Saturday, 27 October 2012

blood red

There's been some printing going on around here! This time I've made up a rich blood red ink and printed my banksia pod design with it. I quite like the way it came up against the warmth of the linen.

I use 2 types of Russian linen - a warmer colour called 'flax' and a slightly cooler one called 'oatmeal'.

pic 1: flax
pic 2: oatmeal
pic 3: oatmeal
pic 4: flax

The thing I LOVE about printing on 100% linen is the way these towels wear over time to a gorgeous softness with use in the kitchen. And linen is such a beautiful natural product. Remember this video I posted last year about how it's made?

Oh, and they're in the shop. Of course. Xmas pressies perhaps???

Saturday, 13 October 2012

etching class with Bridget Farmer

some of the work I made at Bridget's studio
Fruiting Habit
The lovely Daylesford sky

After spending 2 days in Bridget Farmer's gorgeous print studio near Daylesford I feel very inspired and energised.
Bridget taught me the ins and outs of drypoint etching and I seriously think I've found a new printmaking addiction. Bridget's work alone is inspiring enough. Take a look at this gallery of some of her gorgeous bird etchings. Oooh la la! Aren't they just divine?

Bridget's originally from Northern Ireland but has lived in Australia for a few years now. Her current home is the gorgeous bushland near Daylesford which is where you'll also find her peaceful printmaking studio. And I can vouch that Bridget knows her birds! Her studio has several enormous windows looking onto the bush and while we chatted over lunch and cups of tea she regularly pointed out various little feathered beauties as they perched in tree branches nearby. I was impressed. My own bird naming knowledge doesn't extend much beyond knowing what galahs, lorikeets, cockatoos and the occasional magpie look like.

And the printmaking! What fun! Working in the etching medium allowed me to unleash my passion for linear forms, something that is quite hard to portray through relief printing, like woodblock or lino. So based on my botanical sketches I printed up a storm of various botanical inspired etchings and got to experiment with colour and shading under Bridget's support and guidance. I can't speak highly enough of the soft and gentle approach Bridget has towards teaching what she knows about etching. It was a really magical couple of days for me.

The good news is Bridget's running classes. So you too can learn about various kinds of etching processes in the peace and quiet of Bridget's lovely bushland studio.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

embodiment + sense-making

indigo dyed shibori textiles
ghost print on paper
snow gum in ice blue on 100% linen

I'm still working out the specifics of Instagram but have been playing there a bit this week for the first time @kyliebudge. Boy, there is just a world of non-stop beauty and inspiration in that app, no? I know I could easily lose a lifetime looking down into my phone screen perusing all that people post there. Wondrous!

Speaking of visuals and the role of them in sense-making for artists, there is a pretty cool new post on Pat Thomson's blog by Megan McPherson (@meganjmcpherson and @thomsonpat on twitter) that you might want to check out. In it Megan talks about the role of visuals and journals in sense-making for artists and it made me think of the way blogs and visual repositories like Flickr and Instagram do that for many of us. Go read and see what you think.

One of the topics the post touches on is embodiment. I've been thinking a LOT about this in terms of the big story I'm working on (a PhD about creative practice and the teaching of art and design in universities). Funnily enough this topic crossed my mind yesterday morning when I was home sick with a cold. I should have been writing, or at the very least analysing interview data but I was in that thick fog that colds bring on (still am really) where it's hard to make the brain work. So instead I did some printing. This decision was so automatic for me that it was only later I realised it has something to do with embodiment. While I still have to use my brain to think while printing it's different from how it's used when I'm writing. And I think it has something to do with how printmaking has become embodied for me through years of practice. By this I mean I can more or less just do it without thinking about it too much or over-analysing. And it feels good to do when the brain is tired. Even relaxing.

If you want to read more about embodiment in the context of art practice go read Erin O'Connor's work. If you're up for a big read here's a link to her thesis. Erin's PhD was an in situ ethnography about how it felt to become a glassblower - from novice right through to expert over about 3-4 years. She writes a lot about embodiment of practice and also language and culture in the context of glassblowing. Really fascinating stuff (ok, I might be nerding out here but I really do think that).

I'm really interested to know - do you feel like you embody some aspects of your art or design practice? In what ways have you noticed this?