this magical printmaking process that I was fortunate to learn in Venezia last year can be the most wonderful but also a most difficult printing process a dedicated printmaker will ever do .... but it rewards when it works well.... tonight I had one of those Eureka moments!
From this reverse plate of my photograph of Cochin fishermen shown here . .
After magical solutions are applied and removed the press beckons
To this a wonderful one off print produced from the alchemy
This is a favourie haunt of mine, Goonhilly Downs a Site of Special Scientific Interest that forms a raised plateau in the central western area of the Lizard Peninsula, it is famous for its Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, the largest in the world and where I spent the first few formative years of my adult life working as a draughswoman. If you are lucky as I was on this cold bleak January day you will meet no one and will have this beautiful haunting landscape to yourself. I never tire of photographying its sense of place, it is quite unique at this end of Cornwall, our very own wilderness.
and Lensbaby with Louie at gorgeous Praa Sands yesterday the light was totally there ……..shooting at you from every direction the clouds the sky were alive something you dont often see in the calmer summer time…. these were taken at 1100 a little late by most photographers standards but I was lucky …
Printmaking today I made a process of combining photography photopolymer and the ancient art of chiné-collé ….
(Chine-collé is a special technique in printmaking, in which the image is transferred to a surface that is bonded to a heavier support in the printing process. One purpose is to allow the printmaker to print on a much more delicate surface, such as Japanese paper or linen, that pulls finer details off the plate)
here is where my handmade Thai mulberry paper was hand torn and applied between the steel etching plate and the fine art paper before being pulled by the press, the turquoise cyan hue just melts into the paper so delicately
these beautiful sea jellies become pressed and captured into another life form on paper
part of a small series to be produced
New versus used it's beautiful whatever, I find it has its own entity and identity each time we work I hang onto it as long as I can always, until it can scrim no more.
I love going down to familar places after storms, the sea still rages with such force and drama with such magnificent light this morning … and we got mizzle mixed with spume from the roaring waves such a sight I wanted to paint if only I could! Andrew Barrowman you should have been here today with your easel and paints! I did have my big girls camera thank heavens but with a light defractory lens that I had intended to capture sea algae for my cyantypes which did not happen, fate and serendipity.
The cyanotype chemistry arrived this week from Buffalo NYC and last night I painted up sheets with photosentitive chemical onto heavy grade paper before bed, then up again at 0330am to store away the dried light sensitive paper before dawn and UV daylight. One has to have dedication it seems in this alternative photography!
I had a satisfying printmaking session this morning with this process making a few mistakes along the way hey ho and learning lots also, especially the critical amount of time to leave the prints outside in the watery Cornish winter sunshine today to cure before the wash. It can vary from minutes to literally hours. This cyantype involves a lot of water, patience and the colour blue, whats not to love, loving it already, cannot imagine why it has taken me so long to find.
Living in harmony and within such close proximity to the sea, I am always stunned by the beauty of our what our oceans reveal to us. This warm Cornish summer was a harvest of Sea Jellies, these three beauties are my favourites that I have been working towards a set of beautiful hand pulled prints from my press, printed on gorgeous Fabriano fine art paper. The prints are large 20 x 14 inches but can be framed to suit.
The Trio look stunning together but individually perfect also.
For sale from The Print Shop
A whorl is a patch of hair growing in the opposite direction to the rest of the hair. Whorls occur on animals with hairy coats and are often found on horses and cows. Locations where whorls are found in equines include the stomach, face, poll, neck, chest, flanks and sometimes in random, odd places on the body. Hair whorls in horses are also known as crowns, swirls, trichoglyphs or cowlicks and can be either clockwise or counter clockwise in the direction of growth. One study has found that horses can be shown to have left or right footed lateral motion depending on the direction of growth of their whorls., the beliefs of how you can predict intelligence and behaviour is endless.
For now I have just released two Whorl Etching Prints for sale that I photographed whilst in Southern France from a horse I was caring for during the winter months.
After the lengthy process of creating each etched steel plate at the famous John Howards Studio in Penryn, it will it take me at least one meditive hour to ink up each plate, scrim off the ink and polish the plate before the magical alchemy of paper and ink come together through the press as seen in the videos below.
The visual quality of the print becomes almost 3D which a normal photographic print cannot seem to achieve. A photo etching becomes a beautiful marriage of textures, depth, detail and movement.
These will be editioned at just 15 copies available at my online store THE PRINT SHOP.
I bit the bullet today after many years being on a free Basic VIMEO account and have upgraded to VIMEO PLUS which with a PROMO CODE I managed to hunt down on Google got me 30% off the annual sub, which brought it down from £79 pa to £58 p.a. just under a fiver a month. Which now enables me to upload up to a max of 5GB per week and no waiting in the queue for uploads, plus you can make 'Albums' of specific videos to keep in one place for viewers which is very handy for my Printmaking as seen here below.
I do love VIMEO it has such classy simplistic style compared to YouTube which is so busy in appearance.
My newest plates are two fascinating beauties that I photographed on Porth Kidney Sands a few weeks ago at low tide where they were stranded in their hundreds due to the warm seas we have been experiencing of late. The detail that the photopolymer plates is spectatular and also quite out of space galactic.
Inked by my own fair hands with super deep Prussian Blue and hand pulled on Fabriano 285gm Fine Art archival paper, these are going to be a small edition of 15 copies only and will be part of a future set of more species.
Dill's soft ferny, frothy fronds practically beg you to touch them.
Occassionally magical days happens in ones life and on the 16th April 2018 was one of those days when after driving up to Ironbridge the origin and heart of The Industrial Revolution, a historic subject that I learnt about so well from my school days - I collected my Gunning press.
One of the most magical things that happened excluding the wonderful 4 hours I spent with the very talented printmaker herself Jenny Gunning BA Hons was the fact that the press and its 48 inch wheel actually managed to fit into the back of our Saab Estate, which in itself was a massive relief !
I am looking forward to many happy times printing and pulling my prints.
Low tide enabled me to discover the delights and the secret beach of Hendra, the rocks the colours the forms shapes never cease to delight they always feel to me that they do not really belong here but further west down Cot Valley or Nanjizal.
I love this place, it has everything I need and more.
On Tuesday the 27th February it began to snow in Cornwall like never before well not at least maybe since the 60s., the Beast from the East, the Siberian storm front arrived with us and brought everything in its path to a flying halt. Mid afternoon the snow fell and fell very heavily and the strangest sight was to see the local birds the gulls, pigeons and jackdaws take to the skies in great confusion probably because they had not experienced it before.
It was mad and quite exciting to walk to our local supermarket Sainsburys a 30 min walk away in a flying bizzard and one that was survived.