linocut

The Making Ape

All of your ancestors were creative — You and I and everybody we know were descended from tens of thousands of years of makers. The entire world, for better or for worse, has been altered by the human hand, by human beings doing this weird and irrational thing that only we do, amongst all our peers in the animal world, which is to waste our time making things that nobody needs, making things a little more beautiful than they have to be, altering things, changing things, building things, composing things, shaping things. This is what we do. We’re the making ape. And no one is left out of the inheritance of that — that’s our shared human inheritance.
— Elizabeth Gilbert with Krista Tippett (onbeing.org)

Over the last few weeks I have been working with some fab spirited teens at a community centre in Salisbury. For the latest linocut workshop I brought along some celebrities. Ed Sheeran and Camilla Cabeo were the favourites. The teens got stuck in and made some brilliant prints. Here’s a snapshot of their hard work!

Ed Sheeran and Teen Team Spirit

Team effort is involved in the creation of Ed Sheeran. Together they carve and roll out the ink while one holds the paper the other prints. A wonderful collaborative process. 

Team effort is involved in the creation of Ed Sheeran. Together they carve and roll out the ink while one holds the paper the other prints. A wonderful collaborative process. 

An Independent Camila Cabeo 

A very focused and reflective individual enjoys the independence of carving and printing Camila Cabeo by herself. 

A very focused and reflective individual enjoys the independence of carving and printing Camila Cabeo by herself. 

Support from The Rock

 The Rock created with an abundance of animated energy shows in these boldly carved lines.

 The Rock created with an abundance of animated energy shows in these boldly carved lines.

The Greatest Showman

Celebrities pop art pics are left to one side for she already has something in mind.   Usually to print text from a lino block, the text needs to be carved back-to-front. This way the text will print the right way round. But today a different approach is needed in order for a thoughtful teen to give the actual lino as a gift to a friend. She carves the words directly into the lino the right way round and inks up the lino to reveal the carved letters. The ink is left on the lino to dry.

Celebrities pop art pics are left to one side for she already has something in mind. 

Usually to print text from a lino block, the text needs to be carved back-to-front. This way the text will print the right way round. But today a different approach is needed in order for a thoughtful teen to give the actual lino as a gift to a friend. She carves the words directly into the lino the right way round and inks up the lino to reveal the carved letters. The ink is left on the lino to dry.

Thank you to all the teens for your openess to explore printmaking and your commitment and effort throughout the whole process.


Eightfivepress delivers rubber-stamp, linocut and letterpress printing workshops. 

If you would like to book Mog for a printmaking workshop at your community centre or school please click on the link below. 

The Fish Tale Exchange

Linocut Workshop with Vic Harrison

Vic came to the workshop with a bag full of beautiful sketches she made at the Eden project and Bristol Zoo last year. After perusing and discussing the sketches, Vic chose her fish sketch with soft curves and minimal texture so she could focus on carving a simple shape.

EightfivepressLinocutWorkshopVicMarch2018.jpg

Carving fish

After testing out mark making on different lino Vic prefers carving her fish on this battleship grey linoleum. The 'easy to carve’ Softcut is not as forgiving and although it’s soft and smooth like cutting through butter there's more potential for the tool to slip. Vic becomes comfortable with holding the tools and takes her time carving the lino until a fish appears in relief.  

After testing out mark making on different lino Vic prefers carving her fish on this battleship grey linoleum. The 'easy to carve’ Softcut is not as forgiving and although it’s soft and smooth like cutting through butter there's more potential for the tool to slip. Vic becomes comfortable with holding the tools and takes her time carving the lino until a fish appears in relief.  

Printing fish

Vic uses a combination of a wooden spoon and a disc baren to print her fish in plum black letterpress ink.

Vic uses a combination of a wooden spoon and a disc baren to print her fish in plum black letterpress ink.

Inky black fish on blue yellow and orange

Hanging the fish prints up to dry.

Hanging the fish prints up to dry.

Thanks Vic for your incredible energy. You dived right in and discovered a wonderful shoal of fish on your journey! : ))

About Vic

Vic Harrison is well known for her creative community art projects around Bristol. With her recent project BUOYBLE she organised a team of crocheters to create a giant woolly bauble for the dockside. They covered the buoy in 1400 crochets hexagons.

