Monday, 11 February 2013

Double Elephant Days

The title today does not refer to me and Red Mel although I have to admit that we had chocolate flapjacks for Sunday breakfast. I don't suppose they did anything towards either of us achieving a svelte waistline.  Meal choices are a little limited at Lovelygrey Cottage at the moment as I'm heading for the mountains on Friday and running down perishable food supplies in preparation; There's no muesli either.  No, the Double Elephant referred to here isn't a beast with one head and two trunks but an imperial paper size, presumably a big sheet.  It kindly lends its name to a printmaking workshop based at the Phoenix Arts Centre in Exeter.

Inspired by works of artists like Angie Lewin and Susan Deakin that I've spotted at the Devon Guild of Craftman's Centre  I been hankering to give printing a go and this year have a planned budget set aside for a couple of courses.  Here's my very first lino cut that I produced this weekend, currently a limited edition of  four.  Forget  Kirstie's assertion that  machine embroidery is the 'crack cocaine of crafts'.  I'm as hooked as a big fat fish discovering a big juicy worm!  It's the combination of cutting, colour play and the extreme analytical thinking involved that's doing  it for me.

Here's my second piece made from a piece of lino I had left over, a two  colour  fish that's supposed to be a mackerel but in this colourway is more like a stickleback.  A reduction technique is used where the first colour is printed and then the plate is chopped about again.  The destruction element appealed to my inner vandal.  I can only ever produce as many prints as the number of pictures I made at the first stage of the process. Luckily I had twelve to play with.

When I return from the snowy peaks, hopefully with my right knee's cruciate ligament intact I'll be buying some lino to play with at home.   Then with the rest of my budget I'll be joining the Double Elephant as an associate member and attending technical sessions to hone my skills and use the 19th century press to make some more of my own prints.

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