Around the World Blog Hop
The idea behind this is for the creative community of bloggers to write a blog based around a couple of set questions. Their answers offer an incite into their creative thoughts and processes. The blog 'baton' is then passed on to a fellow artisan and so the trip around the Globe gathers pace.
We were invited to participate in the 'Hop' by Julia at Fire Horse Textiles. Her fabulous textile work has been featured in our Friday Folksy Finds blog. To see her work and read about her creative process visit her blog at - firehorse3.blogspot.co.uk
So here we go with the first question - and as we both work here in our home Studio we'll both chip in with our answers...
1 - What are we working on?
Gary - Just now I am in the very early stages of working up pencil sketches for a couple of bird linocut prints. They will be printed in single colour, probably black, and follow the style of 'Dawn Flight' - a print which features black crows, (inspired by the large tree just outside our front door).
I am also busy photographing my new collection of mono prints. The first two in the series are already in our online shops and there is a further 6 soon to be added. I'm really excited by this freeform method of creating prints and working with abstract images.
|Dawn Flight - a 'Murder' of Crows|
|'Gorge' - Mono print|
Heather - I have a poppy print that needs a couple more cuts before it get's it's next inking. I'm also working up ideas for my next project and have been working up sketches, it might just be a bird too, still thinking it out.
|Poppy heads - inspiration found in our garden|
2 - How does our work differ from others in it's genre?
Gary - Having a background in Graphic Design I think my print work does have a graphic edge to it. I am guilty of trying to make lino do what it really shouldn't, pushing it, literally, to breaking point. My reduction prints especially have very fine cuts in them and I have resorted to surgical scalpels to help with the detailing.
|Fine detailing in - Winter sunset on Lake Windermere|
Heather - Even though my background is also in Graphic Design I have always been inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and impressionism of the early 20th century. In itself this isn't an easy style to try and capture in lino printing, especially the muted, shapes and colours of impressionism. I too ask rather a lot of lino, requiring it to capture soft outlines.
|Muted tones and soft contours|
3 - Why do we create what we do?
Gary - I've always been creative and studied art, design and photography at college to be able to pursue it as a career. Having worked on design briefs for clients and being bound by what they required I longed for the day when I could do my own thing, create what I wanted and feel great satisfaction in the knowledge that people like my work enough to buy it and hang it in their homes. The thought that my art is spread across the globe from Tasmania to British Columbia makes me happy, very happy,
Heather - ditto the thoughts above!
|This Cocker Spaniel has lots of air miles under his collar!|
|Well traveled Black Cat|
4 - How does our creating process work?
Gary and Heather - we work together when it comes to this. A germ of an idea will be discussed. Whoever has been inspired by something will then research more into whatever has grabbed their attention. Lots of sketches then follow and more discussions. The sketches then get marked down onto the lino plate and the cutting commences. A single colour image is worked on the one plate and then inked up, taken to the hand press where the image is reverse printed onto the hand decaled paper. A reduction linocut print entails a great deal more work. The plate is slowly cut away after each colour is printed and so by the final visit to the hand press there is very little of the plate actually left, which means the prints are limited edition pieces of art.
|A reduction print having it's final colour added|
So that's a glimpse into our Studio and it's now back to work for us. The next 'Hop' will be with Tracy at Cinnamon Jewellery. She works with enamel and copper and her Etsy shop is a true box of delights. Take a look at her shop - CinnamonJewellery@etsy.com - and then enjoy learning more about her creative process in next week's Around the World Blog Hop at cinnamonjewellery.blogspot.co.uk