Close up of etching

Close up of etching

This week I have been working on a collaborative etching project with my dad, calligrapher Duncan Tolmie. He has recently been experimenting with pointed pen style lettering – a more modern, informal calligraphy style. Lettering has a special affinity with traditional printmaking and I thought this new contemporary calligraphy with its free flowing curves and spontaneous marks would would work beautifully as an intaglio print. During a ransack of my dad’s sketchbook I came across a Picasso quote which became the starting point for our first calligraphic etching.

Sketchbook excerpt

Sketchbook excerpt

To transfer the design accurately, I printed the calligraphic lettering onto acetate and exposed the image onto the surface of the plate coated in photo-sensitive film. In the studio we aquatinted the plate then etched the lettering to a deep tone. After printing the first proof I recoated the plate in a wax ground and my dad drew some flourishes around the text with a very fine etching needle. This pattern was lightly etched and then the plate was inked up in viridian green and aquamarine to make a subtle gradient. I left some ink on the surface of the plate, particularly around the text, so there would be a subtle vignette and some tone in the background.

Calligraphic etching

Calligraphic etching

I also made a couple of smaller plates etched with the word ‘breathe’ which we inked in various colours. More to follow on these later….

Hot Bed Press Printmakers’ Studio is celebrating its 20th birthday with an exhibition at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery.  ’20′ will feature the work of twenty artists and I am delighted to have been selected to exhibit. It will run from 14th June until 6th September.  To coincide with the exhibition, the Museum will host a five-week school of print demonstrating a range of printmaking techniques.

20-flyer

The Schoolhouse Gallery will soon be stocking some of my etchings (images below). The gallery is located in the beautiful little fishing village of Dornie, in the Scottish Highlands. If you are lucky enough to be in the area, it is well worth a look. There is some fantastic work by local artists on display, including paintings of the Hebridean landscape by the very talented Anthony Barbour, and lots of lovely quirky gifts. As if it couldn’t get any better, there is also a range of speciality coffee and nibbles available in the tearoom.

Over Wldflower Meadow, Bunny & Blossom, Phoenix

Over Wldflower Meadow, Bunny & Blossom, Phoenix

Delighted that I have had two etchings selected for the Waterside Open Exhibition in Sale, Manchester. View From Seilebost and Highland Bothy will both be on display and are for sale at £145 each, in handmade natural walnut frames.

Waterside-Open

The exhibition runs from Saturday 8th February to Saturday 24th May so there’s plenty of time to head along and see an amazing variety of work from artists, designers and makers in the North West and across the UK.

Had a great day at the Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Altrincham yesterday. A massive thanks to everyone who bought an etching – it’s great to know they have all went to good homes!

It was a wonderful opportunity to meet lots of lovely people – exhibitors and visitors – and get that warm Christmassy feeling. There was some fantastic work on show including that of my friendly neighbouring stallholders – Louise Janetta from Buxton, who had beautiful collagraphs on show and Eve Redmond – selling elegant jewellery in silver and agate. The lovely Stella Corrall from Lucentia was also at the fair exhibiting her range of gorgeous bespoke coasters made with translucent plastics.

Arrived back home after the show to wade through a sea of printmaking detritus so the next few days will be dedicated to creating some semblance of order. It’s amazing how much mess one frenzied printmaker can create…

Stall-LNCCF-web

I’ll be exhibiting a range of etchings and other limited edition prints at the Little Northern Contemporary Craft Fair on Sunday December 8th. There are over 40 designers, makers and artists selling lovely handmade items so it’s the perfect opportunity to get some unique gifts for Christmas (or treat yourself!).

2014 LNCCF advert

 

If you are in Manchester this weekend pop into Hot Bed Press for the Under The Bed Sale. The event launches on Friday 29th November from 6pm – 9pm and continues on on Saturday 30th November from 11am – 5pm. There will be lots of lovely prints for sale from 50p to £50 so it’s a great opportunity to treat yourself or buy a special Christmas present!

underthebedsale

Here is an image of my new fox etching with tribal style pattern. The etching (shown on the right) was based on a pen drawing from my sketchbook (pictured on the left).

Pen drawing & final etching/aquatint

Pen drawing & final etching/aquatint

 

The initial pen drawing was created with Copic Multiliners – mainly 0.03mm and 0.05mm with a thicker nib to shade the patterning.  For the etching, I coated a zinc plate in a hard wax ground then used a very fine etching needle to create a detailed line drawing. The plate was then bitten for about 8 mins in 1:5 nitric. Afterwards, I coated the plate in aquatint resin and stopped out areas to achieve a range of tonal values – the total biting time in 1:15 was about 5 minutes.

The next stage will probably be to experiment with some watercolour washes.

Close up of final print

Close up of final print

 

 

Immense thanks go to Cult Pens for selecting my banner design and featuring me as Artist of the Month in their newsletter. If you love pens visit their website – an immense cornucopia of all thinks inky. My personal favourites are the Copic and Sakura fineliners – the Copic Multiliner goes down to an incredibly dimunitive 0.03 nib size. With the SP version, nib replacements are available to make sure you can maintain a clean crisp line and the same level of detail without having to replace the whole pen.

The banner design below was created with a 0.03 Copic Multiliner and Copic Ciaou and Sketch brush pens.

Sailing

 

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