Monday, 17 March 2014

Spring has Sprung!

Hurray, spring is here at last and to celebrate warmer weather and longer daylight hours I have been screen-printing a new flower design. It's a fairly simple design so I can use it either individually or as a repeat pattern and produce a variety of products. The colours aren't quite right yet but can easily be changed. These flowers are printed on 300gsm eco natural recycled card which is great for both 2d and 3d work. They will be part of an installation and I have also printed a new bird design to go with them. I managed to fill the print rack with a whole flock of birds so have a lot of sticking, cutting and folding to do.

New! New Baby Cards

I am celebrating some new arrivals, Cute As A Button new baby cards! My favorite stockist, Here and Now in Falmouth, asked me for new baby cards quite a while ago but I couldn't find the time to do them until now. It's been a long wait so I am really happy to have finally finished and screen-printed this design. I like the idea of having different colours to choose from, so as well as the traditional pink and blue options I also printed the design in gender neutral green.

Bulgarian Boy and Girl

Last year I started work on a series of screen prints inspired by traditional Bulgarian dolls and costumes. I was very lucky that my Bulgarian friend bought me back some lovely wooden dolls from her summer holiday in Bulgaria. It was great to be able to see them in real life rather than just searching the internet for images. These two designs are based on the dolls and were intended to be part of the Masquerade exhibition last Autumn. Unfortunately I couldn't get them finished in time so I was really happy when the RBSA Gallery craft shop approached me about including my Polish and Bulgarian inspired screen prints in their Melting Pot exhibition. It was exactly the motivation I needed to get new cards and prints finished and ready for the first exhibition of 2014.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Multi Coloured Folk Trees

Other than the dreaded tea towels something else that's been giving me a headache lately is recycled card. I usually buy A4 white recycled card from Eco Craft, screen print two designs at a time, then fold each sheet of A4 card using a bone folder before cutting it in half to make two A6 cards. But since Eco Craft have changed to a heavier weight of white recycled card I've found it's not as easy to fold, every sheet has to be scored first which takes longer and doesn't look as nice. So I've switched to coloured recycled card which is a little easier to fold. And I know I need to find a new card supplier, it's on my to-do list.

Throw in the towel!

I haven't thrown in the towel but I was tempted to after having a terrible time screen printing tea towels and ruining most of them. I'm not exactly sure what the problem was but I tried using Speedball fabric screen printing ink and it seemed to block the screen after only printing a few tea towels. I've never had that problem with Permaset textile printing inks, I prefer their consistency to that of the Speedball inks. The colours also seem stronger, Speedball Magenta ink looked pale when compared to Permaset Aqua Mid Red ink which is what I usually print fabric with. So I ordered more tea towels and more Permaset ink and managed to successfully screen print more Folk Dancing Girls tea towels. Another thing that helped was Crafter's Companion Stick and Spray for Fabric. I used it to temporarily stick the tea towels to newsprint which kept them fairly taut and made printing alot easier. As if by magic there's no trace of the glue after printing, the tea towels just need ironing to fix the colour and they are good to go!

Russian Dolls

My friend told me about a Russian tin doll she had as a child in Bulgaria. I'm not sure if her memories of it were good, I think that she would have preferred a Barbie doll or the choice of the different toys I took for granted growing up in the west. The Russian tin doll clearly doesn't have the same significance for her as it does for me. To me it's a fragment of a wonderful culture very different from my own so I was excited to actually find the dolls on the internet. Even better than the dolls is the packaging they come in with it's beautiful Russian lettering and vintage style illustration. For my Russian doll I tried to keep as many of the original elements as possible but also wanted to create something new. The actual dolls are red, blue and yellow with black outlines but I only wanted to use two colours so chose crimson and metallic blue. I originally screen printed them for Christmas but I'm hoping to continue with the theme and create a collection of designs inspired by Eastern European dolls and toys. 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

21st Century Farmer Exhibition at Unit Twelve Gallery

Somehow Jennifer Collier managed to fit all my folk tree screen prints into her gallery, Unit Twelve, for the 21st Century Farmer exhibition. She even squeezed in a few of my 3d card folk trees. It's great to finally see everything together and so beautifully displayed. The little details like farmyard toys perched on frames and Duplo blocks with name labels make it all the more special. Added to which it's also a really well curated group show and I'm very lucky to be included with so many talented designer makers. One of them is Melanie Tomlinson, many years ago we were on the same degree course at BCU and both of us stayed to do an MA in Visual Communication.

21st Century Farmer is on at Unit Twelve from 5th Sept until 30th Nov 2013
Unit Twelve Gallery
Tixall Heath Farm
ST18 0XX
Gallery Opening Times
Thursday - Saturday
10.00 - 4.00pm