Tuesday brought glorious sunshine, which was perfect for our Beastly and Beautiful Print-Making course led by artist, Chrys Allen. Not only was our room lovely and light, one of the day’s tasks involved foraging outside for natural shapes and textures to use in our prints.
Chrys welcomed everyone to the course with a metre of wire and challenged them to use it to create a drawing inspired by the natural world. The tables were soon full of fish, frogs, ladybirds, bees, trees and flowers.
We were then introduced to mono printing, which we learned is a kind of indirect drawing. To make our mono prints we applied single coloured inks to metal sheets.
We placed our paper over the inked sheets and created simple line drawings. Images appeared in delicate white lines on vivid sheets of colour.
We then thought about the effects that different textures and shapes might have, and started designing prints for the press to find out. We did this by inking our wire drawings and other different textured objects, such as lace and leaves, to make interesting compositions.
After getting to grips with print techniques it was time to start planning our main compositions. Work began with a walk, where we gathered leaves, grasses and flowers. Back in the studio, we set our treasures aside and made textured backgrounds by gluing strips of paper together and scrunching and gluing tissue paper. These were to be used to create a sense of depth, as a background of land, sky or water in our pictures.
We set them aside to dry whilst we sketched out some designs for insects, which we would then create with our found materials.
And we made bodies and other shapes from fragments of wool and twine.
We then used the rollers to ink the different elements that would make up our pictures, including our papier-mâché backgrounds.
When everything was assembled, it was ready for the press.
A wonderful array of colourful and creative work was made.