I make my etchings and dry points at Iron press printmaking in Lancaster run by the amazingly patient and generous artist Iain Sloan. For the etchings, I use aluminium plates as they are more economically priced than copper! This also means I am less scared of making mistakes - free to play and experiment.
I create my tones using car spray aquatint and ink up the plates with lots of different colours to get rich natural tones.
For the drypoint prints I use a thin acrylic sheet or aluminium sheet and draw into the surface using scribbles and a ‘Dremel’ drill – I try hard to make messy lines and capture gestural movements in my drawings.
This project has been a long time in the making - the development of a few years of ideas and obsessions with flocking birds. I wanted to create a flock that would literally fly out of the frame, and after much head scratching, sketching and trials I found a way to make my idea come to life
Based on my original ink drawing- each bird is laser cut from birch plywood, then hand painted with the tones and colours fo the bird. The final layer is screen printed over the colours with my messy line drawings- capturing the movement and energy of the bird. For the starlings bright beaks I even used 24k gold leaf.
I printed both sides of each bird so people could have options when creating their own flock.
I sold these installations as a set of 9 individual birds.
I make my collagraph’s using card, paper, fabric, tapes and whatever else is lying around on my desk. Cutting into the card and adding layers to the surface to create an image – once sealed with varnish I ink up the plate in the intaglio way – rubbing ink into the surface of the plate and then buffing it off, printing on a press with immense pressure to pull the ink off the plate onto damp paper. Each plate won’t last very long, so editions of each image are small and precious. I often combine drypoint plates with collagraph plates to bring a drawn layer to the artwork.
I love the freedom that screen-printing gives me. I can layer my drawings and put my images onto any different surfaces such as wood or fabric. I often use collaged vintage maps or papers to build up a background and print my drawn lines over the top. I’m looking for the happy accidents that happen with the placements of the collaged paper – the lines of a map and the tones of the papers all seem to take on the texture of the bird or animal helping to create unique pieces.
I’m often asked to make prints using specific maps that mean something to the buyer, a birthplace or wedding venue. I’m very happy to do this and enjoy the challenge of finding the map in vintage bookshops or online. Get in touch via email to discuss your needs- I’m happy to help.
Printing my drawings onto fabric gave me an opportunity to create useful and beautiful objects
Once I have got my image onto the screen the possibilities seem endless to layer and repeat the print – working onto fabric I can explore creating 3D objects, useful things and garments.
I am currently not making any fabric items in 2017.
A very important part of my process is working with people. Sharing skills and ideas. encouraging people to have a go!
Here is just a little glimpse into the many differnet things Ive been involved with over the last few years
Handprint and make your own bags Published by Cico books, March 2013
Learn how to make your own stylish bags with fabric you have printed yourself from this 35 project book.
Working with familiar printing techniques like Stencils and stamps and using readily avalible household items, experiment with printing your fabric and then use one of the 35 contemporary bag patterns to make your very own unique bag. There’s every level of sewing skill included in the book from beginners to skilled. Start with an easy one and as you get more confident try out one of the harder patterns.
The handprinted home published by Cico books, March 2014
Learn how to make stylish home accessories you have printed yourself with beautiful patterns, from foliage motifs to striking chevrons.
Choose from 35 gorgeous projects, which range from stylish pillows to curtains and bedsheets, to tea towels and other practical designs that will be endlessly useful.
If you've never handprinted before, the comprehensive techniques section will teach you all you need to know, including how to use a variety of printing methods. Plus, the sewing know-how section will guide beginners, as well as provide a handy reference for experienced stitchers. Each project comes with beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions, and you are certain to find a design that you will love to make for your home, or as the perfect gift for friends and family.
The elegant fowl - a printmakers' parliament of owls published by Mascot media June 2016
In this, the biggest published collection of owl-themed art to date, 96 artists have contributed more than 260 original prints to a book spanning 192 pages. The introduction looks at folklore and the natural history of owls, their appearance in art through the ages and their appeal to modern printmakers. All major techniques are described and discussed, while the artists provide their own anecdotes and insights into the world of owls. As with the earlier books 'The Artful Hare', 'The Printmaker's Cat' and 'The Little Chicken Book', the variety and quality of artwork on display is stunning. My collaged screen print - watching barn owls is on page 82!
The Printmaking Ideas book - Frances Stanfield & Lucy McGeown
Published by ilex press. August 2019
Great resource filled with interesting printmakers work - including my Robin Collagraph