Jun 2008

Huge Relief (print)

l was sent this link to a fascinating depiction of some very large scale relief printmaking requiring the use of a steamroller for taking the printing.

More locally, the Wolverhampton Open 08 opens on July 5 and includes work by Stephen Earl Rogers and Ross Jones. This is the same day as the Jewellery Quarter Arts and Crafts Fair (via Created in Birmingham) at which l shall have a stall to show my wares.

Changing Birmingham - a screenprint approach

Recently l have been dipping my toes into the screen printing process through courses run by Carol Annand and Cath Bowdler at BPM and have been pleased with the results. The image l used was from my photography and l particularly liked the look of the random, mixed colours. l will hopefully find time to explore some more with silkscreen (luckily we have a very good supplier of materials in the shape of Premier Screens)

Changing Birmingham - printing

Now comes the stage of pulling prints and trying out different inks on varying tones of paper - so far black, sepia and sanguine on white and off white paper, but have yet to use sepia on a cream paper (Fabriano Rosaspina) and Paynes Grey ink.

These are some of the results so far (there is a slight curvature due to my basic photography)

Changing Birmingham - stripping

After judging that l'd etched the aluminium long enough the final stage was to remove the accumulated layers of stop out (Speedball screen filler). This necessitates the use of methylated spirit and then cellulose thinners to finish and remove the most persevering of stop out - this l undertake in the back garden as the this is an unpleasant and hazardous stage.

These two pics show the gradual emergence of the etched image and striking in their own sense

After much wiping and finishing off with detergent the plate comes up to a state ready for printing from

Changing Birmingham

I've been working on a now demolished view of a site in Digbeth bordered by High St, Bradford St and Rea St which l assume was some form of industry/manufacture. It lies behind the Irish Centre and faces the Custard Factory l assume it will be replaced by mixed used housing and retail.
In some ways it strikes me as a pity that the chimney couldn't have been retained and incorporated into the redevelopment so as to give some reminder of it's past heritage and sense of place and relation to the area. Fortunately, l was able to view this area whilst it still had wire mesh fencing around it - next day this was replaced by solid metal sheet which eliminated any view.

This is an image of my original drawing showing the additions of paper as the design came together. It measure 75 x 35 cm. The hope is for the eventual print taken from the plate which l will create to resemble this image.

The result of photocopying the above left me with an image that l could work out tonal values more fully and being a horizontal flip of the original drawing is the working basis for the creation of the plate.

Fresh work

After experimenting with ferric chloride as an etching mordant on aluminium and not getting very good results, l returned to etching in a copper sulphate saline solution.
The resultant image is a viewpoint in the centre of Birmingham taking in modern apartment building along Charlotte St and the iconic BT Tower. The canal lock gate and the elegant parabola forms of the footbridge made this an attractive subject for me.

This image was successful in being accepted for inclusion in the RBSA Prize exhibition currently running.