Saturday, 12 October 2013

Post 3

I found it difficult to think of original imagery to use in my prints, I was very keen to find something different and unique, I really could have continued to deliberate over this for the rest of the term, however in order to physically make a start I pushed myself to choose a subject.   A trip to Manchester University Museum gave me the inspiration I needed.
As a starting point for the minor project I am looking at the complex structure of insects as there is potential for interesting shapes and detailed texture to carve.  I feel more involved with technical considerations at this stage in the project.  I intend to expand on and experiment with the types of imagery I use during the major project and be more selective with my choice of subject, as it has been pointed out to me that insects on a wall are not to everyone’s taste, however I was hoping not to make conventional wallpaper, so for now I am happy with the imagery.

I have carved a set of three individual insects which I can use to form a number of different print designs.  I have experimented with some different layouts on strips of wallpaper.  I think they are more effective when they are crowded together rather than in isolation.  I am pleased with how my carving technique is improving. 
Following on from this week I feel that I am up for the challenge of carving a larger repeat pattern.  I have decided to design a collage of insects overlapping and interlocking, the individual insects won’t stand out as clearly so it will appear more like a mass of detailed pattern with balanced areas of dark and light.  

Marthe Armitage
I have found it quite difficult to find other people working in a similar way, although this gives me confidence that what I am doing is somewhat unusual and inspires me to pursue it.  One of my main inspirations is Marthe Armitage who block prints wallpaper using her hand cut lino blocks.  I first came across her work on the ‘Fabric of Britain’ series on wallpaper on the BBC.  She looked very involved in her work and she had obviously found something that she really enjoyed doing, which she had also made into a successful business.

Her large lino cuts are mostly 21 inches, covering the width of the wallpaper; this is something I could possibly aim to do in the future. There are a lot of technical aspects I need to consider, but I enjoy that kind of challenge and want to take time to find the most effective way of printing with wood.  At this point I do not know exactly what type of printing machine I will need.  I admire Armitage’s determination to work for herself and see the process through from beginning to end.  I aspire to have a similar outlook and really try to make a success of working for myself in the future.

From looking at Armitage’s work I realised that wallpaper does not need to cover a whole room, a feature wall on its own can be very effective and eye catching, like the one below which Marthe Armitage printed for High Road House Hotel in London.
Wallpaper printed by Marthe Armitage
House and Garden, November 2013

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