You may have heard of the story about The Bristol Crocodile spotted in the River Avon a few years ago. Last year a life size woolly version was created by Vic as part of her Briswool project (a giant woolly version of Bristol.) She was also selected as one of the Shaun in the City artists. Vic covered her Shaun The Sheep sculpture in thousands of bits of freestyle crochet. 

Vic is currently running CROCHET and THREAD courses at Crafting the City ( A Community Interest Company delivering a range of community arts projects and a course programme of arts and craft workshops). Alongside these, she is also running The Seagull Project.

A Beautiful Flock Of Woolly Seagulls

"This project will create a huge flock of gulls to reside around the dockside in a variety of venues. They will be herring gulls, black headed gulls and lesser black backed gulls. I am currently designing several models and will then go on to create patterns. The gulls will be able to be decorated by their makers and names will be chosen by those who fund them. Makers will receive a special stripy bird pattern designed by me as a thank you for helping.” Vic Harrison - Crafting The City

You can also follow Vic’s projects on Facebook and Instagram

 

Pressing Matters Magazine Launch

I was thrilled to be involved with Pressing Matters magazine launch last week at The Forge, Bristol. The first issue is now available and packed with informative articles and gorgeous photography dedicated to printmaking. I love reading about other artists so it was lovely to have an insight into other printmaker's approaches to their work. I especially loved the article about Nick Hand (founder of The Letterpress Collective) and Robin Mather’s journey on The Printing Bike. They rode from Bristol to Mainz in Germany to visit the Gutenburg Print Museum. Nick cycled a bike custom built by Robin to carry an adana press on the back and a box at the front for type and paper.

Other great articles in the magazine cover the art of letterpress, linocut, collagraph, etching, screenprint, wood engraving, stencil art and risograph and an interesting reflection by Ben Goodman on the parallels between engraving and human existence.  

In the lead up to the magazine launch I prepared some postcards using an old gramophone plate which I had bought in an antique shop in Bristol. John Coe, founder of Pressing Matters and creative director at coecreative carved his Pressing Matters logo into lino and we set it up on my adana 8 x 5 press for people to print onto the postcards. We put out some card for bookmarks too and the press had its work cut out for the rest of the evening!

Printing the Gramophone

Gramophone, locked in the chase, inked up, put in the press and printed on postcards ready to take to Pressing Matters magazine launch. 

Gramophone, locked in the chase, inked up, put in the press and printed on postcards ready to take to Pressing Matters magazine launch. 

Printing Pressing Matters on the Adana 8 x 5

Printing Pressing Matters postcards and bookmarks on the adana 8 x 5 printing press and hand carved  rubber-stamp at The Forge, Bristol

Pressing Matters Postcards

Printing Pressing Matters on postcards with Gramophone and date typeset in Univers 24pt on the adana 8 x 5 printing press. 

Pressing Matters @ The Forge

People printing Pressing Matters on the Adana 8 x 5 printing press at The Forge Bristol. 

Pressing Matters Bookmarks

Printing Pressing Matters bookmarks with a hand carved rubberstamp print of the adana 8 x 5 printing press. John Coe’s first issue of Pressing Matters Magazine. 

Hot off the 8 x 5 press! 

Enjoying printing on my Adana 8x 5 again. It’s been a while as the last few months I’ve spent most of my energy developing my new website. So with a new website I thought it was time to make some freshly printed business cards.

eightfivepress - woodblock letterpress linocut

Typeset with Univers lead type. Printed with grey /blue linseed oil based ink.

I printed these while listening to the wonderful Debbie Millman (designmatters) in conversation with writer and adventurer Caroline Paul

"Debbie Millman is a is a writer, educator, artist, brand consultant and host of the radio show Design Matters”.

Debbie interviews artists, writers, educators, designers, musicians, poets, film makers, bloggers including Seth Godin,  Alain de BottonEileen MylesTim FerrissAlison BechdelKrista TippettMaira KalmanOliver Jeffers, and many many more. 

"And remember, we can talk about making a difference, we can make a difference, or we can do both." — Debbie Millman