Saturday, 20 February 2016

A PRINT A MONTH

In 2014 I set myself the task of making a print a month...it was not easy, but it was achievable. Not every print was a winner, but it did keep me working. So guess what? I have decided to do the same this year.
So far so good, here is the collagraph for January,
Tea for Two, I have even tried a different technique and seem to be using a spot of colour!!
So you know me, I do cheat a bit and I have a print in hand, Cup for One was also made last month.
I am taken aback by this sudden use of colour, it doesn't feel quite like me.
So here is Februarys collagraph, back to my default
rook, carborundum and black ink (don't those blankets look clean?)
I am comfortable with Escape and feel a bit of a theme coming on with 
the cage.
So now I have sated my need to use black and white, this is the start of the print for March. There will be a bit of a twist as this Macaw will be knitting by the time the work is finished.
The plate has been started, I never put myself under unnecessary pressure, it is only printmaking after all and I should be enjoying what I am doing, so the fact that it is not March yet makes me feel ahead of the game. And yes I make lists where things at the top are done so they are ticked off immediately!! Can't be just me?
This may be Aprils offering, watch this space.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

WORKING WEEKEND

So what makes being an artist a profession and not a hobby? I always thought that a job was in the week and you got weekends off...but this is the second weekend I have worked. (I make sure I take days in lue in the week by the way) Don't get me wrong, I am not having a moan and I'm not looking for sympathy. I love my job.
So it's enamelling in the shed, with safety kit on. 
I am making more enamelled spoons for up and coming shows.
Let me introduce you to Kit Korner, pillar drill which saves me lots of time and energy, Bertha the bandsaw and a tray full of my soldering equipment, a new toy which I am thrilled with.
I use new steel spoons, holes drilled, annealed in the kiln, then soaked in hydrochloric acid prepares the steel to take the enamel. 
I have spot welded moths onto some of the spoons, yes there is another corner with kit!
The spoons are then grip coated,
a stage you have to go through with steel to allow the enamel to stick.
It's really, hot, hot, hot!
And there we have it, after 2 days work the spoons
are now ready to take transfers and be fired a couple more times. Yes, all the spoons get 4-5 firings. The question is what do I do on a day off? What is the shape of your working week, proper hours, ring fenced days, is self employment flexible or more ridged than having a boss?

Friday, 5 February 2016

PLAY DAY

Remember back in October I had a treat and went to Hope and Elvis near Nottingham 
and learnt to solder with Di Tinker Foster?
I was very pleased with the results. 
Soon afterwards the lovely Mr Brown gave me a soldering kit for my birthday. I have been feeling a tad guilty as it is only until now that have got around to having another go. My lovely and creative chum Caroline McCatty came over for a soldering play day.
I rooted out bits and bobs and decided to make some kind of construction, primarily to get the hang of soldering again.
A couple of glass circles and a selection of butterfly wings were put together.
Caroline put together a matchbox memento.
Copper tape and then soldered, a little practice is required to get the taping and soldering even. I will have to work on that.
But I am chuffed with my hinged tea cup 
with a butterfly bottom.
Caroline made a successful match box drawer together with
this stacking soldier.

Thank you Louise at Hope and Elvis together with the expert tuition of Di. Caroline and I have learn lots today and our heads are bubbling with lots of ideas.