I have recently completed Drawing 1 with the OCA. I am now embarking on two more courses viz. Photography 1 – Expressing Your Vision, and Printmaking 1.
My first job after leaving university was with a dyestuff manufacturer, working in the printing lab. This lead to jobs with a carpet printer, and two textile printers. However, a recession and two redundancies saw me leave a rapidly contracting textile industry, moving into other career paths.
When I retired from secondary school science teaching six years ago, I stated in my leaving speech that I intended doing something with my hands, with my head and with my heart. I had various things in mind when I made that statement, most of which have never happened. Instead, I discovered art, and printmaking in particular.
In autumn 2008, just after retirement, I was at an open day at an old restored Victorian swimming baths where Hot Bed Press had a stand. I inked up the lino block which had been cut to resemble on of the tiles at the baths, cranked the handle in the small press and, lo and behold, I had produced my first print! I was hooked!
I signed up for a six week introductory course and discovered the pleasures of printmaking, specifically gum arabic transfer printing which I did for about two years. For the last four years, though, I have mainly been screen printing. I am currently a member of the Hot Bed Press board.
Two things, though, that I haven’t done since that introductory course are lino cuts or collagraphs. Earlier this year, I did an online course on Making Monotypes using gelatine plates. However, I have not done monotypes using a hard glass plate so I am looking forward to comparing the two techniques, as well as the new-to-me methods of lino and collagraphy.