Friday, January 23, 2015

Birds in Print

Last week, as part of a group exhibition themed on birds, I ran a couple of workshops including one focusing on creating relief printing blocks using the Ezy-Carve product.  This is a white rubber block, much like eraser material, that acts like lino but much easier to carve.  Its soft and thick, and very forgiving.

Each student in my workshop had an A6 size block to work with and a set of simple lino tools comprising 2 'v' shaped tools and one 'u' shaped tool.

The designs were based on birds to reflect the theme of the exhibition.  Everyone produced very creative work.  Some carved in a very free and loose manner, creating imagery consisting of fluid lines and movement.  Others concentrated on detailed designs for a more realistic image.

After carving and printing the blocks, the second part of the workshop was a couple of hours of printing and play with paint, what I called 'Feathered Friends Art Frenzy'.  We had homemade gelatine plates as well as the Gelli Arts plates, relief blocks, rubber stamps and lots of paint and paper.

Everyone had a lot of fun, experimenting with layering their relief prints over their monoprints created on the gelli plates.  A great day of play as well as a welcome relief from the hot day outside.

This is my promotional photo for the workshop, showing
one of my prints and equipment used.
Drawing and tracing designs onto the relief blocks.
Inspiration was gleaned from bird books and photographs.
Carving their blocks, a methodical but relaxing process.
Printing the relief blocks, using water based
block printing inks and a silver spoon as a baren.
Printing time!  Everyone was very keen to try out monoprinting
using the gelli plates.  The homemade gelatine plates
were also good to try to see the difference.
Some of Wendy's wonderful work, her Spangled Drongo block
had expressive line work balanced with positive and negative space.
The Magpie image was popular - a great design
for first timers!  This one is layered over a blue monoprint
from a gelli plate.
A gorgeous and creative use of a Magpie design on a card.
A beautiful carving by Sharyn, the attention to
detail makes the bird come to life.
Her design is based on a vintage woodcut, you
can really see that in her imagery.

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