The second year of my masters course at UWE started in September and I’ve been continuing the work that I began during the summer in Italy. The current module, ‘Developing Practice’, is a time for experimentation and exploring new ways of working or thinking and I’ve been using the sketchbook from Collemacchia as a jumping off point for achieving these aims.
There are a few processes that I’ve been keen to try for some time and I started with roller printing. I was introduced to this method of relief printing by my friend and course-mate Stephen Fowler (http://stephenfowler72.blogspot.com/). Before we started the MA, he taught a roller printing workshop for the students each year and since seeing the photographs on the MAMDP blog (https://mamdp.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/stephen-fowlers-roller-print-class/) I’ve wanted to give it a try. Stephen briefly talked me through the process and provided some of foam and I tested it out using elements of the small votive prints that I’ve been working on since July.
My first attempt is far from perfect but has given me some ideas to think about further. As the themes that I’m exploring are related to repetitive actions such as prayer or expressions of thanks through the ritual offering of votive objects, it seems fitting to incorporate repetition into my print work and roller printing could offer a way to do so quickly. I’m keen to try using lino and thin neoprene foam to try out other ways of roller printing and hopefully pick up a little more detail.
During this term I also want to make some 3D objects and step beyond my existing skillset. I don’t have a lot of experience working in 3D and as I’m researching a lot of votive objects that vary from crudely made to sophisticated interpretations of anatomical parts it feels like a natural step to try and make my own. Over the next few weeks I’ll be experimenting with different materials in the hope of making small anatomical inspired votives and figurative statues. During the past few days I’ve been experimenting with modelling clay and sponge to get a feel for sculpting and making using simple, cheap resources.
My final learning experience for ‘Developing Practice’ will involve printing on textiles. I’ve done a very small amount of textile printing in the past; simple, single-colour screen-printed tote bags and tea towels but I want to develop these skills and try something more complex. Working on textiles feels more permanent and functional than paper and there’s something that seems more substantial about it. I’m aiming to turn some of the drawings of vessels from the residency into a repeat pattern to screen-print by hand. The technical side of this: working out the repeat and how to print accurately will be a new challenge for me and I’ll be upping the scale of the repeat (possibly to A1!) to try and make it as impactful as possible. Once I’ve tried and tested this, I’ll begin to think about whether I want to use textiles further in my practice. Below are images of my digital experimentations with repeat pattern and some potential colour ways to try.