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Handmarks- touch and go

February 6, 2013 by Sally Lemsford   Comments (0)

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How do you see art? What’s the role of the accidental? It’s tricky when you can’t see, when it’s random. But can it ever be truly random? Making it up as you go along is not necessarily random. It takes a lot of considering, playing with patterns, seeing the value in the accidental, touching and going with it when it is successful for that moment.


Ice Castles

February 6, 2013 by Tessa Jane   Comments (0)

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Ever since I can remember I've had a passion for boxes, cases, books (The Bible in particular, I loved the gold edges and the thin delicate pages) fairies, magic and castles. Perhaps this is why I love arches. 

Armed with new imagery from the snow covered land I have been drawing with rollers. I cannot bare to waste ink, so after my old newsprint blocks failed to please, I used up the ink exploring my imagery from memory and my sketch book which was beside me. These images I have used to create my screen with and will print onto canvas.

The roller glided on the surface of the paper. I use the edges to create marks and to vary lines. It's almost like an ice skater carving their routine. They improve by repetative training just as we do by repeatedly drawing. Some areas are smooth, some textured, sharp cuts, wide sweeps and point marks- Ice Castles.

Sketching, developments and a new focus -The Arch.

February 6, 2013 by Tessa Jane   Comments (0)

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I abandoned a print day for the outdoors and inspiration. Knowing I want to combine print, stitch (which I feel is just another drawing tool) and paint, I have spent freezing hours, out any time the weather permits. I have been hailed on, rained on and snowed on. This has led me to many knew ideas and work.

I've also spent a lot of time in the library absorbing knowledge and preparing for new media. I've enjoyed watching DVD's about some of my favourite Artists and am thrilled that I share many common ideals and thoughts- John Piper, Rauschenberg and Kurt jackson. I have looked at Lyonel Feininger for simplicity of shape, form and I have so enjoyed the process-drawing, recording, research, and develpoment.

Knowing I want to combine print, stitch (which I feel is just another drawing tool) and paint and that I want to work in glass and ceramics I have been finding new inspiration. I love torn edges, natural and soft against sharp, exact man made.

I've worked over my printed blocks woth the man made arch of old railway architecture. The Arch which is described as majestic, celestial and strong. In the dictionary it is described as an ancient method of construction. This suggests longevity.

Start to the year (minus a January which I seem to have lost)

February 4, 2013 by Zara Worth   Comments (0)

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As suggested by the title of this blog January seems to have flown by, or rather ran past me completely. Rather overshadowed of course by my dissertation which I finally titled 'Cut and Wit: Collage in the Work of Wangechi Mutu' and lovingly handed in a good five days before deadline (not to boast of course).

Pretty much straight after was assessment feedback which has led to a firm focus on the development of my performance works (both live and filmed). Perhaps indicative of my age/stage in 'life as an artist', the time appears to have come for the beginning of a pairing down of my work and focus, perhaps looking to more economical means. I think as a student we have all been guilty at one time or another for wanting to produce some giantic masterpiece, when perhaps a more subtle approach would have infact produced the best work. 

In more AA2A related news I have finalised dates for the Critical Writing Workshop with AA2A Artist Rebecca Travis; Part 1: 1st March 2013 Part 2: 8th March 2013, which I am looking forward to muchly!!!

Weaving and porcelain revisted, plus porcelain geology

February 4, 2013 by Shannon Donovan   Comments (0)

My explorations regarding how to weave porcelain into a textile continue. This weaving is going much better than the first one. I bought proper cotton warp thread, which is much easier to work with than the crochet cotton I tried the first time around, and the silky red yarn I'm using for the weft is a pleasure to handle. The result is that this object is looking much more integrated with the fibre:


I'm also aiming to complete two felt/porcelain pieces in the next few weeks. I was inspired by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne's book The Art of Felt, which features beautiful textural pieces based on sky and clouds. In a sort of geologic inversion of this idea, I'm going to attempt felted backdrops with handmade porcelain "rocks" that reference terminal moraine and outwash plain. I'll give the felt a whack this week, but first, the rocks:

That's a 10-p coin included for scale. I chopped up the porcelain and wedged in all sorts of oxides: manganese, copper, black iron oxide, and rutile. These aren't fired yet and will probably be more brown than gray once they are. I'm hoping that in combination with lumpy, bumpy, shaped felt made from natural undyed wool, they'll evoke landscape. We'll find out in a few weeks!

Studio Space & Crit Sessions: Staffordshire University AA2A Artists

February 4, 2013 by Kate Lynch   Comments (0)

We are Janine Goldsworthy, Charis Jones, Natasha Kuth and Kate Lynch. The four of us currently on the AA2A scheme at Staffordshire University. This is the first year that Staffordshire University has hosted the scheme, and we have been overwhelmed by what the opportunity has offered us in terms of the studio space and workshops available to us…so far so good!

The group in the space

We all work from a studio space which was offered to us at the beginning of the residency. We all decided we wanted to each have a table within the space, and divided the space between us; we each get a good amount of wall space, a table or two and floor space. So far this has proved to be invaluable for the type of work we are producing, it is also great to have space to develop sketchbook work or to sit and think within the creative studio atmosphere. We also added in a workbench table which we use as a hub point for the group to eat lunch, present work and sit around.

