Hi everyone, here I am, late again. However, I've been reading lately quite a few angst-ridden posts where the bloggers are struggling either with keeping up with the posting, or with content, or with the perceived originality of their work portrayed within. I've come to the conclusion that if you blog when you feel like blogging, about what ever you wish to write about, and you conduct yourself with integrity on the 'originality' front, then you can't go far wrong, and in the process give yourself a lot less anxiety over what is supposed to be a pleasurable activity! There, homily over!
Well, lots of photos for you, all about last week's activity. So let's get going.
On Sunday I went up to Onion Corner again to pick my last haul of Wild Garlic leaves. This time they were in flower, and joy of joys, so were the bluebells! Here you see them growing together, such a lovely sight. (I might add that my header photo contains wild garlic and dwarf hyacinth, NOT bluebells!)
I wanted them for Tuesday's supper, as my friend Sue K. was coming to stay and had positively DEMANDED wild garlic dolmas. I made so much steamed bulghur wheat (instead of rice, as in the original recipe) that I made a 'shape' as well in a pudding bowl.
And very nice they were too, full marks from Sue. I made smoked haddock fish cakes too - which, thinking about it, made a a meal a bit heavy on the carbs. But it was good, and I made some some homemade roast tomato sauce to go with it. Yummy! And to your relief, this is probably the last Wild Garlic post of the year!
The really exciting event of last week, and the reason for Sue's visit, was the lino print workshop at Grey Friars' Art Space, on Tuesday. Lovely Amanda Colville of Mangle Prints was giving the first workshop of the year and we were thrilled to get places as Amanda wanted to keep the classes small. It was a lovely day, Amanda's calm competence made for a relaxed atmosphere, despite the fact that we were working quite intensively and learning new skills as we went. We had all taken some design ideas, and after Amanda demonstrated the process we got down to transferring our designs to the lino blocks.
A lovely example of Amanda's prints. If you're not familiar with her work, check out her website and Facebook. I have blogged about Mangle Prints earlier - last Autumn if I remember, you can read about it if you check my archive.
Here are some shots of our carved lino blocks. I learned some valuable lessons that day - not to be too ambitious and make a too-detailed block for my first attempt being the most important one! I had carved a rubber stamp fish image some years ago, and thought I might utilise it for my print. It was a good idea, but I made it too fussy with seaweed back-ground, and too many lino 'streaks' to indicate water movement. But it was a good learning curve.
Sue's design taken from a pattern book, of fruits in cross -section. I loved this design so I pinched the idea for my practice piece, below.
I didn't finish the carving on the day, but used it to experiment with some tissue paper later, as I felt my fishy design was too fussy, with too much detail.
I'd made this fish carving a few years ago when I was carving rubber stamps. I printed it onto the lino block and traced the middle one to reverse it. Too much sea-weed and 'waves' took me a long time to carve so missed out on some experimenting time. But it taught me a valuable lesson about content.
This is Lizzy's design; I'm sorry Lizzy I didn't get a photo of your other plate for some reason.
Kathy's sunflower and tea-pot, a beautiful plate which took on an almost oriental feel when she printed onto red tissue.
And this is the lovely floral plate which another Sue produced.
Here are some of the finished prints - you can marry them up with the lino blocks above.
This little fellow is SueK's practice piece - I love him!
And here you can see some of the finished prints. I don't seem to have one of yours, Lizzy I'm so sorry.
What an incredible day. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and learned a heck of a lot. And tired ourselves out! If you ever get the chance to take on of Amanda's workshops - jump to it! Sue and I were positively buzzing as we drove home, and spent all evening perusing on-line print supply sites! Amanda you have started something here! After breakfast next morning we went through my textile and design books, making plans for future printing sessions. Sue was so excited about my books I had to frisk her on her way out to go home ............
Come on, Amanda, when is YOUR book coming out???? Well I spent most of Sunday carving; first I tidied up my fishes block, and am much happier with it now with the extraneous carving marks removed. Then I stamped and free-hand drew a plate with one fish, a border, and some words. This is going to be a card for Jim, but I'll show you more when I have printed the plate. Such fun! TOTALLY addictive. And I developed arthritis in my right forefinger overnight, with guiding the gouge through the lino. I'm sure I will learn to relax more as I go along.
So a HUGE thank you to Amanda for a super workshop, and for introducing me to this wonderful craft. Now I just have to learn to draw so I can make original designs. A quiet retirement? I think not!
PS I'm afraid Blogger's imp of mischief crept in here and cut off my post half way through, so I have had to try and remember what I originaly wrote and do it all over again. Such a pain. But I hope I have remembered enough to convey the delight and enthusiasm this day produced in me.