Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Ben Goodman

Kwabene / wood engraving
Next up in our 'Meet the Printmaker' series is Ben Goodman, a lovely man who specialises in wood engraving and letterpress. Ben's striking images really stand out in The Print Shop, so we were really interested to find out more about him and his work...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?
Hello, I’m Ben. I moved to Bristol in 2006 from Coventry and have loved every minute of it. Last year I bought a victorian printing press that has allowed me to develop my wood engraving into a full time obsession.


Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I do bits of design work to help balance the books, but I also dabble in Letterpress, automata and animation which is great fun.


What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?
We had a very brief introduction to linocut during 6th Form, but other than that I hadn’t paid much attention to it (or even heard of it). I was dead set on becoming an animator until I entered the print rooms of Bower Ashton during my Foundation Year and never looked back.

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
Ultimately I try to make images that stir an emotion. I don’t want to do this by depicting controversial subjects, but more subtly through use of tone. For me, black ink is the most evocative colour, I don’t know why this is, but I always find a black and white print, photo, film, etc far more emotional than it’s colour filled equal.

Maxwell / wood engraving

Jungle Gardener / wood engraving

Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and
where you print?
When I’m not working behind a bar, I spend all my time pottering about in my studio. I’ve got a decent sized space at BV Studios in Bedminster equipped with a huge Albion Press, plan chest and computer. I love spending time there cutting wood engravings or just bodging together bits of wood!

The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
It goes without saying that I admire the impossibly detailed work of Thomas Bewick. So other than him I’m always stunned by the etchings of Paco Aguilar and Norman Ackroyd, the energy of Ronald Searle’s drawings and the general brilliance seen in contemporary Chinese printmaking.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy the most?
I like all bits apart from editioning. I’d be quite happy to only print one good print if someone was prepared to pay the price tag!

Robin / process 01
Robin / process 02
Robin / process 03

Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
I love the leather sandbag that Simon Brett kindly gave to me. It’s a simple tool that at first glance is dismissed by almost everyone, but without it you cannot easily achieve those accurate curves and subtle tones. It’s also fun to polish when you need to procrastinate. (for those of you who have never seen one, it looks like a 6 inch leather spaceship and goes underneath your wood block to allow you to easily turn and move the block while cutting).

Sandbag underneath in-progress wood block

Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us ?
Thin Japanese paper is perfect for printing. The Japanese have been making paper and printing far longer than us Europeans and have mastered the process. So don’t bother with all that heavy stuff and invest in some strong Japanese tissue. It’s stronger and more resistant than anything you’ll find in England. Having said that, I do find the English like things to be weighty because it gives a perceived sense of value (and I’ve heard similar remarks from people well accustomed to international markets). So it’s no surprise that when I let a person choose between a wood engraving that’s printed onto cheap (but thick) paper and thin (but extremely high quality) japanese paper they go for the former.

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I’d like to take my wood blocks into the real world away from the studio and engrave directly from the actual subject. It would also be fun to produce a huge engraving, but I’m still waiting to win the Euro Millions.

Maxwell 2 / wood engraving

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
The wood engraving journal MULTIPLES which comes out every quarter. It’s a treasure trove of interesting articles and beautiful engravings.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?
As you might expect, I’m a black and white person. But I do always admire a multi-coloured piece of art, partly because I could never do it.

Thanks Ben, we really appreciate you answering our questions, it is also lovely to see traditional techniques being used with such skill.

Ben's work can be seen in Volume 1 of The Print Shop, until August 25th. He will also be sharing his knowledge in a workshop 'Wood Engraving for Beginners', over 2 evenings in August - click here for more information.

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
BS1 3BU

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm


Monday, 29 July 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Carol Jackman


We were delighted to catch up with Carol Jackman, an established figure in Bristol's print community - read on to find out more about Carol's influences and how her delicate work is created...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?
I'm Carol Jackman. I'm a Trustee and studio holder at Spike Island; a member of Spike Print Studio; and a member of The University of the Arts London. I'm a painter and screen-printer and my work is mainly concerned with maps and mapping.

Japa I / screenprint

Japa II / screenprint

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
In addition to printmaking I also paint and draw.

'Prayer Sticks' Cassein and silver leaf on MDF

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want
to do more?
I came late to art and took to printmaking as a mature student at Exeter in 1990-91. My transfer to UWE Bristol introduced me to water-based screenprinting which encouraged me to do a Masters in Printmaking at Camberwell.

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
My inspiration comes from all the different places where I have lived; mainly in the Far East and India. This is reflected in my work.

'Annapurna Sanctuary' in the Himalayas / Screenprint

Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and
where you print?
I work in my studio in Spike Island and use the Spike Print Studios for printmaking.


My studio in Spike Island

The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
Some of the artists whose work I really love are: Antoni Tapies, Helen Frankenthaler, Howard Hodgkin, William Tillyer, Callum Innes, and Kathy Prendergast.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy the most?
The physicality of screenprinting and experimenting with colour.

Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
I use very fine Rotring pens for making my positives. I also have a collection of Chinese paint brushes that hang on my studio wall for inspiration.



My inspiration!

Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us?
Not really, except to make sure you follow a clean and tidy screenprinter on the bed!


How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I favour the hand-drawn element of making my positives, but a little knowledge of Photoshop could be useful to add in occasionally.

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
Anything relevant to my work.


Monochrome or multi-coloured?
Paired down discreteness and the joy of colour. 

Well, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Carol, and I must admit to being a little envious of your studio!

Carol is one of our specially selected printmakers currently showing work in Volume 1 of The Print Shop, which runs until the 25th August. If you're local to Bristol, do make sure you come and see us !


The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
BS1 3BU

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Feature in 'The Weekend' (Bristol Post)

Over this weekend, we've had a full-page feature in 'The Weekend' magazine, which is included in the Bristol Post. (click on the image to view the article)

Friday, 26 July 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Kerry Day


Kerry is on the admin team behind The Print Shop, so has been doing lots of behind the scenes work in getting the shop up and running. Here she gives us a really nice insight into her work and generally what makes her tick...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work...
What sort of prints do you make?
I’m a full time artist who also teaches every now and again.

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I consider myself a mixed media artist. I paint in oils and acrylics: draw and more recently I began Pollyarts. In 2011 I had just finished my MA in Printmaking (UWE) and I just needed to take a break from any art for a while. So I began knitting, starting with a few items for myself, I find it a very relaxing thing to do. This led to seeing if anyone would buy my creations and found they did. Today Pollyarts has knitted phone pouches, hats, jewellery, and screen printed bags and tea towels, which you will find in the shop.


What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
With my fine art prints I’m interested in capturing movement in the human figure. I regularly attend a Life Drawing with Movement class at The Bristol Drawing School where the model will pose in dynamic sequenced poses from 10 seconds to 2 minutes at a time. Other times they will move or dance along to music. This is a very expressive and freeing way of drawing. I’m also inspired by the 19th Century photographer Eadweard Muybridge who was best known for his pioneering work in photographic studies of animal and human motion.





Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and
where you print?
I do all my printing at Spike Print Studio at Spike Island and I have a studio in Hamilton House for my painting and preparation work.



Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us?
If you find your screen printing ink is getting a bit thick and you have no time to mix a new batch just add a tiny bit of washing up liquid and a dribble of hot water, mix well and that should loosen it up enough to finish the print job, then I suggest you bin it and mix a new lot up.

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I mainly use screen printing and would like to try some etching again at some point, especially dry point.



Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
This is going to make me sound ancient but I do like to flick through Simply Knitting and say to myself “one day I will knit myself that”. I imagine myself as an old lady head to toe in knitwear with bright red hair ☺ 

Monochrome or multi-coloured?
Both. I would say the majority of my work is multi coloured but occasionally I think it’s really nice just to use one colour.

Thanks Kerry, I like your handy hint on the washing up liquid/hot water trick there, thanks for sharing!

In addition to having her prints and screen printed products on show, Kerry will also be running a workshop at The Print Shop... 'Intro to Linocut' will introduce you to the art of relief printing, and is suitable for beginners. To find out more, click here


The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
BS1 3BU

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm



Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Jill Spence

The latest in our 'Meet the Printmaker' artist interview series... we catch up with screen printer Jill Spence who tells us about her graphic designs...


Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?
Hello, my name is Jill and I’m a silk screen printer. I hand print in small quantities large and small scale prints, greetings cards and gift items such as cotton bags. My prints have a graphic, stylised feel.


Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I’m a Graphic Designer by trade, and having recently been made redundant, I thought it an exciting opportunity to develop and follow my passion for screen printing.



What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?
At primary school where we had to cut out a paper stencil and put it on a screen to print with. I thought it was like magic when the picture emerged!


What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
I’m hugely inspired by the art deco period, and love shapes and patterns which are stylised, symmetrical as well as repeat patterns. A recent trip to AndalucĂ­a in Spain was also really inspirational - I loved the Moorish tile designs I saw there.



Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and
where you print?
I have a fantastic studio space in Hamilton House in Stokes Croft. There is an eclectic mix of artists; everyone from painters, illustrators, and milliners to puppeteers, so it’s a very creatively indulgent place to work.


The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
I really like the work of Sian Elin, an interior surface designer. She has also seemed to be influenced by Moorish design, and I love her colours and patterns.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the first pass of my design, as you never quite know how the print is going to look, always looks a little different hand printed than it does on a computer screen.


Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
Not yet, I’m just starting out.

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I’m relatively new to screen printing, and see my style evolving at the same time as developing my printmaking skills. I’d like to use different textures and colour overlays to achieve a variety of effects. I want to experiment and see what I can achieve and how far I can push my printmaking skills.


Monochrome or multi-coloured?
Multi-coloured at the moment, although I plan to develop a range on monochrome Christmas cards.

Thanks Jill, you say you are just starting out... we can't wait to watch how your work develops!

Jill Spence is one of the many talented printmakers contributing to Volume 1 of The Print Shop, July 24th - August 25th - come along and see for yourself!

