Cumbria Printmakers update 2

Yay! whoop, whoop!

Yesterday evening the Cumbria Printmakers Kickstarter campaign ended in success, having raised £5487 to go towards opening a new print studio near Carlisle. Many thanks to all supporters. The big move into the studio will happen in early September and courses will start soon after that. I’m looking forward to doing some more etching and in the meantime maybe cutting some lino would be a good idea. :)


Cumbria Printmakers update

The campaign mentioned a few posts ago to raise money to set up an open access print studio at Dalston near Carlisle, Cumbria is going strong – four-fifths of the way there with Kickstarter and plans are afoot for courses and workshops to be offered when the studio is set up.

This linocut was among the sales at the recent exhibition of work by members of the group.

linocut - sleepscape
linocut – sleepscape

Plaster sculpture and other things

Following from a discussion about lath and plaster in the context of DIY (thanks to the dancing professor) I remembered a first year project at City and Guilds from the dim and distant (predigital) past.

We were required to make a twice lifesize sculpture of part of the figure – working from a life model – using plaster, lath and scrim. This was a real challenge and a great learning experience, in terms of scale, materials and techniques. (One of the key tools for modelling the plaster once it had gone off was a cheese grater.)

Here are a couple of photos:

direct plaster sculpture

direct plaster sculpture
direct plaster sculpture

We also made direct plaster portrait heads, using polystyrene to build up the basic form and then adding plaster in its intermediate gloopy stage. You can model with it almost like clay while it is going off and then carve it once it is hard – very versatile material, not to mention its role in mould-making and casting.

direct plaster head
direct plaster head

In the background of the top picture you can see some of the first prints I made  – this was all in our first term (which is my excuse for the very bad drawings on the wall!).

[Commercial break] Talking of printmaking, the Cumbria Printmakers Kickstarter campaign is going well – nearly half way there at time of writing. Some new rewards have been added, including something from me. Pledges start from £1 and if we don’t reach the target of £5000 no money changes hands. It’s all or nothing. So, dear reader, it would be great if you could have a look and help spread the word. [end of commercial break] :)

Cumbria Printmakers

Getting on for a year ago I wrote a post or two about printmaking at a nearby open access print studio.

prints on the drying rack

Since then that studio had to close, but it is, we hope, soon to be reborn in a different venue and in the more sustainable form of a charitable organisation. A group of artists from around the county have come together to set up this organisation, apply for (and recently get!) charitable status, and find a more suitable site – at Dalston near Carlisle (for non-UK readers, Carlisle is an ancient city close to the border with Scotland). And now the heavy duty fundraising begins.

We have had one fundraising exhibition of work by members of the group at Gallery Artemis in Cockermouth and a second exhibition is now taking place at The Grange Country House, Keswick, running until June 20th.

Today a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to raise some of the funds that will be needed to get us up and running. Please have a look and, if you feel so inspired, make a pledge. The studio will provide a unique facility in this rural and relatively remote county, enabling artists to develop their skills and create work using a wide range of printmaking techniques. There will be courses for the general public, as well as for community groups and for school and college students. (And last and least, this blogger will be able to get back to making more etchings! ;) )

etching: sleeping by the easel


This morning’s reading, delivered to me via various facets of the internet, included among other things a report on the heatwave in India that is killing people,

this commemoration of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring:

and this article about a project involving authors writing books not to be read by anyone until 100 years have passed, to be printed on paper made from trees planted last summer:

I wondered what one might find to write for those possible future people.

All I could think of was: ‘Sorry’.