This wonderful exhibition staged by Primrose Paper Arts Inc. was an opportunity to get up close to some stunning works on paper. The artists used their own handmade paper to create unique pieces including prints, collages, books and sculpture. The group is made up of members with a diverse range of skills, not just in paper making. It includes dyers, shibori artists, sculptors, printmakers and more. I’ve picked out a few pieces which really attracted my attention.
I’ve known Barbara for several years and have long been a fan of her fabric dyeing. I had no idea that these skills could be translated to working with paper so successfully.
Of course, the photo only shows a fraction of the real thing and the vibrancy of the colours is very hard to capture. You really need to see it gently turning as the light falls across the pleats revealing the depth of colours as they blend and change throughout the folds, twists and turns.
I’m not a fan of the title of the piece but the work itself is quite lovely.
The artist has written:
Bloom was a porous mass of iron and slag produced in the early smelters. My papers have been cast over the melted metal remains of a car burnt out in the dark of night outside our studio at Primrose Park.
Having recently made some collagraph plates (and enjoyed it very much) I was immediately drawn to these works and was interested to see what had produced the embossed effects. Whilst they are not printed as such, they show a sensitive use of colour and shadow which adds much to the outcome. I also think that grouping them together creates more impact than three separate pieces.
The artist has written:
The butterfly has bloomed but there is still the possibility of exploring the leaf.
Unfortunately there is some reflection on the glass in this photo but enough of the piece can be seen to get a general idea. You may just be able to make out the tiny butterfly on the top right-hand side of the leaf.
Kate Lovejoy Furnell. The Rocks – Facade I. Drypoint etching, chine collé.
The artist was in attendance whilst I was at the exhibition and I was able to ask a few questions. She was extremely interesting and told me quite a bit about using aluminium as a print plate to etch into. Would love to try that. We also discussed chine collé and she gave a few tips there, which will be helpful as I move into this part of the course.
I think she was pleased that someone was so interested in printing and she was eager to pass on her expertise so, even though I may have been pushing my luck, I mentioned my print speckling problem to her and how I can’t always get the best transfer of ink to paper.
Recently I’ve had some very good advice from my tutor and another printmaker she kindly contacted on my behalf. Kate confirmed what they have told me and then went on to explain the difference between the various types of oil based inks there are around, detailing relief inks and intaglio inks. This was fascinating and I now have a much better understanding of ink ‘grip’ or ‘suction’ when transferring from plate to paper.
So my next step is to try out a few of the helpful tips I’ve been given and see what works best. I can then write this up for the benefit of others on the course who also face the same niggling problems.
A very enjoyable and educational exhibition. I’m desperate to join Primrose Paper Arts Inc. and also a printmaking group but I’ll hold on for now and see how I continue through the course.
Photos taken by myself with permission from the exhibiting group.