Meet up: Ceramics

Subs and I went to a meet up on Friday evening at Ceramic Circle in Archway and painted/decorated two plates, a mug and an egg cup. It was a wonderful evening, there were about 20 of us, all painting ceramic items.  The evening happens once a month I believe and you can go along and paint ceramic items or do some handbuilding.

Subs chose a retro design which he painted with colour and then stamped onto the plate and filled in with slip colours.  I chose a plate too and decorated it with torn newspaper and slip colours; the mug I hand painted too and also the egg cup.

I may go again to do some hand building but it’s not cheap.  They are now being fired and have been glazed.

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Kings Cross

Subs and I went for a walk around Kings Cross, London – so many people sitting on the grass, in the restaurants, playing in the fountains – it’s one of my favourite places in London.  It used to was originally built in the Victorian era; there is a canal which is still there and goes from Limehouse through Camden to Birmingham.

Now there is a university, new office blocks, restaurants and cafes, the uni is the old Granary Building which has been refurbished.

The original gas holders have been rebuilt, they date from 1842 some of them.  They stood empty for a hundred years.  Now people live in them.

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I did some colour monoprinting today.  I like my little printmaking time in my studio – away from the realities of the world outside …. I also like working with this type of medium, it is free and you never know exactly what you will get.

These prints are work I am doing for my online diploma in printmaking course which I started this month with Magenta, the course takes you through five basic processes: lino printing, monoprinting, multiple plate printing, back drawing, using stencils, drypoint.  So far I am on Module 5 doing monoprinting and just starting to experiment with collagraphs – researching media to use with collagraphs.


Every day Objects: Monoprints, 2/2017

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Everyday objects

Today I played around with acetate and collage for my simple mug – part of my project on everyday objects.  Inspired  by a recent radio programme about Rene Magritte who used everyday objects in his surreal paintings.


See through mug


Storm in a mug

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Monoprinting morning

My topic for these few weeks is everyday objects, since it’s too cold to go outside at the moment.  I did some monprinting today of a mug, which I have drawn in pen and ink and charcoal so far.


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Drawing practice

Trying to do one drawing a day to get back into practice.  These are pen and ink which is my favourite medium.  Working with objects I find around me – everyday objects, before I venture outside once it gets warmer here in London.



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Printmaking course

I have just signed up to do a one year online printmaking course here in the UK at Magenta Printmaking.

Although I have a degree in the subject area and many years experience of teaching! I need to get back into a work schedule and I hope this course will help me to do that.

I just found a collograph print I did years ago on my art foundation course at The Cass:


Collograph made from leaves on bamboo paper

I went to my local glass merchant today after swimming, and bought some different sizes of bevelled glass to do monoprints on.  I am also researching printmaking, Angie Lewin is one of my favourite printers working with nature, the way she stylises flowers and leaves.

The Ashmolean Museum is showing an exhibition of words from Degas to Picasso coming soon and on till May, so I will go when the weather gets warmer.


Picasso at the Ashmolean Museum

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A collage bag

I made a collage bag this afternoon, it took ages but at least my sewing machine worked, even if it did squeak!  The plastic has to be pushed through the sewing machine otherwise the needle won’t move, but other than that it’s fairly easy, except for the bottom corners.


Here is the link to instructions for making the collage bag

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New Year bookworks

Subs bought me a bookbinding press/nipper press for Christmas, so I made a new book just to get in practice again before my course starts again next week at the City Lit.  I used four hole sewing without tapes and a curved needle, glued the spine and added bookcloth to the spine and corners

I made the paste papers myself, which I nearly threw away when I made them, but they look okay here, repeated patterns can sometimes work well even if the design is a bit raw!


The top cover was made with pasted papers : using glue and acrylic paint with stamping tools. Book cloth has been added to the spine and corners.

The bottom cover was made using a perspex sheet A3 size rolled up with inks and then paper shapes laid on and printed using a Japanese baren.  You can score onto the back of the printing paper too and also relay down the once printed paper shapes in other areas on the printing plate – these types of covers are my favourite.

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the Switch House

We visited the Switch House gallery extension to the Tate Modern, it was freezing cold today and especially cold walking across the Millenium Bridge. The building adds nothing to the current power station site of the Tate Modern, it’s entrance makes no sense in relation to the Tate building, it’s even more confusing once you get inside… enough said.

We were freezing after walking across that cold river bridge and had a hot drink in the new cafe and went to see one of the exhibitions.  The Building appears huge, a behemoth from the outside but inside is another story.

The Rebecca Horn exhibition was wonderful I must say, and a joy.  However there wasn’t much else, considering this is a new art gallery in London – a rare thing nowadays.  As someone said on twitter, the money would have been better spent going to the cash strapped regions.


The Switch House, photo by Jim Stephenson, UK


Tate Modern:  Rebecca Horn


Rebecca Horn, Switch House Gallery, Tate

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Christmas Carols 2016

Subs and I went to St Martins in the Fields in the Strand again this year for a lovely carols concert, a real start to Christmas, we sat up in the gallery and looked down on the choir and all the families and children as we sang our carols…


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Autumn Leaves bookwork

This is a prototype of a bookwork using monoprinted leaves collected this autumn in north London by myself at Highbury Fields, our garden and by Subs in the gardens of north London where he works

The paper is Indian handmade paper, the inks are printmaking inks, water based and the cover has a bookcloth spine with handmade paper leaves attached to Indian Lokha paper which is very fragile and kept tearing.  It is in a concertina format.  I will rethink this and try another type of format later on.

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Christmas card 2016

I have made a lino print Christmas card this year, with different coloured covers and as usual I include a black cat, unfortunately the lino I send for on Amazon had a fault on it which is why the cat has a blob at his feet.


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Autumn Leaves book

The leaves are amazing at the moment, colours from bitter yellow to dark brown, orange, red and pinks.  I want to make a concertina book using the leaves collected this month.

Subs brought me some Bean Tree leaves as well as lots of different leaves from the gardens he is working in.


I am monoprinting the leaves using water based printmaking inks on hand-made Indian paper.  I will add layers of different colours that overlap and show through.  I am mixing the ink with extender to provide transparency.


I think I have added enough leaves now I have to make these into a concertina type book

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Printing book covers

Subs and I went down to Borough to Intaglio Printmakers to buy printing inks.  I want to print some book covers using oil based inks rather than pasted papers.  I bought black, burnt umber and others.

I made a few sheets today using just these two colours and making marks on the paper as well as adding paper shapes. I also created a stamp using string strung onto card which produced some nice thin dark lines.

I also worked with turning over the once printed paper strips and relaid the again on top of the paper, ready to print.  I used a japanese baren, it’s perfect for home printing of relief prints and monoprints.

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