Art, reviews and thoughts from a young artist in Plymouth, UK.

Archive for the ‘Linocut and Printmaking’ Category

Plymouth Art Weekender 2017 – Day 2

This year was my first year taking part in the Plymouth Art Weekender with my own art project.  I worked with other young artists from YEA Plymouth to put together a zine, YEA ’17, full of our art and interviews.  I was the project manager and zine editor and we have been working on the project for the last couple of months.  We applied for funding from Vital Sparks and Horizon and we were able to create 200 copies of our zine, including handmade badges, to give out for free for PAW17.  We numbered all the copies because they are limited edition and exclusive to the festival.  We delivered small handmade boxes full of YEA ’17 zines to some of the Plymouth Art Weekender venues this morning, including Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth College of Art, and Plymouth College of Art Pre-Degree Centre (my own college).

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Our zine YEA ’17 in a handmade display box at PCA

 

Our group was also offered the opportunity to have a table event in the Plymouth Athenaeum.  So today we made up our table, then we spent the day giving away copies of YEA ’17!  We also sold solo zines (including my Gurt Noodle #0) and YEA Plymouth badges to raise money for future projects and materials.  We put a section of our Zine Library out on display for the public to have a look through and brought a typewriter and zinemaking equipment for people to play with.

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YEA Plymouth members Daisy and me at our table, Jenson in the background with my little sister

This was the first time we had ever had our own table at an event/fair, and even though there weren’t many of us to share the load we still had an amazing time.  It gave me an idea of what manning a stall is like, which I really needed since I have my very own stall at this October’s DevCon!  We had to sit and wait for visitors, and when they came we had to talk about our group and our project.  We met some interesting people and they had a lot of questions for us, especially about how YEA Plymouth began.  I was also interviewed by Eleanor (Ellie) Burfitt for her film about the Weekender.

Also in the Athenaeum, there were tables for the board game Flikkin, which has been invented by Plymouth artist Holly Knowles, tables for a book-making workshop by Muster Press, and a table for the Penryn Handling Collection.

 

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The Penryn Handling Collection table

The Penryn Handling Collection is a “collection of objects made by artists, using traditional and modern craft skills in untraditional ways”, and was developed as part of the Penryn Arts Festival (2017).  Visitors were allowed to touch, play, read and talk about the objects on the table.  Some of the most interesting pieces on display were a giant blue plywood hand by the Juneau Project and a travel wallet by David Shrigley.

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Some of the objects on the Handling Collection’s table

The book-making workshop was organised and led by Muster Press.  A few YEA Plymouth members (including myself) took part in this.  Our theme was ‘trees and growth’, and we created stamps of trees.  We made the stamps by carving stamp foam with scissors, pens and scalpels.  We then stamped our creations into books in arrangements, to seem as if we were “growing” a forest.

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Muster Press book-making workshop (Jenson and Jake from YEA Plymouth are behind the plants)

It was refreshing to try work on objects normally seen in backgrounds, as I struggle with drawing backgrounds and need practice.  We sat round the table and formed a production line, which was fun to work together with other people I had never met before, and the books we created are really beautiful.  We weren’t able to bring the books home as they needed some finishing but the guys at Muster Press are going to send them to us later and I will post pictures then.

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The tree stamp I designed, cut and carved

Flikkin is a ‘Flicking Counters’ game, and the first to three goals wins.  Lots of people (even complete strangers) played together and bonded over it.  Some interesting facts about Flikkin are:

  • There are only six boards in the world (so far) and the creator Holly Knowles brought three along today.
  • As well as being the creator of Flikkin, Holly is also the current world champion!
  • My dad, brother, and little sister loved it!
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Flikkin matches with Holly Knowles (top left)

Jenson (my brother and another YEA Plymouth member) demonstrated how to use one of our typewriters to lots of people.  Younger children were really fascinated by it but lots of people had a go.  One of the people there put together all the words and phrases that different people had written into a minizine of found text.

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Typewriter demonstration with Jenson

YEA Plymouth members also helped visitors to create their very own minizines, and we added photocopies of them to our Zine Library.  We have eight new minizines from this event.

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The minizines made during the event

It was a long day but a really good experience being part of the Weekender as an artist and as an organiser.  I got to participate in a workshop and meet a lot of people.  We sold a good number of Gurt Noodle and Sweet Tooth zines and our badges and I feel that the event was successful!

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Three of the YEA Plymouth members: Me, Daisy, and Jenson!

Find out more about the Plymouth Art Weekender here.

My blog posts from this year’s PAW event:

Plymouth Art Weekender 2017 – Day 1

My previous PAW blog posts:

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 1

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 2 – Part 1

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 2 – Part 2

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 2 – Part 3

Plymouth Art Weekender 2016 – Day 3

 

 

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My Gallery

"About Me", an illustration I did using Promarkers and a Pentel brush pen in February 2017.

“About Me”, an illustration I did using Promarkers and a Pentel brush pen in February 2017.

I have added a Gallery page to my blog. It collects together a selection of my work as a young artist in Plymouth. There are examples of my illustration and game art work as well as examples of other types of creative work I have completed or participated in. Don’t forget to check my instagram as I add new work there regularly!

Block printing cotton bags

I bought some cotton bags from Hobbycraft for £1 each so that I could try printing on them at home with my Plymouth Pilgrims linocut which I made at my NatSatClub.  I washed the bags and they shrunk quite a bit, and I couldn’t get them completely flat with the iron but I like the slightly crumbly texture they have.  The other equipment I used was:

  • Blue Essdee Block-printing ink which I bought from Cass Art (Bristol)
  • A stainless steel serving spoon to use as a baren
  • A thick slab of glass to roll the ink on
  • The four inch roller from the Essdee Cutting and Printing kit bought from the The Art Side (Plymouth)
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Attempt #1

Attempt #1 – I used cardboard inside the bag in case the ink bled through and the usual amount of ink I would use for printing on paper.  The print is visible but looks pale or faded.  There was no ink on the inside of the bag.  I thought that I needed to apply more ink next time and wondered if the cardboard had cushioned the fabric so that the pressure from the spoon wasn’t enough to transfer the print.

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Attempt #2

Attempt #2 – I removed the cardboard so there was nothing inside the bag and used a thicker layer of ink.  The ink did bleed slightly on the inside of the bag but it was quite a patchy print.  I decided I needed a thin protective layer inside the bag and to apply more pressure to the spoon.

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Attempt #3

Attempt #3 – I used a thin piece of paper inside the bag to protect it from ink bleeding and a thick layer of ink.  I put greater pressure on the spoon in all areas.  The paper took any ink that bled through but the print was still a little patchy.  The print wasn’t aligned properly on this bag but it was my best attempt so far.

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Attempt #4

Attempt #4 – A thick layer of ink, a lot of pressure with the spoon, and a layer of paper inside the bag.  I aligned the bag carefully and went over the print area thoroughly and with a lot of effort with the back of my spoon.  This print looked really good although I did lose definition in some areas because of how thick the ink layer was on the lino.

I enjoyed this experiment and I’m going to make some more block-printed bags soon.  I need to find a better way to apply more consistent pressure with the equipment I have at home because the spoon works well with paper and card but doesn’t work as well with the fabric.  I really like my design and I’m glad it looks good on bags.  I don’t know if the ink will stay on the bags in wet weather or if it will wash so I’m going to test one of these bags after they’ve had time to dry properly and look at different types of ink.

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