Golden Notebooks

Can't resist a bit of gold at this time of year. Using Pantone 871 metallic gold ink. I particularly like the way it layers over the previous ink in contrast to how it behaves on just the card stock I'm printing on. Haven't made many of these as time intensive but will have some available to buy at my Festive Open Studio on 10th and 11th December, upstairs in The Print Room at Hebble End Studios in Hebden Bridge.

Festive Open Studio

If you couldn't make it at the first weekend then there's always this coming Saturday and Sunday, so hope to see you.

Handmade Notebooks

The mysterious working of the creative process means that a need to find storage for a large amount of coloured card has resulted in the carving of 3 woodblocks, a load of printing on my Albion press, some fiddly assembling and thus the making of many notebooks.

Currently the notebooks are available at Spirals Fairtrade Store in Hebden Bridge, Cartwright Hall Gallery Shop in Bradford and mail-order through my shop.

Exhibition At Cartwright Hall, Lister Park, Bradford

There's still a month left to go and see my exhibition This World of Wet and of Wildness at Cartwright Hall - it doesn't end until 11th September.  I have a lot of woodcuts, drawings and dioramas on show downstairs in the Cellar Gallery.

There are also some excellent exhibitions running, particularly those by Tony Bevan and David Hepher. Its been wonderful to show my work alongside internationally known artists and I was lucky enough to meet them and Gallery owner Matthew Flowers during the opening on 17th July, a delightful event complete with music by 10 Strings Duo.

Cartwright Hall is committed to supporting local artists and those with connections to Bradford by providing the opportunity to show in the Cellar Gallery. It is a small and intimate space but I was very pleasantly surprised by how well my work looks down there and I've had encouraging sales of framed work and smaller items in the shop.  Many thanks to Sonja Kielty for inviting me to exhibit there.

If you are in the Yorkshire area and have never been to Cartwright Hall I can highly recommend it, not just for the experience of art but also the lovely mature park surrounding the hall, complete with boating pool and tea room.

I have moved studios!

The past 3 months have been full of difficulty and disappointment in the personal and the political, so I am delighted to have now completed the move to a new studio space.  The studio is directly above The Bike Den on the Rochdale canal at Hebble End in Hebden Bridge.  I feel very fortunate to be sharing a room with my lovely friend Sarah.

After working hard all day it was wonderful to step outside and be greeted with the above tranquil view looking towards Mytholmroyd and then turn round to the alternative vista in the direction of Todmorden.

Another reservoir in charcoal - Upper Gorple

The mysterious silvery surface of Upper Gorple reservoir on a dull winters day. Its bright blankness enlivens the brooding moorland.

1875 Albion Press Restored

A wonderful new addition to my studio equipment has arrived - this lovely little Albion Press made in 1875 and restored for me by the marvellous Giles Hovendon of AMR Press in Cumbria.

I'd always dreamed of having an Albion press ever since I fell in love with one on the printmaking MA at Bradford College. The appeal was in its quirky appearance with those clawed feet and the easy, fluid action of the lever. I used to joke about nicking it, never imagining I'd ever legitimately own one.

I first met this particular press in July last year when it was a slightly sad looking collection of disassembled lumps of metal and wood in Birstall.

Completely out of the blue I was given the opportunity to own it if I could arrange for the press to be removed from Birstall within a deadline of 3 weeks.  I spent a few sleepless nights wondering how on earth I could get it rebuilt and the broken bits mended on my limited budget but only a fool would say no to such a chance...

On-line research led me to AMR Press and from there it was all easy as Giles arranged to transport it up to Cumbria, mend and then bring to my studio in Hebden Bridge. He also made me a custom fitted tympan as that bit was missing. Thank you Giles for doing such a good job and putting it all together in my studio even though you had a painful injury.

There are two people who made it all possible in the first place, and to them I will be eternally grateful for their generosity.

The Floods

The Boxing Day floods in the Calder Valley were awful and I've not felt like posting any photos of the horrible damage to homes and businesses but people have worked so hard and every day now another shop, cafe or pub re-opens in Hebden Bridge and signs of life in Mytholmroyd too.

What these towns need now is for the visitors to return and support the businesses so the people who work here can earn their livings and survive.  There's plenty of life in the town and things going on now so its not all doom and gloom as the following video by Jason Elliott demonstrates.