A5 notebooks with pastel coloured pages. :)

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The coptic binding looks awesome but I do want to look into sewing some kind of cover in to protect the outside cover binding. perhaps a soft paper cover or something. If anyone knows a crisp way to do that, give me a shout!

I have also finished my second zine in the Everything I Know About… Series. This one is called Everything I Know About Dreams. I am really enjoying the series so far and am planning number three now. Just sent a bunch of them away to Zineswap, so if you’re taking part you may well receive one! :D Can’t wait to see what zines I get in my swap. Here’s Dreams:

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Dreams took a while, because I began work on it just before Christmas, which turned out to be insanely busy between all three of my jobs. This day job busyness took until now to die down… 2015 has been hectic indeed. During the midst of the January busyness, I was very kindly sent a pack of book works by Anatomic Air Press, including How to Sleep, an excellent zine with great tips on the art of sleeping. Was great to receive that when I was faltering with the production of my own sleep related zine! I totally recommend you check her work out.

Anyway, I am trying to update my blog much more regularly now I have a little more time. I have some new pieces to show you! :D

Apologies for the absence – Christmas and new year was hectic. My Etsy store really took off around November. That, alongside lots of overtime at my day jobs, meant less time for blogging. I have been working on many new things, however!

Quick updates:

I got a new computer! He is so lovely and glossy and blue. He also runs Photoshop, Illustrator and even 3D Design Programmes with ease, and I am very happy with him. This will go a long way to help me design, research and experiment for new work.

At work, we got a 3D Printer, so I have been researching printmaking with 3D Printed plates, and also with simply working in 3DSMax to create some weird stuff. Dedicated blog post to follow!

I learned, with Paul, how to make a silver ring! We went along to the last Vanilla Ink class and made each other some really lovely rings with the help of the lovely Kate. Sad to see them go, as their studio at WASPS closed last week.

I learned Taku-hon (Japanese Stone Rubbing), perhaps the first printmaking technique to be invented in the world. The pieces created can be beautifully textured, tactile, and either dark and bold or feathery light and subtle. Will also follow up with a blog post.

I am learning bookbinding. I have fallen in love with the look and feel of coptic bound books, and plan to create a range for my online store once I can do them well.

Another Zine to come soon! Everything I Know About Dreams… Goal is to finish it for the next ZineSwap later this month.

My 2015 vague goals? I have lots of ideas for new pieces, including collage, geo prints, and sculptural work, as well as some nice etching and screen prints. I want to make scale a consideration this year: tiny little plates as well as bigger, one off pieces. I’d like to, mid year, have a portfolio to include my own examples all the techniques that I know and use at work. I also want to experiment and work with GOLD!

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6 November 2014

Just a quick post!

I have had a Society6 store since 2011, and generally update it when I have a few new pieces photographed and ready to upload, which does take a while sometimes. Anyway, I fried my brain uploading multiple new pieces today, so thought a little blog post was in order.

Here are some things…

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I’ve been experimenting in print for a little while now, using techniques that are new to me but which better suit my style of working.

I have always painted, even throughout art school where I began to outwardly produce linear, clean drawings and prints. I mainly painted in my sketchbooks, using colourful ink and watercolour washes, often just as a background to a white page.

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Not my best work, but I made A LOT of these.

Then I thought… why don’t I consider this work in itself, and not just an aside to my ‘main’ projects? I have been trying to view the things I produce more holistically, and ignore barriers between them such as ‘fine art’, ‘craft’, ‘design’, ‘writing’, etc. In the end, they are all informed by each other, and I move fluidly between them, which is personally quite a refreshing way of working.

So I began making new things, using watercolour monotype, a basic technique I covered here. It allowed me to use washes of colour and ink blot shapes just like I used to in my old sketchbooks.

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Of course, I have always loved making intricate, fine detail work too, usually in some kind of symmetrical pattern. Masking off my paintings before printing allowed me to find a new way of approaching my drawings. Plus, they have a sweet emboss, plate mark and are one of a kind. Interestingly though, you can get more than one print out of a watercolour monotype plate. I can reliably take 3, but some artists have managed up to 6. Of course, the image gets fainter and fainter each time.

I will have more to show you before the year is over, but for now, I am off to the studio to finish making even more new pieces! :)

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