Part 4, Sorting & review against the assessment criteria

Part 4, Stage 3 – Sorting

I have produced so many prints for this part of the course that I struggled to find space to lay them all out to sort! Most of them are not great as I mentioned at the beginning I was very pushed for time and my equipment was damaged or non existent. I did manage to whittle it down to a few prints that I found more successful or inspiring than the others:

Monoprinting:

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I have chosen this print for it’s simplicity, I used both ends of a pencil and my finger to make marks based on my circle sketchbook to make the print so it was particularly messy and fun. I like the contrast between the lines made by the paintbrush and the spirals and circles. It is a very playful print. The paint I used was too runny so sadly it did not work as well as it could have with a proper brayer and proper printing ink.

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This print reminds me of Japanese wave paintings. The ink was painted onto the plate then removed in parts with a cloth and knitting needle. Swirls were then added with a dry brush. Again it is a very simple print which would work well as a background to be worked on further. Again using printing ink rather than acrylic would have produced a better print.

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I have chosen this and the following print for the technique; I love the idea of pleating patterns or printing pattern over pleats. Both these samples excite me and suggest further development ideas to me. The printed pattern adds life to the pleated background and vice versa. Creating great texture, pattern and line. Yet again the use of professional materials would have improved the out come.

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I did not have as much success with painting onto the plate as I did with other techniques (again due to not having the correct materials) but these two prints really excite me and get my creative juices flowing. I painted on the printing plate with varying colours using various tools including brushes and my fingers and printed onto pre-printed sheets of paper to create these multi-layered prints. I would like to recreate these on fabric at some point and stitch into them as they would look fabulous accentuated with stitch and perhaps some beads.

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This print, although showing little resemblance to what I thought I was printing certainly echoes the source particularly well. Based on some rock formations in North Cornwall, I had concentrated on the lines found in the rock but due to the ink being a little too wet and excessive what I ended up with were prints that were very rock like indeed! I am going to try digitally printing this onto some fabric to stitch into at a later date. I can see a lot of French knots and other textural hand stitches to create a highly textural experimental piece.

I completed the following sample prints by experimenting to create textures using mixed techniques and other mediums such as ink, brusho and watercolour rather than the traditional printing ink. I think these are some of my most successful prints of a bad lot. They use a combination of all the techniques to create a multi layered print which would be great as a background for hand or machine embroidery or in some cases, fabric design.

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My favourites from this set are the following ones, they are both of the same subject but use very different methods:

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This print of back drawn bladderwrack worked really well it has a lovely balance of light and shade, background and foreground strength.

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I felt that I was beginning to get to grips with the technique of drawing on the plate a little at this point. I used watercolour on the plate as a background, this was picked up by the paper creating a floaty watery effect which I quite like

Collatype Prints

The block I used for the following prints was so simple yet so effective and versatile that it is probably my favourite of the four I made. Yet again I will need to try them with some proper printing ink when I can get some.

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The print below is my favourite from this set. The plate had become a little sticky from the layers of paint and it lifted some of the paper leaving a texture on the print. I would have loved to have managed to replicate this added texture again but I couldn’t.

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The print below worked really well, a lighter version of the same colours created a brighter, more modern, clean look which I particularly like.

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I stuck with my theme of grasses for my third block but this time rather than sticking the grasses to the block, I pushed them into a layer of polyfilla to create an impression. I then experimented with different methods of adding ink, colours etc. I loved the texture created with this block and it is a technique I will certainly use again and again in the future.

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My final print block was based on a sketch of the rocks at Boscastle taken from my sketchbook. It works well as a design particularly the textured areas.  The second print was a bit wetter which made for a more atmospheric stormy effect and therefore was my favourite of the two. You can almost taste the salt spray hitting the rocks!

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Reflections on part four

I have really enjoyed this section of the course so far it has been a lot of fun and very difficult to tear myself away from. I am quite pleased with the prints I have created and feel that many if them could be moved on to create further designs. I know that they are technically a disaster great but I found them quite exciting and a great way to create backgrounds to be further developed by stitching.

I was not as keen on the monoprinting techniques as I was the collatype. Using found objects to create really appeals to me and I am very fond of recycling and reusing materials and objects in my work so collatype printing fits perfectly with my preference for this. I particularly enjoyed using the plant material to print with. Exploring different ways of using natural materials has become a bit of a theme for me during this course. It has been great to try so many different techniques. I want to try these again once I have the time and the correct materials to create a more technically better selection.

 

Review against the assessment criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills
As with the other parts of this course, I have tried a lot of new techniques so I am quite sure that the samples are not technically good but they are experimental and I’m sure they would be improved with more research and development. Overall I pleased with the results of the exercises and like them visually as well. It has been really exciting to get the chance to explore these techniques in an experimental exploratory way.

Quality of outcome
I am not confident that the quality of outcome is good, once mounted I think they will show as a good set of experimental playful prints, but for assessment I will need to develop them into more finished prints. I will certainly use some a source material for future projects and some I will work into further and mount for display.

Demonstration of creativity
I tried my best during the projects to push myself to leave my comfort zone behind and experiment as much as I could. I chose to use the course guidelines as a starting point and then put my own spin on the exercises. This will probably backfire on me but my hope is that I have produced samples that are creative enough as I have taken my own path to push what interests me rather than sticking to the guidelines and technique instructions too rigidly.

Context
I found the research for this section of the course really inspiring, I think this helped me to produce interesting samples based on my research. Hopefully this continues to improve on my weaknesses as well. I found the artist Research particularly helpful. I think I was heavily influenced by the artists I looked at, particularly Brenda Hartill and Kathleen Gallagher. I especially love the rich texture and mix of colours they produce in their collatypes they look really ‘scrunchy’ for want of a better word I would like to revisit their work and try to emulate it.

 

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About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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