Experiments with Tyvek (1)

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.

Future experiments

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.

Experiments in Etching

Creating organic biological marks.

In these etching experiments I was using stopout mark making techniques to create marks reminiscent of biological images. I used various methods to apply the stopout to an aluminium plate. Crumpled paper, squishing splodges of stop out onto the plate with a flat glass surface, dripping, wiping etc. The stop out marks on the plate would be a resist the the etching solution and therefore remain unetched and more easily wiped of ink. Once the stopout had completely dried on the plate, I then etched it in a copper sulphate solution.

Printing the plate

I determine by feeling the surface or looking via a magnifying glass if the plate has etched enough. I can then remove the dried on stop out with turps and a rag. Following a good clean of the plate it can be inked up in the usual way. After an initial ink and wipe, followed by a printing on the etchingpress I wanted to add some more contrast. I achieved this with small hand torn pieces of Somerset paper, which created an unprinted blind emboss shape.

The results are set out below.

The small torn pieces of paper used to create the blind masks and which were also printed on by this process are beautiful pieces in themselves. I have kept them  as they could be worked into a future collage project.

Exhibiting at the Buy Art Fair 2017 Manchester

This is the third year I have been involved as an exhibitor at the Buy Art Fair in Manchester.

If you haven’t heard or visited this event let me first introduce you to it.

The Buy Art Fair, is now recognised as one of the UK’s leading festivals of visual Arts. With over 3000 original artworks for sale this event has sold over £3m worth of contemporary art to thousands of collectors across the North of England. This year it was set out at what was called the GMEX and now Manchester Central. This is a fabulous exhibition and events space in the heart of Manchester.

As well as Artists and Galleries many workshops, talks and demonstrations are scheduled. For example have a look at the long list of demos put on by Hot Bed Press which includes, relief print, screen print & letterpress.  Free Print Workshop Demonstrations at Buy Art Fair with Hot Bed Press

For me it’s a big event, 3 days of exhibiting, proceeded by all that setting up, continual rearranging of exhibits. The delights of meeting people who ‘get’ my art. The highs of a sale. The caffeine driven organising and the consequential, aching backs and feet.

I share a booth with Barbara Helm and Carol Beckett this it is called ‘Beckett, Helm & Wilson
I have to say I wouldn’t miss it for the world, it has got better each year. The new venue, Manchester Central, was bigger, more airy and better laid out, making it a big hit with exhibitors and visitors alike.

Do you want to be involved next year?

Yes, then get yourself over to the Buy Art Fair  website.