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
BS1 3BU

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Jane Ormes


We were delighted to catch up with Spike-based printmaker Jane Ormes. She lets us in on her love of printing and gives away a few little secrets along the way...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?
My name is Jane Ormes and I’m a silk screen printmaker. My work is usually shot through with bright colour and animals in unlikely scenarios. I’m primarily a printmaker working two dimensionally but I do love to dabble with 3D objects every now and again. I’ve made decorative wooden birdhouses from printed wood before now. And cardboard printed dachshunds. And families of wooden printed rabbits that slot together!


Cat Disenchanted with the Wild west

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want
to do more?
I actually did my degree in Printed Surface Decoration nearly 30 years ago but, in those days, technicians did a lot of the actual printing for you so I’m not sure my love of screenprinting started there. About 7 years ago I was sharing a studio with a friend who re-introduced me to printmaking at Spike Print Studio and I’ve never looked back! The thrill of lifting up the print frame to see what’s deposited on the paper is still exciting.

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
I’m inspired by bold, graphic images mixed with naive shapes and retro patterns. I’m a bit of a sucker for the birds and the beasts so you’ll find cats, dogs, rabbits scattered here and there. I have a 20 year old black cat called Hilary who pops up a lot. A turn of phrase or amusing comment will often kickstart an idea for a print. I love a sense of the absurd!


Two go mad in the South Hamms

Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and
where you print?
I have a room at home that I create my stencils in, ready for the printing process. I’ve really outgrown it and I’m currently on the look out for a bigger and better space and am considering building a studio in our garden. Once I’ve got round my husband. I print at the mighty Spike Print Studio. It is a fabulous space. Meeting other printmakers and exchanging knowledge is an ongoing fantastic experience.



The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
There are so many printmakers I love; many of them friends that also print at Spike. David Wiedman’s work is glorious, Chitra Merchant’s use of colour is amazing, Anna Marrow’s fresh beautiful composition..... Sister Corita’s graphic printed collages...



Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy

the most?
Although the actual physical process of printing is ultimately the mechanical one i.e the creative process is the designing of the print and making the stencils for each colour, mixing up your ink and first pull of a new print is always exciting. Seeing smooth flat colour deposited onto crisp white paper. Printing the last colour is euphoric ! Especially as I sometimes have 12 colours !


Bear that can stare

Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us?
My top tip for screen printing would be don’t brandish a pair of very sharp scissors near a brand new restretched screen. Result-holes !!!!!!

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I’d like to try other methods of printing that might be a bit more immediate-paper stencils, monoprinting etc.

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
I’m a real lover of interiors magazine. My house is full of them. My initial set of screenprints were all to furnish our new house that we had basically painted white. I love seeing how an image on a wall can affect a room. I love Elle Decoration and Living Etc.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?
Multi coloured every time !!!!!



That's great Jane, thanks very much for the insight into your screen printing world. And who wouldn't want one of Jane's lovely prints on their wall?

Jane's work is featured in Volume 1 of The Print Shop which runs July 24th - August 25th - why not come along and check it out, along with work from many other talented printmakers...

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
BS1 3BU

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm


Friday, 19 July 2013

Meet the Printmaker - Sophie Rae


Welcome to our "Meet the Printmaker" series, where we will catch up with each of the printmakers involved in The Print Shop and find out about their work, processes, inspirations and anything else they care to share! First up is the truly unique Sophie Rae...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?
I am a member of Drawn in Bristol and work as an Illustrator and printmaker. I create mono prints by sketching and hand cutting paper.


Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I spend most of my time printmaking, but I do occasionally like to pick up a paint brush and I also enjoy face painting.

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?
I started printmaking when I was at University doing my Illustration Degree. I then created a way of working which meant I didn’t specifically need to be in a printmaking studio or have access to a press. I’d done screen printing and really enjoyed the effects you could get from it. Then I found a similar way to work that I could do at home or just at my desk in my studio. My way of working also allowed me to create more subtle and graduating tones, creating more depth and atmosphere.


Houseboat

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
I am inspired mostly by the natural wonders of this beautiful world, including tranquil locations I’ve been to on my travels or the animals that I’ve met along the way.

Palm Trees

Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and
where you print?
I have just joined the Drawn in Bristol Studio in Hamilton House so I’m creating all my work there.


The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
I love the work of Angie Lewin. She is also inspired by the walks she takes and the plant life she sees.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy the most?
That’s what I love about my process. The variety keeps things exciting. There is sketching, then cutting, then mixing the colours, then applying the ink to the paper. My favourite parts are probably the sketching and mixing the colours and applying the ink.


Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
My special durathene roller from Lawrence and Son. It’s softness really allows me to get into small corners of stencils that I have cut, giving me the chance to put more detail in my work.

Cabbage

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I’m looking at combining my hand printed techniques with screen printing. For example creating tonal variations using my roller in contrast with the solid flat colour I can get with screen printing.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?
Definitely multi-coloured

Cow

Thanks Sophie, such wonderful, colourful and textural images!  Sophie's work will be appearing in Volume 1 of The Print Shop - July 24th - August 25th, so come along and see it for yourself...

And if you're interested in learning more about mono printing, Sophie will be running a workshop 'Monoprinting with Stencils' on the 8th August... Find out more here

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Bristol
BS1 3BU

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm