We are hoping that these newsletters offer useful and practical help – as well as a bit of inspiration to keep your creativity alive in these strange times. We’re hoping that by focusing on particular themes each week we can find ways of connecting and be purposeful in supporting you.
The theme of this week’s newsletter is ‘collage’ and print. We hope that this will inspire you to revisit discarded proofs and prints that failed to make the grade; repurpose ‘found’ prints from newspapers, magazines and packaging or perhaps make some collagraphs with either to print by hand or in readiness for the studio re-opening.
We know that in this curious time having a routine is thought to help so perhaps you might like to set yourself a challenge – a collage-a-day; a collagraph-a-week; how many images can I create from the same three elements etc.
The images and links below are intended to explore these themes. We are featuring artist and studio user Bridget Jones who uses ‘collage’ in various ways as an integral part of her work. As our first ‘Virtual Studio Visit’ Bridget has agreed to welcome you to her studio - just let us know you are interested and we will send you an invite to attend via Zoom.
Eduardo Paolozzi, 1953 – this work was included in an exhibition ‘Cut and Paste - 400 Years of Collage’ at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’ last year . A short film by the National Galleries Scotland looks at his collaged works.
Remote Technical Support Sessions
We know some of your will be missing your regular sessions in the studio with Helen and Alex, or perhaps struggling to get new ways of making prints at home to work as you would wish then Helen and Alex are still on hand to share their skills and knowledge.
As a trial we are offering the following bookable slots:
|10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm
|10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm
|10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm
|10am, 12noon, 2pm, 4pm
Examples of support we can offer:
- Advice about printmaking without a press e.g. Japanese woodcut; monoprinting etc.
- Advice about preparing work for printing when the studio reopens – e.g. collagraph plates; positives for screenprinting or photo-mechanical processes.
- Setting up Instagram - to share photos and connect with others.
We’d love to hear from you and offer any help we can!
So far this week the staff have helped with a range of technical questions relating to printmaking and social media…
I had never used Instagram until about a week ago. I had no idea that it was so easy, but with the help of Northern Print talking me through the technicalities it has opened up new possibilities. During this time of shut down it is a way of seeing what other people are making and to show my work to others and get a response. I have also been looking through earlier portfolios of work and thinking about developing some of the ideas - being able to share my work on Instagram is a real incentive.
Really helpful to have a short FaceTime chat about some printing problems I was having. It was great to show Helen the issues online. She quickly diagnosed the problem and proposed a solution - it worked well. Also got some good advice on how best to print a collagraph. Great to feel in touch with the Northern Print Studio while we are unable to use the facilities there.
My Zoom tech help with Alex was really good. It has kick started me to do some work at home as I had been unsure how to proceed without my usual equipment.
Thinking about collage
Collage was favoured by the Surrealists and is perhaps the perfect process for now - whether as a way of using the images and papers we have round our homes to make new images or an opportunity to create a fantasy world. You can see work by contemporary artists using collage on The Edinburgh Collage Collective’s Instagram.
Left: Hormazd Narielwalla, from a series ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors – Recollections of St Ives’ 18 x 11cm and Right: Rhed Fawell, ‘Here’s Why’, handmade paper, bookends, vintage imagery and hand stitching with thread; 2017
Thinking about collagraphs
Collagraph is a really simple process to be working on from home. There is lots of advice and inspiration online. Craft Centre Leeds are currently showing an exhibition of collagraphs, sadly now closed of course, but you can find out more online here. The show includes work by artist Hester Cox who has used Northern Print’s facilities to make larger-scale works.
Left: Clare Romano, Golden Canyon, Right, Jon Ross, Gorge, collagraph – together they published a number of books about printmaking including ‘The Complete Collagraph’ in 1981. A more recent book ‘Making Collagraphs Prints’ by Suzie MacKenzie is available online with second hand copies available for under £10.
