Since I completed stained glass for my Artweeks exhibition and made videos for what it became - the virtual Artweeks festival - I have not made any glass. Instead, unexpectedly, I have been writing poetry, which is something I have only attempted very occasionally before. I have have been enjoying it enormously and have become very absorbed. A sequence of poems has emerged, on the theme of 'Breath'. These mix thoughts arising from yoga breathing exercises with observations of the current pandemic situation. I have been sending them to friends as a gift during this strange and sometimes frightening time.
Although it is strange and sometimes frightening, lockdown has offered many of us time. In May I began experimenting with ways of making images to accompany the poems. I didn't want to illustrate them literally, but rather to find some visual equivalents for what I was trying to express. I decided I could use any art material I had in the studio. I began with my lino-print rollers and inks, using them directly. I printed the poem texts on tracing paper, thinking of overlaying them.
I also tried trying mono print drawings, such as the one below, an idea for 'Woodwind' - the sound of the breath emerging from a flute. I laid the paper on the inked tray and drew onto the reverse. The results are unpredictable, but turning the paper over is always a discovery.
Simultaneously I experimented with watercolour, ink and wax resist. I did about a dozen versions of 'Swim' - here are two different very approaches, below:
These idea also went off sideways into a designs for glass, to be kept for another day.
I would like to create an artists book, with the texts printed on translucent paper, interleaved with the printed art work. I intended to get it printed and then bind it myself. I investigated the practicality and cost of having small run printed. But after a very helpful conversation with Mark at KSM Litho in Chipping Norton, and a look at the eye-watering estimates for small runs, sadly I had to rethink. The cost of printing what I had in mind was far too great, not knowing if there would be any interest at all.
So I am thinking laterally and using Sixprint, my online art art card printer, to print the images as large square postcards, with the texts on the reverse. I can then enclose them, as a set, in a handmade cover of some kind, the design of which is still brewing in my imagination. It has to be translucent! I am impatiently awaiting the proof cards.
If successful, the 'Breath' collection will be available for sale on my website and at my exhibition in the Charlbury Deli in Sept, along with the best of the original artwork. I am very interested to know what people think.
I am a glass artist based in Charlbury, Oxfordshire. I work in stained and fused glass. I work to commission and teach stained glass in my studio. I open my studio to visitors during Oxfordshire Artweeks.
Stay in touch
To follow my blog in your favourite browser please click on the RSS Feed button below. You can find me on social media or just subscribe
to my newsletter.