Spent a lot of time knitting over Christmas and New Year. Produced two hats, the massively over sized one knitted on circular needles (see post on 1 January), and this one... which is way too small! Shame really as I like the way it turned out. This is bramble or raspberry stitch which is very satisfying to do. Had to frog it and start again half way through as it took me a while to get the hang of it. Need to keep counting the stitches to make sure you're not going astray. Now I need to work on getting the gauge right so I can make a hat that actually fits...
Started the new year in the best way with a morning walk along the beach. Road tested the hat I've been knitting... oops, made it a bit too big. It only took a week and I'm pleased with how it knitted - apart from the fact that it's HUGE of course. It's a sockhead beanie so supposed to be big and slouchy but it needs some elastic in the ribbing. Hopefully that will help. Otherwise, it may have to become a bag or something. Hatty New Year!
Blog posts were a bit infrequent in 2017 so for this year, I set myself a target of writing five posts a month - which I've managed to do. Some of them are a bit thin as I was scratching around a bit for things to write about at times. It's been a good way to make sure I note all the creative things I've been involved in so that I don't look back over the year and feel despondent about how little I've achieved artistically. It's actually been a really busy year with various things going on through the artists' group. We had the North and South Print Exchange with Falkland Island Printmakers, the Wayzgoose in September, 20:20 Print Exchange and our new outdoor sketching sessions. There has been the usual teaching too which I always really enjoy.
My work outside that has changed direction somewhat with the papier mache 'Thing' and my venture into pop-ups. I'm particularly pleased with the Minotaur and his labyrinth Hoping to push the pop-ups further in 2019 so watch this space. See you in the new year!
Got bored with granny squares so am knitting a scarf, just to get my 10,000 stitches in. Getting better but don't look too closely as there are some unusual 'features'... Half-day knitting workshop coming up in January so hopefully I can learn some useful tips. Lots of great videos on YouTube though.
Was given a couple of great books for my birthday in the Autumn. ABC3D by Marion Bataille is a fabulous alphabet in, well, 3D. Ingenious paper engineering and pop-ups of every sort. I tried taking pictures but this YouTube video of how the book works is much better.
The Art of Pop-up by Jean-Charles Trebbi is an excellent review of pop-ups and paper engineers from around the world. There's also a great timeline showing the history and development of pop-up books. A book to go back to time and time again.
Decided to have a go at knitting last week. The Aged P used to knit all the time when I was a kid and up until I was about 20, she catered for the whole family's knitwear needs. As you can see, I got off to rather a rocky start. Began with 20 stitches, dropped several along the way, ended up with 27... What...?! I am practising, practising, practising though and there's definitely some improvement. Long way to go before I will reach my goal of being able to knit sweaters but if there's one thing I've learnt from etching, it's that patience and perseverance wins out in the end.
Third and final minotaur under construction, then this variable edition will be complete. It's been a time-consuming, fiddly project but very satisfying and I've learnt a lot. Time for a new project though.
This book sculpture by Kas Williams caught my eye a few weeks ago on a visit to Mottisfont Open Exhibition 2018 (I'm a bit behind with this post - the exhibtion has finished now).
'My work with paper is a question into the definition of
a book, an exploration into their potential as sculptural objects and
the tactile transformation that brings. It is a life after reading.' Kas Williams
It so happens that there is a bronze minotaur by Michael Ayrton (1972) on show at Southampton City Art Gallery at the moment. Hot footed it in to visit it last week. It's lovely and I really wanted to touch it - it looks so tactile.
Apparently, the minotaur was a regular theme in Ayrton's work so I think I need to look him up.
Had a very interesting and informative morning at Red Hot Press last
weekend. Barry and Michael from Hawthorn Printmaker Supplies travelled
down from York to tell us about inks and colour mixing. Barry gave us
some really good tips on how to mix colours consistently which may seem
obvious but actually there’s a lot more to it than I realised. My own colour palette is quite limited (as evidenced by the photo above, though I do have some inks by other makers) and I'm not really picky about tone so it's not something I've thought too much about in the past.
Barry is a fount of knowledge about the history and chemistry of ink-making. He was able to give me some advice on how to increase the longevity of the books I'm making given they are to be handled. Bought some driers to try for the monoprinting. Never needed to use it before so it will be interesting to see how it works. A very useful morning.