Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Searching for Myself...

Sometimes I teach so many screen print classes and community workshops that it seems like I've forgotten who I am as a printer.  I like to keep as many screens as possible clean and available for workshops and I have to remind myself that it's really important for me to get up into the studio and make use of them. 

But it's not just a case of using the equipment.  It's also about having my head filled with student's/ community projects.  I mean that in the best way possible - I sometimes wake up in the night and think "I know exactly what ____ needs to solve his/her design problem".  It can be hard to maintain my own creative identity.

My solution has been to start drawing again.  So over the past year or so, I've been giving a bit of time to my sketchbook.  I decided just to commit to the process of drawing and not worry about whether the drawings were good or not. It's been a challenge for me to keep the inner critic quiet, but gradually I think my drawings are improving.

 I've done lots of flowers because they are both complicated and forgiving as subjects. And they don't move, so I can draw really slowly.

I tentatively started developing prints from some of these while I was in France in the summer. I used a tiny screen and set up on the kitchen table.  They were great gifts for when we were asked out to supper!

I now have a whole year of drawings just waiting to be cut out and printed.  Watch this space!

And on the subject of workshops:

Here are 2 Saturday day schools/ studio sessions in Small Scale Screen Printing onto Cloth for the Cambridge area:

23 March 2019   Cottenham Village College

30 March 2019   Impington Village College

These are separate workshops organised by separate colleges. They are designed to be separate classes but you could do both days if you wanted to do multi layered prints. Click on the college name to get the link.

Happy printing!!!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Mill Rd Winter Fair

As you probably know, during term time I teach classes for Adults with learning difficulties.  Every year  the class does a stall at Mill Rd Winter Fair in Cambridge.

This year the class designed and screen printed these very popular shopping bags to sell on their stall.

This has been a great way for learners to explore their creativity whilst learning all sorts of useful employablity skills - money, marketting, working as a team and developing confidence.

This class is part of the'Move on Up' program for adults with learning difficulties run by Cambridgeshire County Council.  There are also classes in Maths, English, Art, Cooking etc across Cambs County.

Click on the link :
'Move on Up' to find out more.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Bottisham Village College Banners

Over the year Cary and I work on many different small scale community projects - workshops that take a couple of hours or a single day.  I love these projects because they have the excitement of an instant 'hit'.   You start with a blank sheet and in a very short while you have helped someone produce a banner or a T-shirt....etc.

Often these small scale interventions are part of a bigger project that goes beyond the print  - so it might be a small corner of a  bigger event like the re-opening weekend of the Cambridge Zoology Museum, working in a school as part of a series of activities to build up young people's confidence, or perhaps just generally contributing to an isolated community's access to the arts.

Every now and again, though, a  bigger and more challenging project comes along and that is really exciting.

Cary and I have been working on a banner project at Bottisham Village College which has been both a big project in itself as well as part of an even bigger project and event.  'Project 80' was a celebration of the college's 80th anniversary and it explored the history, heritage and architecture of the school.

We were asked by Lesley Morgan, Arts Development Officer, to create a series of banners with the pupils at the school which could hang one of the fabulous spaces in the new school building.

We chose a corner where the new building connects with the old - a sort of hub where the main entrance leads to the staircase and  turns the corner into the older building.  

Our inspiration was the school's architecture, new and old.  We used photos taken on site as a starting point for prints that were sometimes literal, sometimes more abstract. 

 We also used photos taken by the construction manager at Morgan Sindall showing the construction process. 

And we included a few images from the school's archive, as well as pictures of Henry Morris, the visionary educationalist who founded the school.

Colour inspiration was from  the 1930's when the school was first built. Blacks, greys and spot colours.

Forty amazing year 7 pupils worked on this project, wielding craft knives to cut incredibly complex stencils and screen printing these onto the banners themselves.

Cary went up with Ian in the scissor lift (did you know it was called that?) to hang the banners.

And here we have it......

A big thanks to Lesley Morgan,  Arts Development Officer for organising this project and to the site team from the College and from Morgan Sindall who gave up their own time to help with the hanging.  And a special thanks to The Arts Society, Newmarket who funded the project, with additional support from the Patricia Fay Memorial Fund.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Library Presents - Screen Printing Tour

Some great book bags from Library Presents workshops in Chatteris.

We were lucky to have Moira Millman participating in this workshop - for more of her illustrations see

And from some other workshops in this series:

 More workshops to come:

Wednesday 24 Oct 18 , St Neots library
Friday 26 Oct 18 , Yaxley Library
Saturday 27 Oct 18, March Library 
Saturday 10 Nov 18 , Wisbech Library 

As you can see these workshops are for kids, adults- everyone welcome. Places are limitted - book at your nearest library.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Family Learning - T-shirts

Screen printing bags and T-shirts at Family Learning workshop last week at Cottenham VC. 

There were so many lovely designs - I can't show them all so I've chosen the ones that were in focus on my somewhat iffy camera:

Family learning is all about parents and children working together and this one is a fabulous mother daughter collaboration

This took some very patient cutting out by Mum!


Thinking outside the box

Rabbits and carrots

And better than the Bayeux tapestry!       

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Small Scale Screen Print Class

As we're about to start a new small scale  screen print class at Witchford Village College this  term, I thought I'd show some of the amazing work done by people who have done this course before. There's not much I can say,  I think the pictures speak for themselves:

So if you'd like to have a go and you enjoy working with textiles, sign up!
This is a beginners class on Wednesday evenings for 8 week class starting 3rd Oct at Witchford Village College