I had a fun session demonstrating to Plymouth University Students and technical staff a few weeks ago. It was a small group but with assessments going on at the moment I quite understood the group size!. With students coming from many different courses it was interesting to see the different approaches. Sometimes its difficult for people to be confident about an approach which requires overprinting. However, once they got going they began to see how this created a rich print with depth. even the letterpress technician Paul got a few layers into his print. We all enjoyed he session though and I hope they took something from it apart from the recipe!
Stamps of the village feature – The Church On The Hill – St Michael De La Rupe – Brentor
The lovely Ladies who organise and run this annual craft fair day in the Brentor Village Hall designed their own stamp recreating the architects decal (with their permission) which adorns the front door of our well used village hall.
I organised the stamps to be made for them through Nina Crafts an efficient and very helpful service who will create a stamp to your own design. For an A4 sheet they are £25.00; I think this is exceptional value.
On a breif visit to their committee meeting I showed them how to cut out the stamps and attach them to a piece of wood using craft foam as a pneumatic between the stamp and the wooden plate. This can help considerably to produce a consistent outcome.
As they will be using the stamps for an Apron Pocket this year, beautifully sewed and designed by Sue we practiced on some off cut fabric. All the ladies ‘had a go” and would be able to create the pocket designs. However, I think that when it can down to practical skills and the crafts already being designed by others the task of printing onto the pockets has fallen to by friend Helen. I hope she has fun doing this. Looking forward to seeing the aprons at the Mistletoe Fair.
Had a really fun Jelly Printing session last night with Nichola Beaumont (Nicky) Jenny Hale and Mary Harold at Nicky’s Studio at Court Farm near Lamerton. Lovely studio space (hurry up and get your barn done Jo!!)
Monoprinting on my Jelly plate and the two silicone plates I had taken along with me. Jenny had bought some pre cut stencils of deer to use, inspired by the herd who live in her local woods; a place she visits everyday to draw and think. Jenny impressed me with her colour mixing and her grasp of colour names. Mostly because of my own approach to words like Cerulean (which I have, obviously, never really looked at in detail (my own pronunciation nearer to Corrolee’an!) but knowing the names of the colours that you need to mix to make a certain colour: A skill which I have never really mastered using instinct and the hands over the box of tubes approach myself. Intuitive but definitely not masterly in my case. I even have a book which I bought 3 years ago designed specifically to help me get to grips with colour (not necessarily mixing them) but to do with tone and hue, which I still have not actually moved into the real world and tried my hand at.
It was very interesting to watch the different approaches and the outcomes too. Follow this with a relaxed meal (absolutely delicious) and a glass of wine – What a perfect fun evening.
About Illustrating What’s That On Your face
This is a lovely story written by Ashley Ide, Sturge Weber UK raised the funds to pay for the Illustrations and also to pay for the printing of this book Which will be launched at their family day at the end of October. It has bee a long time in the making, however the final push to get this on the road has been so worthwhile. I am very pleased with the Illustrations and also the design. I wanted to tackle the topic of the problem with being different head on using figurative characters. I tackled the discomfort faced by many children, and adults, when faced with a new audience and their own differences. Birthmarks can be a difficult problem to cope with because children are, innately curious,but also quick to judge. This book is about accepting that most people have something which makes them unique in their own way and that being human is accepting this as part of every day life.
“It is thanks to the Sturge Weber UK Charity that, through their funding, I have been able to publish this book and realise my dream.”
Ashley Ide said this but also it reflects how I feel too as this is the first whole book I have illustrated that has legitimately been published.
A bit about the why of “What’s that on your face?”
What’s that on your face? Is a children’s book that dad, Ashley Ide, has written to help children understand what birthmarks are and that it is OK for people to have them.
We are all unique in our own special ways; some people are big, small, round, thin, blind, or just have a different appearance.
“As a parent to my son Ashton, who has a bilateral port wine stain covering roughly 85% of his face, I know what it’s like on a daily basis for my son. Especially on day trips to new places and when he first attends new places, like a new school, and this is why I chose school as a location in the book.
