The weather was wet, cold and miserable, and yet it did not matter because I had a great time at a print workshop, held at the Prospect Studios in Waterfoot, Lancashire. It was great to remove myself from the office and to get back to practical basics. I produced a series of floral and foliage prints using Japanese lino. Compared to standard lino, Japanese lino is thicker, softer and much easier to cut into. What I like about this technique is how you can concentrate on shapes and colour, and can apply some texture, which I did within the leaves in my prints.
It took me approximately two hours to sketch and cut out the floral and foliage shapes. Whilst being hasty, concerned that I would run out of time, I cut into my finger. A warning to all who might try this technique; the cutting knives are very sharp! I just wanted to start printing and seeing my lino shapes in colour!
A good thing about cutting out each shape individually is that you can play around with different compositions. I also experimented with a few varieties of colour combinations and wanted some sombre shades i.e. pale greys with charcoal greys or purple, along with brighter yellows, greens and reds.
Alan Birch, whom I have known for a number of years and who has run the print workshops for some time now, helped me to gather the necessary materials and reminded me what to do after each process (it has been a while since I last did lino printing).
Follow this website address if you would like to find out about his print workshops and about his work – www.alanbirch.co.uk
Below are a couple of prints that I produced and which have been cleaned up with PhotoShop. I will be using these to create some designs that I have planned in the near future:
Pictures I took during my time spent in the workshop.
Brightly coloured water-based inks
Purple oil-based ink
Initial shape outlines being carved out
Foliage shapes cut out, ready for printing
All ready to go!
Prints hanging to dry
My working space