Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Open Studio

I am taking part in the following event this weekend:

Christmas Open Studio
The Studio at Beechcroft, 51 Fen End, Over, CB24 5NE
telephone 01954 230324
11am to 6pm on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November
Althea Braithwaite - brilliantly coloured fused glass
Andy English - wood engravings
Antonia Galloway - papier mache sculpture
Edward Parker - metal sculpture
Ken Smith - carved wooden birds

Meet the artists and enjoy your
Christmas shopping with mulled wine and mince pies

Friday Evening "Private View"
6:30 - 8:30pm

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Oxford and A Outrance

The Oxford Fine Press Fair is always a real treat and this year was no exception. I found an hotel just a short walk from the city centre but with lovely rural views. Here is what I could see looking out through one of my windows:

My journey on Friday was very pleasant and, once I had settled into my room, I did some last minute preparations and then slept soundly ready for a relatively early start in the morning.

Saturday morning found me setting up my table and stand.

As usual, I was engraving and well as selling. Copies of "25 Bookplates" and the "Freshly Cut" portfolio can be seen on the corner closest to the camera:

I was engraving a garden piece on a natural "round" of boxwood - one that I had started to engrave in Chicago.

Saturday was most pleasant and successful; the evening equally pleasant and relaxing.

On Sunday, I took the opportunity to explore the work of the other presses.

I was particularly keen to visit Oak Tree Fine Press to get my first view of "A Outrance", the extract from Philip Pullman's Northern Lights that I have contributed engravings for (see this earlier post). I was not disappointed.

It is a superbly produced book with a generous page size. It is available for sale here in three editions.

Seeing this exciting book, catching up with the Oak Tree Fine press Team and meeting Philip Pullman were just some of the things that made this a weekend that I will always remember.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Freshly Cut Portfolio

I decided to make thirty portfolios of the engravings that I had decided to edition from the "Freshly Picked" project. This is called "Freshly Cut". Each portfolio is handmade with red spine cloth and tie ribbons and marbled paper covered boards with dark green card inserts to hold the engravings.

I made a template so that I couyld sign each engraving neatly. This involved cutting a window in a clear plastic folder. It worked well:

Each portfolio contains the ten engravings with the same edition number. The first set are all numbered 1/100 and so on.

I decided that the images should be prefaced by a title page that I would print letterpress in the small Albion. I composed the type:

After printing a proof, I used makeready to give a neat and even printing:

Soon, printed sheets were drying on the rack:

I rather enjoy bookbinding and making the portfolios was a pleasant change. Here is the finished item:

Inside, a card folder contained the engravings:

All spread out:

The Freshly Cut Portfolio is available from my website at a price of £135.

These portfolios were destined for the Oxford Fine Press Fair. I took the opportunity to print some more copies of "Twenty Five Bookplates":

Its always a pleasure to use my nipping press:

However, bricks wrapped in brown paper provide the weight for larger stacks of drying volumes.

After a week of long days and late nights, everything was ready to set off for Oxford.