The space is situated within the level 5 Fine Art Studios, offering passing students and staff daily insight into our residency. Being re-immersed in this academic and creative atmosphere has been beneficial to us as AA2A artists ; whilst students and staff are able to see work in progress and have contact with us on a daily basis.

The space has become a hub for us (when we are not spending individual time within workshops). It has become a space where we can display work in progress and meet up with each other on a frequent basis throughout the residency.

As a group we decided that orgainising group crit sessions would be helpful and a good opportunity for us to share ideas and skills and gain feedback from others in the group. This approach means that each of our areas of expertise and insights which include fine art, public realm work, crafts and design can be shared and discussed, offering crits which cover a range of art and design skills and therefore bring about interesting discussions and alternative viewpoints.

We held our second crit session at the end of January. By now our themes and directions have been more established and some of us are thinking about outcomes and further developments of the ‘testing’ and ‘playing’ which happened within the initial months of the residency.

Please see our individual profiles for specific information about our practice and themes within the AA2A residency:





Interestingly, there are points where all of our practices meet and cross-over .One common theme which we have established amongst us is the desire to create meaningful artworks and the importance of process, and the thought process behind the making. All of us are very much interested in ‘maker’s marks’, yet our work is strikingly different. It is refreshing to work amongst artists and designers with similar approaches to work, yet with completely different processes and outcomes. The collective approach to our residency has also brought about some forth-coming collaborations so watch this space for collaborative work and more updates about our future crit sessions.

More water-based ink experiments

February 4, 2013 by Denise Swanson   Comments (0)

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The set of Akua water-based inks I ordered arrived a few days ago, then the Japanese baren and supply of Dan Xuan paper also arrived, so I spent a fascinating day over the weekend, in my makeshift home print studio, playing with them and trying out different ideas.

For consistency and to aid measuring the results, as with previous experiments I did with the sample Carbon Black ink, I tried using both dry and damp papers of different types and used the same collagraph plates and found the damp paper produced consistently better results. This time I also tried mixing some inks and tried rubbing the ink into the entire plate, as with Intaglio, to see how that compared with the prints from ink-based inks through the etching press at UCLan. The results were surprisingly similar, especially considering I was not using an etching press and that these plates are now fairly worn.

Continuing the experiments in brushing ink onto the collagraph plates, Japanese style, I then printed with the baren and the results on Somerset paper, damp and dry are rather nice although the Hahnemuhle Etching is a bit too textured. The best results were with using the Dan Xuan paper which, especially when using the baren, come out beautifully. I love this more intuitive way of working, where you really do feel your way around the plate firstly by brushing on the ink and then by hand with the baren during the printing. This process just feels right and fits nicely with my work ethos and the themes around which I work, so I think I now know which path I am taking.


February 4, 2013 by Gail Henderson   Comments (0)

At the moment I am currently updating my profile. I will add titles and dates to my images on the site. I have already produced an exiting body of work on the programme and will be adding images of finished works and works in progress as soon as I can.

The benefit of AA2A

February 4, 2013 by Denise Swanson   Comments (0)

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The appeal of doing this AA2A project in the first place, was to have the opportunity to try out different methods and approaches to printmaking and learn from more experienced printmakers, as well as have access to various presses. It has not disappointed, as I have had the chance to try out so many ideas and whilst some have been more successful than others, the value is in having the opportunity to try. The technicians in the printroom at UCLan have been brilliant and very supportive.

When I started this project, I did not really know where I was going or how to get there, so being able to experiment was integral and has actually shown me what I don't want to do which in turn has enabled me to realise what I do want to do.

Although an experienced digital printmaker, I was a novice in traditional printmaking processes. As I tried out different methods, I found some of them a little too labour-intensive for my liking, whilst others were too unpredictable and some made me feel a little too detached from the process. As a photographer, I am used to process-based work and much of the enjoyment I gained from acquiring those skills initially was in finding my own way, breaking rules and following my own path. 
My journey through (non-digital) printmaking has been similar in that I have been able to try out, borrow, modify and adapt processes, methods and tools perhaps intended for different purposes and in doing so, I now feel that I am indeed finding my own way. It may not be conventional and may not be a 'recognised' process but I am finally starting to get the results I am after.  If it feels right and produces the results you are looking for then I see no reason not to use whatever materials, methods and means are appropriate.
It is not just about the end result for me, it's about how you get there.


Singing Debut - But Is It Art?

February 3, 2013 by Ruth Hamblett   Comments (0)

As my profile page shows that I am a very versatile person and have always volunteered as I love it since June of 2012 until present time have been volunteering at several locations one of these being the local theatre formally The Butts Theatre and renamed Albany Theatre. Have been moving furniture, cleaning, painting and turning my hand to anything that needs doing with several other volunteers to ensure that this wonderful old theatre gets back up and running. I did think about doing an internship or artist residence their but not viable as far too many health & safety issues. On the run up to the offical opening of the theatre was sort of nominated to get up on to stage and sing as while constantly in the back dressing rooms was often found singing along to my MP3 Player. This wonderful event took place on 1 Februrary 2012 at 7.30pm where I made my debut singing appearance on this amazing stage that had a hand in getting ready for all the acts. If you would like to view the news about the theatre please visit the link below.


It may form part of my art practice who knows where it may go but in the mean time hope to help raise funds to keep this amazing place open as the photographs on the the site shows how it looked before restoration work began. Just one of the many things I have an involvement with my tip to would be artists try everything and anything you never know where it may lead your line of enquiry.