Saturday, 4 June 2011

day 1 summer sampler

 The grounds at West Dean are so beautiful. Ox eye daisies bob in the breeze amongst the tall grasses.
What a grand entrance. Below is the view from the doorway! There is a haha which keeps the sheep away from the main house.
What a fabulous setting for a weekend course! The summer sampler offered 4 workshops out of 8. I chose printmaking and silver jewellery for today. Tomorrow I am doing wire sculpture in the morning and making a fabric bag in the afternoon. It is quite intensive as you only have 3 and 1/2 hours to complete each task, so no time to dither or be precious about your work, which is good! It is too easy to spend time worrying about whether or not your idea is the best you can do and sometimes just going for it is liberating!

Jane Stobart, the printmaking tutor, got everyone cutting the lino within about 20 minutes! I had a photo from my holiday in France, of dandelions which I liked, so that is what I settled on. She showed us how to ink up and then we were away! I added more lines after proof number 1 and then experimented with several colours on the plate. I quite like the black version and the final blue and brown version was pleasing.

We had barely got into the swing of things before it was time for lunch. Jane was fantastic during the critique at the end. She left eveyone feeling that they had achieved something special. More please!
Although I have made rings before with Sarah Macrae, I had lots of fun making this ring by using 2 stamps to decorate the surface. Each time I do it I learn more and it has made me keen to get back on the jewellery course in September. What a great feeling to come away with about 10 prints and a silver ring from one day's work!

Of course I had to go into the shop and buy some books! I chose Printmaking for Beginners by Jane Stobart, and Sculpting in Wire, by Cathy Miles. Only thing is, I will wear myself out looking at the books and planning a million projects, only to find I will have run out of time!

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