Wednesday 18 December 2019

Signal studio - wind down

My residency at the Signal Arts Centre studio came to an end recently -- don't know if it would have been possible to keep up such a supremely productive pace! I previously blogged about this year's residency here and here. I also had a residency last year, which I blogged about here, here, and here. I am booked in for next Oct, Nov, and Dec too!

In my last few weeks I had borrowed a press and printed up all the lino blocks I had cut. This is a test print, showing also the "window" I made from a heavy cardboard in order that the paper would be lifted off the press base. I adjusted the press roller for the depth of the lino blocks, but the cardboard had the effect of raising the press base such that printing a relief block was not awkward.

I printed all the lino blocks for my intended bound portfolio of prints, "A Short Walk To Fort Carré"

In those last few weeks I also completed a number of blank sketch/notebooks using my modified version of medieval tacket binding. I have blogged about how to do this type of binding here and here.

I also prepared nine pocket size blank sketch/notebooks to include in Signal's annual xmas craft fair. The photo below shows them before using the Japanese stab binding technique. Three have leather covers, three have vinyl covers, and three have acrylic sponge covers. Earlier in the residency I had also made a number of "handbag" books using this binding technique. Several years ago I blogged full instructions to make this type of book, which can be found here.

Once I had all the lino prints done, I wanted to make use of the press during the last couple of days of my residency. I had some oils and one of the carborundum plates I had created during a printmaking workshop I attended in September. I blogged about that workshop here.

As I was cleaning up and clearing out the studio, one of the final "clean" things I wanted to do was cut and create the covers for the series of lino prints I now realised I would not bind until the new year, but I at least wanted to get them made. I always get nervous about measuring and cutting (it's so final!) so I took it pretty slow.

The covers are made of a heavy duty, 100% acid-free blotting paper, and will fold around the print series, bound together using the simple Japanese stab binding technique. The portfolio of prints will be in an edition of three.

On my second last day of the studio, I decided to create a monoprint. Using undiluted alkyd paints on a square acetate plate, I painted the familiar figure. Unfortunately I did not blot my paper dry enough, and it ripped in the press. Rather than daunt me, it just made me realise a few things for next time, as I want to work more with that image.

This is the studio shortly before I moved out: almost everything off the walls, and a lot of work brought home already. On the table near the window, prints are being weighed down to flatten. After a final tidy, I said goodbye to an inspiring workspace and returned the key.

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