If you want to look at some online tutorials about making collagraphs there is one from Double Elephant Print Workshop in Exeter. Artist Lynn Bailey shows the steps in making and printing a collagraph using the intaglio method for printing in this short film– though it is possible to print as a relief and by hand.
Katherine Jones combines collagraph with other print processes such as lino, drypoint and etching. Northern Print commissioned her to make a collagraph print as part of our ‘Glossary’ project which includes a series of films about how and why artists make prints. You can watch Katherine’s film here and find the other films we made on our website including a film about Bridget Jones.
Left: Katherine Jones, ‘The Delimitation of Stripes’ Collagraph and block print. £750 unframed from Northern Print. Right: Bridget Jones, Untitled, printed papers, assembled and stitched.
Printmakers Coffee Break
Tuesday at 11am - join us on 7 April
For those of you who are missing a chat with other printmakers we‘ve designated 11am on Tuesday as Printmakers Coffee Break. It’s the time to settle in with your mug of coffee and using Zoom you can join in the conversation. If you need help setting up Zoom from your phone, tablet or computer why not book a technical support session. If you want to join in, just email email@example.com to receive a link.
Virtual Studio Visits and Digital Demonstrations
We are pleased to announce our first Virtual Studio Visit to join artist and studio user Bridget Jones this will be taking place on Thursday 9 April at 2pm. If you would like to join Bridget and other studio users please email enquiry@northernprint. This is a free event and will be using ‘zoom’. This is a simple digital platform that enables you to see and communicate with Bridget. All you need is a Wi-Fi connection and a mobile phone, tablet or computer. If you would like some technical help to get you going just let us know!
We’re hoping to do a weekly visit or demonstration. If you would like to host a ‘studio visit’ or demonstrate a technique with other studio users please let us know.
Bridget Jones' studio
Left: Henri Matisse, Snow Flowers, cut and pasted papers, 1951.
Matisse’s cut outs are perhaps the perfect example of how limitations can produce something extraordinary. A short film of the great man in action here
Sharing your work online #printmakerspost
If you have images of work in progress, finished work or perhaps sketchbooks or ideas you would like to share we are doing this via social media (Instagram; Facebook and twitter) using the hashtag #printmakerspost. For those of you who would prefer to email images and short text we will share as part of our weekly newsletter. Just email to firstname.lastname@example.org you can post on social media at any time but we thought it might be good if we tried to post new work on Fridays to round off the week.
We will be sending out this weekly newsletter and using our social media accounts and website to keep in touch. We are happy to share your news and act as a conduit for those of you who may wish to set up smaller groups for digital conversations – for example maybe a few of you would like to use Zoom to have a group crit? Just let us know how we can help.
Printing at home
We know quite a few of you have your own printmaking presses at home, whether these are ‘off the shelf’ printmaking presses or your own inventions! It’s amazing how creative you can be with printmaking and what equipment you can utilise to print your blocks, plates or screens. If you would like to tell us (and other studio members) about your set-up at home, please let us know, we would love to see pics too.
Just email email@example.com
- Arts Council have set up a fund to support individual artists – you can find out more here
- Queens Hall Arts are commissioning new work as part of their digital platform, QHA Digital. It is a micro, 'days work' commission opportunity open to all UK based artists, technologists and digital makers regardless of nationality, age, or career stage. Click here for more info and to apply.
- Culture Bridge North East are recruiting for a new Area Manager. For more info and to apply click here
- An – Artists Information Company have brought their application process for the next round of Artist Bursaries forward, to help to support a-n Artist members whose livelihoods have been impacted by Coronavirus Covid-19, click here for more info and to apply.
If you’re placing any orders with Amazon (and you haven’t already nominated a charity) please could you nominate us? It doesn’t cost you any extra and you don’t have to sign up to anything complicated, it’s just a matter of going to smile.amazon.co.uk rather than the regular amazon address, you can then nominate a charity (Northern Print please J)
If you have any suggestions or would like to contribute to future editions of Studio News please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Very Best Wishes from us all