Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Lovely Leaf and Lino Printing

Leaf Prints hanging in the studio

My Prism Arts Studio Theatre crew and I found ourselves with a few 'odd' weeks; we are still touring 'Raining Trolls and Dragons' and so didn't want to make a start on a new production (as I will get confused) but we wanted to make use of our time. So, I thought this would be a good opportunity to do some skills workshops.

Leaf rubbings

Leaf rubbings

Leaf rubbings

Often we have deadlines to work to so we are not always able to play around with ideas so by doing a series of skills workshops I hope to give the guys a set of techniques they can use next time we come to produce a piece, we will already have a good idea of what might work well.

Printing with leaves

Printing with leaves

Printing with leaves

As we are having such a glorious autumn I thought that leaves would be a good starting point. This gives us something tangible to work with and explore different techniques and will hopefully give the work produced a bit of coherence as I would like us to have a small, informal exhibition at the end of term.

Prints strung across the studio

We started off by going out into Tullie House Gardens (which are right next to our studios) and collecting lots of different leaves. I asked the guys to look for different shapes and textures as well as colours. We gathered an amazing range which was really interesting when we came to use them for printing. Our first activity was to take some rubbings of the leaves. This is an easy and fun activity but can produce very beautiful results. I encouraged people to think about whereabouts on the paper they were doing their rubbings as well as what colours to use.

Lino printing

Colouring the print plate

The next step was to print with the leaves. We used acrylic paint and calico and as before I asked the guys to think not only about colour but also layout and combining different shapes. It was great to see how people approached the printing in different ways and the different results that were achieved. It was also interesting seeing which leaves worked best and watching the group share this information with each other. At the end of the session we hung the prints up to dry and they looked so beautiful strung across the studio.

Lino printing

Print on paper

Building on the leaf printing for the next session we looked at lino cuts. I love the textures and qualities of lino cuts and thought it would be a good opportunity for the guys to develop their work from the previous session. We again began by collecting leaves and then made drawings from the them. These drawings were transferred onto the lino and then carved by myself and the other staff members (lino cutters are sharp and I'm not good with blood!)

Lino printing

A used printing plate

The guys were then able to use their lino cuts to make a series of prints on both paper and fabric. I found it very interesting seeing the different approaches to colour, some people wanted to add layers of colour immediately whilst other people wanted one uniform colour. Both approaches worked well and like last session the range of prints produced was very impressive. It also got me really fired up to do some lino cuts of my own!

A collection of prints

A collection of drawings and prints

Over the next few weeks we will be continuing to explore different techniques including some more printmaking and some paper-making. I think this is a great opportunity to not only develop technical skills but also for the group to have some time to develop more personal ideas and approaches to making work.

A collection of drawings and prints

A collection of drawings and prints

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