Thursday, March 18, 2010

Newcastle: Talking at Northern Print

It has been many years since I visited Newcastle and so I was very pleased to receive an invitation from Northern Print to talk about my work, wood engraving and bookplates.

I arrived during the afternoon and met up with Chris Daunt. Chris makes the blocks that I engrave and is a fine engraver in his own right. He showed me the new developments along the River Tyne that have occurred since I was last in the city.

Here is the Millennium Bridge with The Sage Gateshead on the far bank and the famous older bridge beyond:

Another view of the new footbridge with the BALTIC Art Centre on the far bank:

I arrived at Northern Print - it is an older building that has been wonderfully converted into display, printing and educational spaces.

The studio facilities are downstairs, including a superb small Albion hand press by Harrild & Sons of London.

My talk coincided with an exhibition of prints - mainly from the "Golden Age" of British wood engraving of the early 20th Century:

The corridor space had an exhibition of Bookplates made by members of the Society of Wood Engravers, including a group of my own:

I enjoyed speaking at Northern Print. So much of the early history of wood engraving is linked to this city.

(thanks to Rebecca at Northern Print for the photo)

The next day, I spent the morning wandering around, walking out along the River Tyne and its tributaries.

My first stop was at The Mushroom Works to visit Lee at Hole Editions. He is a superb lithographic printer. I always enjoy studio visits.

I took a bus back to the city centre and enjoyed the architecture.

But now who is this gentleman?

None other than...

It is a splendid tribute to the pioneer wood engraver who worked in a workshop in this location.

I visited the Liang Art Gallery to reacquaint myself with some favourite PreRaphaelite paintings:

And then crossed the road to the city Library, where Bewick's tool box and engraving desk are on display:

I found a friendly place for lunch - La Boca Art Cafe. Art is for sale here and there are lots of books and magazines to leaf through while you enjoy your break.

It was time to collect my bags which I had stowed at Northern Print and head back to the station for my journey south. I had to take a photograph of NP's bathroom which is decorated from print images, including fragments of Bewick engravings along the bottom of the wall.

My thanks again to Northern Print for the invitation to visit and give my talk.