Thursday, 30 April 2015

April Auriculas at Crescent Plants

Today I visited the wonderful collection of Auriculas that are tended by June Poole at Crescent Plants.  I first learned about these plants some years ago and have always wanted to bring them into my work somehow.  Today I went and spent a glorious day drawing in greenhouses full of these beautiful delicate plants.  Every colour and shade you could think of... and to find their correct names and classifications please visit June's site.
It is possible to order direct from the Crescent Plants website or call and arrange a visit... although April is the best month to see them at their best!  Crescent Plants is located in Marden, North Herefordshire and June also has a stand at the RHS Malvern Spring Garden Show each year.

I couldn't resist buying a few to start my own small collection...  over the weekend we'll be making some kind of a 'auricula theatre' to display them in.

Below is an image of some curtains which June photographed at Berrington Hall near Leominster, a National Trust property.  They are of particular interest as the design contains an image of an Auricula.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

How to 'double-cut' wallpaper...

Just 'one' of this weeks learning steps for me has been into the world of 'splicing' or 'double-cutting' wallpaper.  

The papers that I am hand printing comes with an untrimmed margin.  I have chosen to produce it this way for technical reasons and because this is what appears to be the market norm with hand printed wallpapers. I had no idea how this paper would be trimmed and then hung, until this week!  In my own experiments with hanging the paper, I have hand cut the margins before pasting and then hanging. 
It might have been advantageous for me to research into the technique of hanging untrimmed paper earlier in my business venture, but with so many other things to discover and problems to solve, it is something that I just pushed to the back of my mind.

This week, with my first paper being hung by a professional decorator at The Alma Inn in Linton, Herefordshire, I discovered the techniques which are employed when hanging an untrimmed paper. 

The video below, published by Cliff Hayes at Sutton Innovations, clearly illustrates the process. 

So the work has progressed at The Alma and here are a few pictures from my week in hand printed wallpaper.

The Master Decorator in action doing his magic.  Taking my dream of hand-printed wallpaper and making it a reality!

Decorator's Tool Box .... holding the tools of his trade, the gorgeous wooden box relating the patina of work and time!

....and earlier in the week... a photo from the studio floor of the roller with the inky image offset!  It looked so beautiful that I couldn't resist stopping to capture the fleeting moment, before it disappeared under more layers of ink.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Lino Print onto Birch Bark

my growing collection of Ginko Leaves with mono prints of 'honesty' seed pods

            A few weeks ago, at the end of a busy printing day, I had a bit of a play printing onto bark from a tree in the garden.  It's Betula utilis 'Fastigiata' or the Himalayan Birch which loses a layer of bark every now and then.  It peels away like paper and I thought it was time to try printing onto it.  It was a little tricky and messy rolling it through the offset press but I like the effect as a printing surface.

monoprint text with Lino print bee... with too few legs!