So after a 6 month break from exhibiting, I decided to give our trimmed down Proof Printmakers Group a little outing!
I set about finding a local venue where we could host an exhibition to show off our more recent printmaking developments. It was a stark reminder to me of all the hard work that goes no behind the scenes to coordinate organise negotiate market an exhibition. Altrincham Open studios, Matt and Jo were a tremendous help, warm welcoming and supportive. Clare Phelan and Susy Robson provided keen curator eyes on hanging day. Fizz flowed and visitors discussed the art presented with the 5 artists/Printmakers at the Preview. Exhausted I slept for over 12 hours when I got home… still not tidied up though!
WYPW stand was next to Kathryn and doing very good trade. I’m looking forward to joining in some workshops there soon.
REVEAL Printmakers we’re looking great too. Fantastic variety and ever increasing quality, at exceptionally good prices too. A very talented group of artists who’s exhibitions I always enjoy visiting. Well done ladies!
Finally, Isobel Walker, who’s work I’d managed to miss up till now despite her presence at printfest. I fell in love with her work, beautiful circles and mark making combined with blind printing and both collagraph, monotype and etching. Ethereal images.
There were many more fabulous stalls but these were my top 5. If you also went leave a shout out for your fave in the comments.
I’m feeling extremely proud of myself. I have completed the 3 year Complete Printmaker Course run by Sean Rorke and the Hot Bed Press staff. It’s been both hard work, and emensely enjoyable. Significantly, I now have a new family of printmakers, many of whom have become firm friends and form a invaluable support group for me. Most noteworthy is the excellent technical support provided. The technicians continually expand their knowledge and skills.
Consequently, I feel that I can continue my printmaking experiments, increase my skills and develop my creative practice. Hot Bed Press open access studio will continue to play a significant role in my growth as an artist. Hence I can highly recommend all the courses, of which there are many, organised and run by Hot Bed Press.
A word or 2 from Sean
“Kaye consistently invents new ways of creating organic and expressive marks through printmaking. Her work can be read as abstract compositions or an individual interpretation of cell structures and microbiology. They draw you into a whole other world, full of colour, form and life itself.”
Sean Rorke – Artistic Director – Hot Bed Press, Salford
I have spent many hours experimenting with Tyvek, and here is a very small section of the outcome.
What is Tyvek?
Tyvek is s polyethylene sheeting available in various gms weights between 40gsm and 105gms mainly for paper. The material version seems to just be thicker again and usually more textured too. It can be expensive to buy from a craft supplier. Parcel and packaging companies use this material for their products. So I discovered that old packaging is a free source of this material.
What is especially significant about this material’s properties for me is the way it reacts to heat. Initially, I cut the tyvek into strips and rings.
Then, by closely floating a hot iron over the top of the tyvek pieces, whilst it is sandwiched between 2 sheets of baking paper, I found it resulted in its transformation. As it warmed and melted it creates bubble and ‘cell’ like surface. Further heat can distress it, resulting in holes developing.
Printmaking and Tyvek
These beautiful structures lent themselves to the possibility of printing as collagraphs or monotypes.
I have found that using a soldering iron on Tyvek gives me the ability to accurately create small holes. The resulting lace-like effects also give a very biological appearance too.
Colouring and layering
In some of the examples I have coloured the Tyvek before burning the holes. In some instances I used yellow inktense pencils. Whilst others I coloured with a black sharpie. Other coloured surfaces are visible through the lace-like Tyvek. Layering pieces creates some interesting visual effects.
In order to create the larger, more defined holes and shapes I had to use a different approach from just pushing the soldering iron tip into the paper. I drew around the inside area of the hole I wanted using the very tip of the soldering iron. This allowed the central piece to be removed leaving the hole I required.
Bottom left is Tyvek with black marker one side before application of the soldering iron. Displayed white side up. The interesting black outline to the holes in one of the pieces are infact made up of melted Tyvek and black ink. It almost creates a 3D effect to the piece.
I could use these pieces in my collages easily enough and to good effect. However, I would also be interested in using them as collagraph pieces. It maybe that the results of inking give a much less intricate appearance as the ink will stay in the holes and they may actually hold too much ink resulting a very inky mess.
Another possibility would be to use them to create patterns in a soft ground on a plate. A number of pieces layered might produce an interesting result.