Let the wild rumpus begin

It is getting towards the busiest time of year for me, and I’m pretty happy about it this year! After spending some time developing the prints based on World War One (just fiddling with the last one) they will appear at the Lewis Elton Gallery in Guildford Uni from May 18th. It’s a taster show for Surrey Artists’ Open Studios which kicks off in June.

Shoulder to shoulder I have some other prints at Baker Tilly in Guildford, this is by appointment only, there are some stunning prints by other artists from Ochre Print Studio who are also showing their work there.

spring into summer My sister-in-law Holly Swain has invited me to join her at Brighton Open House, alongside her and 3 other artists including Leigh and Chrissie from last year. I’m going to produce some smaller giclee prints and cards as well as some canvas dip-dyed bags…I’ll be posting these up over the next couple of weeks. Finally, I have a course starting next weekend at Farnham Pottery – there will be tea and cake, and maybe my friend Anne-Kristin will pop in as she’s visiting from Norway. Here are the details… Introduction to Screenprinting with Helen Locke

Weekend – 2 Session Workshop: Saturday 18th & 25th April 10.00 – 13.00 £50

Weekday – 2 Session Workshop: Tuesday 12th & 19th May 09.30 – 12.30 £50

Try your hand at the art of screen printing this Spring with tutor Helen Locke. These two workshops are split over two days, during which time you will learn how to cut stencils, paint through the screen and create a ghost print. Over the two sessions you will develop ideas to create a printed piece to take home. There will be an extra charge for materials depending on what you decide to print on.

Book your place on our website or by phone:07468 696620 info@318ceramics.co.uk The Farnham Pottery Trust Ltd, t/a 318 Ceramics, The Farnham Pottery, Quennells Hill, Wrecclesham, Farnham, Surrey. image image image image image image

Workshop at The Packhouse

This week I’ve been dip-dyeing tea towels and tote bags ahead of a 3 hour screen printing workshop this Friday at Farnham’s Packhouse. You can book a place on this course at madeinfarnham.co.uk . I’ve put some interesting photographic textures onto a screen today which can be combined with painting and paper stencils. There will also be some metallic ink which taps into this summer’s trend.

Indigo dipped tea towels

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Year of the Sheep

Last year ended in a collection of back slaps and trip-ups that has left me mostly finishing off a tin of Roses. On the up side, during December I began to finalise the image that has been chosen to be editioned at Ochre Print Studio as part of the Surrey Remembers project about World War One. It reminded me how great it is to have the benefit of discerning eyes and feedback on an image. It’s been a while since I’ve been around professional printmakers and had a chance to discuss my ideas.

When you’re teaching you can almost run yourself dry of ideas by trying to look at how a student could develop their work. It’s hugely rewarding, but sometimes leaves you at a loss with your own work, or with little time to spend on it. This last four years have been the opposite of that, and I’ve been in a bit of a vacuum.

The image that was chosen was about Brooklands, in Weybridge. I was initially drawn to research it at the Surrey History Centre as it was one of the places used by the Red Cross as a hospital during the conflict. It was also interesting that the owner shared my married surname (he was Huw Locke-King). When I looked for imagery however, there was an excellent photo of the production line for the SE5a aircraft which were one of the most heavily used planes of WW1. This is the original black and white collage…

Original Collage

Original Collage

And this is how it has developed into a three colour image…

Edited Image

Edited Image

The following week, while putting together some prints for the Christmas Fair at Farnham Maltings, I applied to Ochre for their Artist in Residence, which I felt, and still feel would be a good opportunity to develop projects like this in an environment where there are other artists always around. Also, in a way after participating in Open Studios and various art fairs, I think this year especially I’ve felt like I’m bashing my head against a brick wall.

Looking at what I’ve achieved financially by developing personal projects, I can barely afford paper and ink. I’d still like to do a residency of some type, funding wise, the Arts Council looks like the only option to someone who isn’t just starting out, but having looked at the small print, you need community connections or to be particularly good at networking and selling your work.