I feel children are naturally very curious and often just ask “What is that on your face?” and I feel it’s just lack of education that creates stigma. We made the effort to educate our son’s school; by encouraging his teachers to talk about differences and birthmarks so that they could explain. We also taught our son Ashton about Sturge Weber and taught him to explain it to other children and this has been extremely effective. Ashton has had comments but they mainly happen outside of school by children that do not understand what birthmarks are.
I feel this book would be a very useful tool for parents and teachers to help children with and without birthmarks to understand about differences and realise that not everybody is the same and that making comments can upset people. This book has a number of main characters that are unique in their own special ways….including a very unique teacher!”
Something About Sturge Weber UK
Sturge Weber UK
Sturge Weber UK is a voluntary support group for families and adults affected by Sturge Weber syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. The Charity was launched in 1990 by Contact a Family (CaF) in London. With the guidance of CaF, Sturge Weber UK finally became a registered charity in January 1993.
Sturge Weber syndrome
This is a rare disorder of unknown incidence and origin; although present at birth it is NOT thought to be hereditary. Sturge Weber is usually indicated by a birthmark (port wine stain) somewhere on the face, usually involving the eye and forehead, also similar blood vessels on the brain, called an angioma. Those with Sturge Weber often suffer from epilepsy, hemiplegia (a weakness or stiffness affecting one side of the body, similar in appearance to that of a stroke), glaucoma and learning difficulties. Symptoms usually occur in the child`s first year of life.
There are no charges for those affected by Sturge Weber syndrome, their families, friends, or professionals.
To provide support and information on different aspects of the syndrome and to raise both public and professional awareness of the condition.
To promote medical research into the causes and treatment of this syndrome.
A Family Weekend Conference is organised every eighteen months when doctors and other professionals talk about relevant topics.
A Newsletter is produced bi-annually and information leaflets are available.
For more information contact:-
Sturge Weber UK, Burleigh, 348 Pinhoe Road, Exeter , EX4 8AF
Tel: 01392 464675
Now that the first in the series of “The Experience of Colour” are moving forward well I have decided to explore the possibility of working with the same masks and materials but using the same processes as in The Possibility of Black series. Using a mixed black to create the pop of colour.
This short series of magenta prints are produced on the off set proofing press bed plate and then layered up onto the paper which stays on the receiving bed.
I have used the same method, or very similar, to printing on the Gelli plate creating depth and texture by working into a layer of magenta and subtracting ink through a mask with a very soft wall papering roller which literally sucks the ink off the plate. Using a slightly dirty (black) roller or by adding black via transfer has added an interesting set of marks.
These Monotype prints have now been reworked as part of My dreaming Sheep Series.
For those of you who are keen Dartmoor letterboxing fans, I have been researching the birds that live on Dartmoor today and then making illustrations of their eggs for letterbox stamps. It was very interesting finding out about the different birds and how they are related to each other and where they thrive on the moors (or not in some cases) As a bonus, I found out a few things about eggs on the way; Like – ground nesting birds have eggs which are a bit pointy at one end so they don’t roll out of the nest. Ouzels and Oriels have very similar eggs. Redpolls are sighted on the moors and I think I have seen one on my bird table, and they have eggs which have hairy marks as if someone has trailed a fine watercolour brush through dark paint!
Whilst I would normally hand draw my dartmoor letterboxing stamps, this time (because eggs are so very egg shaped!) I have actually used photoshop and various filters to produce the images. Its a shame I left it so late in the day to get round to these as it would have been very therapeutic to draw them all by hand, but on the other hand – time is money!
Making Monotypes. I think that monotypes are my favourite way of printing. Working on the flat bed of a lovely offset printer in the Plymouth University Print Room, where I am an Associate this year, I work with the three primary colours working from dark to light with additive and subtractive masks and textures I build my monotype image to be taken in one pass and transferred onto a Fabriano sheet. Usually I produce one large image, but may mask off the ink to produce two smaller prints (as below) I then place paper onto the inked plate a re roll the offset over to give me a double sided print which I use to make pocket books or for other projects like card cases or even envelopes.
I scan and use all parts of these prints as a bank to use digitally under my ink drawings for my illustration practice. I love these prints and am trying to come up with a way of reproducing this method at home to produce double sided prints.
It would be great to be able to give Drawing Together, my workshop company, the means to work with others to produce prints. I enjoy Making Monotypes so much that it would be good to share the process with others.