Category Archives: My books & journals

A bit of time out

It’s been a stressful week so it seemed like a good time to take a few minutes away from other people to mess about in the studio with some loud music, a bit of paper and some pens. Going through … Continue reading

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Exhibition: Southern Printmakers

As I new member of this exhibiting group I was delighted to see my book ‘minimal’ on display at the Milk Factory Galleries (Pop-up 1 & 2) when I visited on Thursday. It was also an opportunity to see all … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Complete

Both internal and external pages have been printed and bound using reverse piano hinge. Each internal page has a semi-translucent title page preceding it, as an introduction to the following abstracted imagery. Although previous posts have shown the origin of … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Eighth page

There is much bushland around where I live and I walk the trails regularly. Teenagers on bicycles & mountain bikes and older lads on motorbikes are systematically destroying areas of the bush; chopping down trees, pulling out shrubs and native … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Seventh page

Low tide at Bellambi Point dog beach. It’s a place I visit regularly and I’ve many, many photos of rock pools, surf, sea grasses, sand undulations, shells and discarded detritus. Source photo: From paper I cut three abstract shapes. This … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Sixth page

Still taking pictures of the breakwater in Newcastle I was amazed to see rocks heavily pock-marked by wind erosion. Well, I assume that’s what’s caused these amazing indentations in the rocks. Source photo: Using Sharpie pen and paper I drew … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Fifth page

This print originated from some drawings I did of the TV remote control where I was exploring abstracting a drawn design, full details of which are here. The item was drawn fairly accurately, then again without looking at the paper … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Fourth page

More photos of the breakwater in Newcastle show not only huge rocks in place but also concrete blocks, which I can only imagine were installed by cranes using the handles clearly visible. Source photo: Finished print: 300gsm Hahnemuhle warm white … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Third page

A recent overnight stay in Newcastle (NSW) gave me the opportunity to walk the length of Nobby’s Breakwater, although I see on Google maps it’s marked as Newcastle Breakwater. With my camera in hand I took many photos of the … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: Second page

During a few days away recently we stopped at Terrigal and walked along the recently completed sea-front boardwalk. I took numerous photos of the wind carved rocks, some of which can be seen in the image above. Source photos: Finished … Continue reading

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Project Minimal: First page

The inspiration for this project comes from my recent photos and drawings which have been abstracted, simplified and stylised. The end results bear no relation to the original source materials which have been used to inspire exploration of shape, colour … Continue reading

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Hard cover Coptic Stitch book

I’ve made books using Coptic Stitch in the past but yesterday I explored a method new to me. Previously I’ve worked individual threads up through the text block. So eight holes along the spine equates to 8 separate threads and … Continue reading

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Project: trees

Having been in a very restrictive lock-down situation, due to increasing numbers of covid 19 cases in our state, I’ve been close to home for over 10 weeks now without a definite end in sight; possibly some small relaxation of … Continue reading

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Blizzard structures

Hedi Kyle is the coauthor, with her daughter, Ulla Warchol, of The Art of the Fold, a step-by-step guide to making a wide range of original structures. Over the past 3 weeks I’ve been exploring 6 of her designs based … Continue reading

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Project: Treads notebook

From time to time I use my prints as covers for notebooks. Today I used my hand-coloured print from my ongoing Treads project. Might as well use it rather than shoving it in a drawer for ever. It’s a simple … Continue reading

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Banksia Book – Constructed

Over recent months I’ve documented my progress in printing some Banksia themed solar plates I was given late last year. Some of them are quite worn, or possibly not etched deeply enough to start with, but they have been a … Continue reading

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Coptic stitch sketchbook

Last week I did a short online Coptic stitch tutorial. I’ve only done this stitching twice before and neither time has the process really stuck in my mind. However, this tutorial was superb and with the benefit of videos which … Continue reading

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Banksia Book – Part 1

I recently wrote about some etched solar plates I’ve been given, which I’ve started printing. My aim is to create a book showcasing the prints to give to the friend who kindly donated the plates. My criteria are as follows: … Continue reading

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2021 Artists’ Book Award Exhibition

Friday, 19 February 2021 – 10:00am to Sunday, 28 March 2021 – 4:00pm In partnership with Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Northern Beaches Council Libraries hold an Artists’ Book Award attracting entries from around the world. From the exhibited selection … Continue reading

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Project: Noise

This project came about when playing very loud music whilst working alone in my studio. Sometimes finding it difficult to remain motivated through the long periods of lockdown and lack of external stimulation I used some of my favourite bands … Continue reading

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Working in only 2 colours

I recently taught a colour & composition workshop where we concentrated on the wonderful world of colour choices; tones, tints, likes, dislikes and colour matching. Trying to introduce the participants to a new way of considering abstraction in their work … Continue reading

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Finally back to teaching

After a very long time in full- and semi-lockdown I am delighted to have been engaged to teach a weekend workshop at Hazelhurst Gallery & Arts Centre. Entitled ‘Book Making for Artists‘ this 2 day weekend event will introduce participants … Continue reading