The next project I was thinking about was the use of a series of descriptive passages from a book based in America. I also had some other designs for the WW1 project that I think could work if I spent a bit more time on them. The year of the Sheep is also apparently the Year of the Goat. Meh

Gloaming activities

The People’s playlist this week on Lauren Laverne was about the closing in of the days and winter activities, mine are printing some festive images on tea-towels and bags for Christmas fairs. This year I will be sharing a stand with my lovely friend, ceramicist Liane Matthews at Farnham Maltings Christmas Market on December 9th and 10th.

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I’ve also been working on some rock pool images…
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Also, and don’t tip your tea, one of my designs was chosen to be editioned by Ochre Print Studio for the Surrey Remembers, to commemorate the beginning of World War One, and it’s impact on the Surrey community. Beyond excited about this! I wasn’t going to enter, but fellow artist Jackie Rennie kindly took in my images, and her design was also chosen. It should be an interesting project as we will all be working together to produce the prints, and it will be a great opportunity to get to know both other artists, and learn how a large edition is created.

Images from Saturday’s Workshop

Farnham is unique in having a really strong emphasis on art and making, and has gained the status of ‘Craft Town’ which is celebrated each October with a month of activities and workshops. The Maltings is hosting the Festival of Crafts this weekend, which showcases local textiles, jewellery and ceramics. I was lucky enough to be invited to Farnham Pottery to give an introduction to Screen Print last weekend. Here is some of the work.

ferns workshop-selectionghostfish wokshopfish2workshoptreesworkshopfish workshop-alien

I was really impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm, the sheer range of ideas and use of colour. It’s amazing what you can produce in two hours…

Screen Print Workshop this Saturday

The month of October sees my home town, Farnham in Surrey, celebrate it’s status as Craft Town. As part of this, I am running two hour workshops as a taster. There are two places available on the 11am session at Farnham Pottery in Quennells Hill. You will cut be able to have a go at painting through the screen and cutting a stencil to produce a 2 colour print, and make a ghost print too. Your can combine the techniques like this…

Helen's Hot House redslate

Printmaking Workshops

Yesterday I hosted a day of 2 hour workshops as part of Surrey Artists Open Studios (it’s the final day today); and managed to record a few of the prints made in the afternoon.

This year I attracted some very talented printers, I just wish I’d had time to photograph all the work….

Helen's Hot House

Pippa's Pink Elephants

Rachel's Ghost Apple

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Ochre Print Studio

As part of Surrey Open Studios, I am in Guildford today invigilating a collection of print based work. The centre is a facility for adults with learning disabilities, and the well equipped print studios is also available for artists to use.

They run a series of talks here, next weekend it will be Bruce McLean. I use the facilities here to expose my screens for printing, it’s always lovely to catch up with other artists and see the vibrant work produced by the adults who attend the centre.

I’ve put in some new prints based on California.

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Greatest Hits

Well, Brighton Open House came to a close on Sunday, with a sale of one of the Pussycat prints, along with a smaller shoe print. I’m off to Sussex next week to pick up the rest.
Very interesting to see another Open House; Brighton had a lot of footfall- between 70 and 90 per day, each weekend. Cake seemed pretty important, and although I didn’t visit any other houses, it seemed less about showing work in progress, and more making the houses into galleries. People seemed inclined to make purchases under £50, which suits cards and giclees. I was a bit disappointed not to sell any tea-towels, but on the whole, it was lovely to chat to a new crowd.

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The silver pussycat print uses a plastic fudge cake tray for it’s wax transfer background.

Crustacean Print

Crustacean  Print

I sold one of the Crustacean series of prints from the Bourneside Gallery in Dorking. Very excited about this! It’s inspired me to put another similar print into the Open Studios show at Ochre Print Studios in Guildford. It took me ages to mix that reddish brown, it looks quite velvety on the paper.

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