Its all been a bit quiet on the blogging front due to the grey area of crossing over between two projects. This usually means there are lots of days where you feel nothing is getting done until the end of the week and you start to see the fruits of your hard work.
Here is the start of a new research and development grant funded project (via LeftCoast) to experiment and explore how nature can provide the pigments and dyes to use in printmaking. This serves two purposes. One is to teach the young people I work with at the Mereside Boys and Girls Club how to grow food and what small changes healthy eating can achieve. Once the food has been grown I will also use a small percentage of the produce to then experiment with creating inks to print making my own work 100% organic.
A few weeks ago I was asked to provide 600 five color screen printed tote bags for Time To Read the North West Libraries development partnership. Its the biggest screen printing job I have taken on to date and always wanting to challenge myself I agreed and started to prepare.
The design for the bags came from artist Vanessa Cuthbert a Manchester based artist who says ‘connecting reading and art has always been important to her’ in her interview with Clancy Mason the reader development officer in charge of this project. I too took on this job not only for the challenge but because I have such a passion for reading and the important role the libraries play in our lives. Hearing that funding is being cut over Lancashire, jeopardizing the future of the library establishments really grates on me.
The bags that I have been printing are to celebrate National Libraries Day and will be available to local residents across the North West at local libraries soon. Whats your favorite read at the moment? I am currently reading The Taxidermist Daughter by Kate Moss.
It’s been a very busy week at Squirrel and Tiffin HQ recently with the Living Names project, Time to Read commission and a weekend away team building with the Boys and Girls Club (more on these later!).
I have managed however to get some solid dates in the diary for the Launch of the Living Names project as well as the first three workshops. If you are free this coming Sunday 28th Feb between 2-4pm you are very welcome to come along to the Pavilion in Memorial Park Fleetwood. There will be a taster session of screen printing, a talk about the project by Volunteer Graham Lougher and a chance to see what the workshops will look like.
Not free on Sunday? Don’t worry there will be a chance to listen to me on BBC Radio Lancashire this coming Saturday (eek!). I will be talking with Gilly about the project at 8.50am so early birds will get a chance to hear me discussing the art work as well as the workshops. (I will also post a link to the show at a later date for anyone not awake at 8.50am!)
The pavilion is situated at Warrenhurst Road, Fleetwood, Lancashire, FY7 7AE and the dates for the diary are..
The launch – Sunday 28th February 2-4pm
Workshop One – Sunday 6th March 1.30-4pm
Workshop Two – Sunday 27th March 1.30-4pm
Workshop Three – Sunday 3rd April 1.30-4pm
Its that time of the year again when we linger maybe more so than usual around the letterbox in hope that a secret admirer or loved one has sent a little something through the post.
I have to say its one of my favorite times of year and I can remember as a child being so excited when I returned home with my own hand made card for my parents. These days I am still making my own Valentine’s Day cards but this time its with the letterpress and usually for lots of other people!
When sending Valentines and Birthday Cards out to customers I try to make sure they arrive at the destination well padded so if the recipient of said card lives in the same house it doesn’t ruin the surprise.
Like all of my letterpress cards this one is simple and to the point – the ‘I Love You’ is in Gill Sans Type and the white un-coated card stock is complimented by the brown C6 envelope.
For the first time on my blog I am running a competition to win one of these cards. To enter all you need to do is comment below with a love story or re-post this link/image to social media with the hashtag #ilovechiefsquirrel. I will pick a winner on Monday and send it out the same day to ensure you get it in time! Good Luck!
Just before Christmas last year I found out I had been selected as the lead artist for the Living Names Project at Fleetwood funded by Wyre Council. The Living Names project was a two year volunteer led initiative that helped to identify the names listed on the war memorial at Memorial Park in Fleetwood. The information found has been uploaded to the Imperial War Museum site ‘Lives of the First World War‘ and the next step is for me to use this information and create a piece of art.
Over the festive period I was able to cosy up on the sofa and start to read all about the 330 servicemen I would be working with. As you can imagine some of the newspaper clippings have been hard to read but highlighted the sensitive nature of this work and how important it is to be created.
This week I was fortunate enough to seek out the smallest letterpress in the Adana family and welcome it into the studio. The ‘five-three’ press is perfect for making cards, small artwork and new for 2016 at Squirrel and Tiffin HQ – Wedding Stationery.
I regularly teach workshops off site and relish in the satisfaction I get from teaching people about the older techniques used for printmaking. Even the most simplest typewriter can open the eyes of a small child in this technology seeped world.
If you are interested in letterpress and the workshops available at the studio please do get in touch. The studio door is open, the coffee is being filtered and inky fingers await!
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