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Monoprinting shapes – Part 2

Building on the prints from my previous post I created a range of multi-layered monoprints, sticking to a reduced colour palette and using only lines and circles.  Threads of varying thicknesses and types were laid to achieve either resists or … Continue reading

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Completed: Monoprinted concertina book

Claire Brach, In Isolation, 2020, free-standing articulated concertina book, commercial & handmade paper, mixed media drawing & painting, monoprinting

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Part 3: Monoprinted vignettes

Finally every page printed.  32 different plants printed in isolation, each showcased in their own right.  Here is a selection. I also printed some of my book pages without the background.  The plants are so lovely on their own I … Continue reading

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Part 2: Monoprinted vignettes

In part 1 I showed the waste prints from this project and explained the process of transferring plant material, mainly leaves, to paper. Each page was initially prepared by printing a textural backdrop representing the concept of different terrain.  Jack … Continue reading

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Part 1: Monoprinted vignettes

When looking back over my recent online mixed media course I was struck again at how much I had enjoyed creating temporary vignettes from plant material. So over recent weeks I’ve been diligently collecting, pressing and drying plant material with … Continue reading

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Articulated concertina: More complexity

In January I posted the results of my exploration into creating a double articulated concertina book.  I made two samples; one with basic stitching and the other with an attractive beaded join. Ever since completing the these I’ve been irritated … Continue reading

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Double articulation concertina book: Floral linocut

As I bring this project to a close I’m struck by how much I’ve learned on this journey. My first decision was to create a duplicate of every component as this was totally experimental.  What I see in my head … Continue reading

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Mark making & Gelli Plate printing

Having attended a recent paste-papers workshop and had such a good two days I was reminded of the fun of just ‘having a go’ and letting colours appear on paper with a little less planning than I usually do.  So … Continue reading

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Finished book: Aspects of Humanity

Having resolved my text printing issue I’ve been able to go ahead and construct my book. It ticks nearly all the boxes re construction, just a couple of tiny niggles that I’ve learned to improve for my next one in … Continue reading

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You just have to keep trying . . .

. . . until you find a solution With 28 images individually printed onto handmade paper (see stage 1 here), collated and ready to be assembled into my Aspects of Humanity book I have spent a lot of time attempting … Continue reading

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I’ll be teaching at ……..

5-7 October 2019 Korowal School, Hazelbrook, Blue Mountains, NSW CLICK HERE to visit the website of this brand new creative retreat, check out the various workshops (designed for adults 18+) and make a booking. I’m thrilled to have been asked … Continue reading

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Printing: A small aside

It’s never too late to complete a project.  You just have to become a hoarder and never discard anything. Some considerable time ago, using the back-drawing monoprinting technique, I produced some small pieces which I went on to embellish with … Continue reading

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Flexible Book Structures course: Progression

These two parts of the course introduce us to hinged spines and fastenings as well as layering and cutting back. I first created a reversible 4 panel hinged concertina book. Then I moved to a 2 signature pamphlet stitched notebook … Continue reading

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Drawing: A bit more nature

Simple plant shapes from a variety of visual resources, before adding some to my alcohol inked background. I have one more coloured background but it wasn’t usable as the background was too heavily coloured to see much imagery.  So I … Continue reading

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Design Play: Exercise – connections

I’ve been looking back over some of the work I’ve created in the last 5 years or so.  While I’ve covered a variety of subjects I see that I keep returning to the idea of connections, boxes, containers, lines and … Continue reading

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New Japanese stab bound book

With much of my home under tarpaulins whilst we renovate, I’ve scant access to my printing, paper-making and book-making materials but managed to rustle up a set of old collagraph plates to re-use last week. With a book project in … Continue reading

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Woven chain book-binding

This was an excellent book-binding class I attended last week.  Luckily, being only one day, the tutor came with much of the book cover construction ready-done.  It seems like cheating a bit but with such time constraints we needed to … Continue reading

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Linear Containment: Book assembled

For anyone following my Linear Containment theme over the last 6 months or so (which evolved from earlier prints in 2017) it might seem I would never get my work into some sort of final project, but you would be … Continue reading

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Workshop: Print, Book, Box

Monoprinting with Glen Skein. January saw me at Sturt Summer School for 5 days of printmaking.  The program included great live-in accommodation, excellent food and several hundred people all involved in a range of workshops. Unfortunately I was struck seriously … Continue reading

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Chine collé – The final outcome

Continuing on with my chine collé flower design (see previous posts here and here) I adhered a simple iron-on Wispa Weft to the back of some of the prints and tried to machine stitch around some of the flowers. I … Continue reading

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Book-making with Liz Powell

I thoroughly enjoyed this 2 day workshop and am thrilled with the books I made.  The course was aimed at both beginners and those with some book-making experience wanting to widen their range of binding skills. We covered four types … Continue reading

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