Sunday, 4 November 2007

another birdie

I'm getting nervous now. About my new job. I'm supposed to be going in next week, before I officially start, to get to know the print room and have a go with the presses and things, but I'm scared! I just realised that I've been making work in the secrecy of my own room for over a year now, with no one there to see when things aren't going how I want (or when I'm having a tantrum because I did it wrong...) Really the only people who get to see those parts are you, and even then I still get to choose what I show you... So when I think of that big open print room, and the people who have employed me because they think I'm good at this sort of thing looking on as I make my mistakes, well, it makes me nervous! But I'm sure I'll be ok, this sort of thing is good for me right?!

So, I thought I better just make a start and this bird is the first thing I'm planning to print there. Its a collagraph plate, it just needs varnishing to protect it then its ready to be inked up and run through the press.

When I think of collagraphs the first thing that springs to mind is card covered with glue and scrunched up tinfoil, coils of string and a bit of someones old net curtain. I've never had much success with them (and I'm sure this is down to my own personal prejudices developed from the big thick lolloping messes I produced and then swiftly disposed off at school) but when my new boss explained the method they teach the students at LCAD I was very impressed at the results the students have achieved, the images had a range of subtle tones, not a bottle top in sight! They use a simple cardboard base and cut out thin layers with a scalpel, some areas are burnished with a bone folder or rounghed up with sandpaper. Thin layers of PVA or tippex can be used to create smoother areas or different textures of paper cut out and attached; it is all kept very flat. The whole thing is then varnished to seal it then inked up like an etching plate and printed....

I'll show you when it's done (even if it all goes horribly wrong :) )


Riverlark said...

Sarah, I know you'll be great in your job, even if you're learning a little bit as you go! That's ok, and makes you even more valuable to them.
I'm nervous too about the things I'm making for the sale in Minneapolis next weekend. I keep thinking of ideas that are better than the ones I'm executing, but I think it's so good for all of us just to get out there!
If you want a little encouragement, see if you can find "The Guerilla Art Kit" book by Keri Smith. Lots of fun, courageous steps to being creative!

Riverlark said...

PS We did collographs at my Penland session this summer. No bottle caps, but feathers, netting and string. I like the process you described better!

Catherine said...

Your new job sounds like it will be such a great experience, things can be so daunting at the start but I am sure you will love it. I think your bird is wonderful, you will have to show the prints!

Claire said...

Good luck with the new job!

Thanks for describing that colograph technique. I did a weekend printmaking class and colograph was my favourite bit!

I can't wait to see how the bird turns out :-)

Jessica said...

good luck, i am sure you will be fabulous!