I live and work in Trowbridge making prints from a workshop at the bottom of the garden. Having done a ceramics degree at Bath, along the way I became interested in print. Initially I did not have a kiln so after my degree I used the print leisure course at Trowbridge College to carry on making. At the college I found a thriving artist community , we shared ideas and techniques and even organised group exhibitions.
I consider myself to be predominantly a mark maker who is fascinated by texture. A lot of my pieces are about setting up a dialogue between colour and surface, often with a stitched line thrown in. Sometimes I make prints that are in fact objects: recently I made 40 collagraph prints of moths and beetles. Each creature was unique, coloured several times, embellished with stitch, cut out and mounted.
Collagraph prints are made using a relief plate. The surface of the plate is built up with thin layers and sealed with varnish. After a week the plate is ready to print. Oil based ink is applied and then the plate is run through the press with thick damp paper. The print is dried flat between two boards and then sometimes I stitch into the paper.
For me print is not about producing lots of the same image. My printing blocks have a limited life so ideas are constantly changing. Mixed media collages are assembled using old printing plates, drawings, collagraphs and paper. Usually these are made in pairs, setting off a conversation along their length, like two vertical landscapes.
I go out walking in the land with my dogs everyday and even though I do not draw in the landscape I have the feeling of it with me all day. Sometimes the winter sun makes the new grass on the fields a luminous lime green, the purple in a hedge catches my eye as I walk past, the fading golden wheat as we watch the wind moving through it, give me shapes and hues that take the breath away.
Life drawing is a great part of my practice; it is immediate and fresh, a great source of enjoyment and inspiration. This can be a starting point for a collage, a print or low relief sculpture. Sewing is light relief, making garments and experimenting with cloth is just so enjoyable. In fact all aspects of this makers life play their part in informing the work, sometimes successful but always enjoyable.
Print shown on right, "Sleep", stitched collagraph