Collaborative printmaking courses.
Before Christmas I put a call out in my newsletter asking for artists to contact me if they were interested in collaborating with me to create interesting printmaking courses, some of which might be that little bit different. Sue Spencer, a creative writer and health educator, was one of the people who got in touch. I was intrigued to explore how poetry and creative writing could be brought together with printmaking.
Sue Spencer in action
If you are like me, my memories of poetry at school were not inspiring, so when Sue and I got together last week I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Sue quickly put me at my ease. She came well prepared bringing a variety of poems with her from which to work. We set about a number of exercises that involved reading haikus and cinquains, picking words that jumped out and then using those words to write short one to four line poems of our own. The end result was really very powerful and revealing. Sue was keen to stress that people could bring their own favourite poems to a future workshop and everything is of course done in a safe, supportive space. In the latter half of the day we explored a variety of multi media, felt tip (broad and fine) pens, pastels, colouring pencils, charcoal, etc, writing out the words or poetry lines, writ large and small in lots of different ways to cover the paper ready for the next stage of the process.
The next time we got together we began to explore the printmaking element through painterly monotype. I took Sue through a variety of monotype techniques, using inks of different viscosities to paint and roll ink out onto the plates, the effects achieved by offset printing, ways of taking ink off and adding ink to the plate, ghost printing, transfer drawing and chin collé, masking and printing in layers – all with the text we had created previously; we packed a hell of a lot in. At the end of the session we took the prints and folded them into simple folded booklets in two formats. It was great fun. Thoroughly enjoyed playing again and seeing what was possible.
The plan …
… to pack all of that in over a weekend rather than into what effectively was one day as we worked it out. The workshop will take place over the weekend of May 14/15. I’m hoping to have it up on the courses page by the end of the weekend.
You may have already noticed that I’m also working with Claudia Van Lieshout Smit, textiles, and Chris Daunt, wood engraving, Japanese woodcuts and reduction linocut. I’ll be blogging about them soon too.