Friday, 18 April 2014

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More prints, more cutting. And a wheelbarrow ride round the garden. Turbo blast off...

Album

I don't know why it's taken me so long to work this out. I've been trying on and off for years to make a photo album I'm happy with... one with pages sturdy enough to support the photos yet not too stiff; with spacers to pad out the pages and accommodate photos without looking unsightly or getting in the way; with a sturdy spine that will withstand the weight of added photos...


I've tried sewing a book with double the amount of pages then cutting alternate ones out but it's hard to get neat and wasteful of paper. I've tried sewing pages to a concertina spine which works as padding but just didn't feel quite stable enough. I've tried folding the edges of pages over and sewing, or gluing, with guards, without and it always came out wonky. To be brief I've tried a lot! And never been quite satisfied. 



But yesterday it came to me, just like that. I've been making concertinas from folded single sheets glued back to back for a while (like a line of alternating Vs), it's the Japanese method I think, and suddenly I realised if I pointed all the Vs the same way and put spacers at the spine edge I could glue it all together in the same way, and it would stay straight and square. Turns out it's sturdy with the sort of page thickness I want and the spacers are hidden too. 

So, this may be obvious, or just the way it's done, it's probably got a name but I'm just glad I've discovered it. :) 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Before the light fades...




Hand behind the tool. Don't slip. Practicing curves, wood chip in my eye. Soon I've got to walk across the park and it will be dark on our return, time for tea and pajamas and duplo and hopefully not tantrums. But for 20 minutes longer the (fading) light belongs to me. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Wednesday

        

        

More woodblock printing today. Same blocks but after reading a few books and watching lots of YouTube videos I tried less water, better soaked paper and lots more ink. Gouach this time, not watered down and painted but straight from the tube and mixed on the plate with a little stubby brush (marubake). Getting there. Now I need to cut more wood...

Sunday, 29 September 2013

More



More circles, more cutting. So hard to get anywhere at all in ten minute bursts days and days apart. Never getting to the feeling of loosing myself in what I'm doing, time is ticking not melting away like it sometimes can when things are good. Instead, getting stuck at worry, questions, doubts, is this right am I wasting the small bit of time I have, change it it. 

Anyway, just a note to myself; maybe don't worry so much. This is the way now. More circles.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Circles

This summer I had the opportunity to try cutting and printing Japanese wood block with my friend Jonathan (who makes very lovely prints indeed). Some circles...


Different to any print process I've used before, the wooden block is soaked with water and water-based ink is applied. Paper is laid over the top and pressure applied by hand with a baren. The ink is absorbed by the paper and this gives the resulting prints a vibrant quality which I love. I normally have such trouble with colour (with it looking murky or flat or clashing or just not how I want it) but on the thin Japanese paper the bright saturated colours look good to me. Although saying that...



A few weeks later I made some mono prints inspired by the previous circles. Paper stencils with grids of circles cut out. Two shades of grey because all the colours looked wrong. I'm interested in how the circles overlap and create new shapes as the ink builds up, the patterns left by the previous stencil. That's the beauty of the oil based inks to me, the transparency of a really thin layer, how the tone changes as the layers build up.

And I've been teaching George to draw circles. Round and round. He's getting it, less zigzag more curve (although zigzags are good too!) Mostly leads to ten verses of 'wheels on the bus' though... :)



Friday, 12 April 2013

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Spot the difference...