Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Lino Printing Workshop

For some time now I have wanted to go on one of Anna Pye's lino cutting workshops and last week I was very pleased that I was finally able to  attend one. I arrived with my sketch books and photographs but no fixed idea of what I wanted to print. It was the technique that I was keen to learn.

In the end my choice of inspiration was easy, I couldn't wait to start using some of my Chilean photographs and chose one of a flamingo in the salt flats. I toyed with making the flamingo more dominant but decided to include the landscape elements whilst I could get guidance from Anna, as the landscape was likely to feature in my future work.

I was chipping away at the lino but it' s only when the first print was made that the qualities of the image became clear.  

It was interesting to see how differently the image looked when I used different coloured ink or printed on different coloured paper.

Most of the prints were made using a printing press but Anna showed us how we could print at home without one but this doesn't stop me wanting a press! 

I made many variations of the print and I think this was my favourite of the day. This was printed with a mix of blue and white ink and I confess that this ink mixture was created by one of the other students - thank you Colin! 

I was quite pleased with this as a first attempt but there are things that I would do differently if I were to do it again. I'm not surprised by this though, it's a new technique and is quite different to the other techniques I have used previously. I came home wanting to do some more lino printing and really fancy printing some Christmas cards.....I should have time to do that surely?

As well as running courses from her studio Anna will also be running workshops at Art Van Go

Monday, 9 February 2015

From Chile to Chilly....

I have recently returned from a fabulous trip to Chile and Easter Island. We saw some amazing scenery and often it was right outside our hotel window. We went from desert to lakes to glaciers and from worrying about sunburn to wearing a coat and gloves and wishing I'd brought a hat.
From hot and dry to cold and steamy at the geysers...
And all of the early starts were so worth it...

I took over 1000 photographs and these here are just a few (!) of those I expect to inspire future textile pieces.
And on the textile front, I saw lots of knitting and weaving. They have a strong tradition of weaving and the textile gallery at the Pre-Colombian Museum in Santiago was excellent with lots of well preserved pieces. I was disappointed that no photography was allowed but I was very pleased to find that their textile gallery guide is available online and in English.

I saw lots of contemporary weaving too, especially on hotel walls

And sometimes more unconventional items were used to weave with, this one is woven using tape measures:
But when it comes to knitting, I think the Peruvians are ahead. It didn't matter how hot it was, people were knitting and trying to sell the garments. I even saw a lady knitting a toy llama on four needles made from cactus spines....now you wouldn't want to drop that knitting in  your lap! And I did see was lots of people knitting figures, who were well.... knitting.

Putting knitting aside, if you ever have the opportunity to go to Chile, do. The landscapes are fantastic, there's lots to do, the people are very friendly and the food's good - especially if you like avocados, which fortunately I do.