A Happy New Year to all my readers.
I am just about to start on a new project. It builds upon the work I was doing in November, with rust printing and stitching. This time it will be on a much larger scale. I am working on a beautiful 3 metre piece of Yorkshire heavy woollen flannel, from Whaleys of Bradford.
The work will be an abstract piece but is based upon images from my childhood, growing up among the woollen mills of West Yorkshire and going to school in the ‘heavy woollen district’.
Last week I enjoyed a two day Master Class at Artichoke Print Workshop with Morgan Doyle and Colin Gale. It was my first time at Artichoke, though I have heard of it often. It was a very welcoming and stimulating atmosphere. I met Morgan at the Scuola Grafica in Venice in the Spring and it was great to spend a couple of days with him, developing new ideas. I worked on some collographs:
and some drypoint plates with collograph:
and a two plate print:
They were all designed to reflect my overall theme about mills and industrial decline.
Then I added a little colour, for fun:
I was working on some pieces which were more textural and sculptural in form. To me, they convey a sense of landscape – one in which wool is dominant. All my recent work has been about capturing the contrast between light and dark – black oil, earth, the smell of lanolin, the noise of the weaving shed and the pure white carded and combed wool.
I wanted to add some texture to the prints and thought that seed stitches would work well. I responded to the shapes and movement of the rust in the wool.
I have been trying out a combination of image transfer (onto wool) and rust printing. After several experiments I managed to capture the kind of effect I was after.
Much of the late summer was taken up with completing my MA Research essay, which was about the way in which weaving terms have influenced our language. I really enjoyed the reading and the research, which took me into lots of new areas, but it is also good to come back to printing and textiles.
I have found that rust printing works best on very absorbent fabrics (rather than paper) so have been working on a piece of Yorkshire wool flannel which I bought from Whaleys in Bradford. It is such a pleasure to handle it.
I have enjoyed trying out printing from rusted found objects. These are items found in the street, printed on Khadi paper.
I have had some very useful visits to Yorkshire mills and industrial museums over the summer and have been working on a new book. It is still in proof form, while I work on the cover, but will be finished soon.