paper-works* was recently been commissioned to create an edition from an original antique woodblock. The woodblock, thought to date from the early 19th century, was of substantial size and thickness. It remains true and flat so with careful adjustment, a thick blanket and a flexible pressure plate the block was carefully passed though our large manual press . The resulting prints reveal a delicacy and fine detail in stark contrast to the dark heavy nature of the block itself. Using our water washable vegetable oil based inks the block was cleaned with vegetable oil only to avoid moisture movement in the block
On the last day of our exhibition at the Fisher Theatre we held a dry point day course in the Gallery space. Following on from other events held away from our studio we’re getting quite used to providing a portable printmaking experience.
Our participants had a very productive day and printed great work. Many thanks to everybody who came along and to Nicholas, Leila and all the staff at the Fisher for making it happen.
Exhibition at the Fisher Theatre ends 25th August
An exhibition of works on paper by Lisa Hurcum and Hugh Davies. Working individually they share a wide ranging exploration of techniques in their printmaking studio in Lowestoft. Lisa’s work takes inspiration both from her writing and the domestic realm. Hugh’s architects training fuels his interest in space and form in marine, urban and architectural environments.
The exhibition space includes- the Café, the Ramp & the Gallery.
Entry to the exhibition is free and it can be viewed between the hours of 10am and 3pm Monday to Saturday, and again from 6pm on show nights. Occasionally the gallery may be in use and not open for viewing. If you are travelling any distance please call the Box Office: 01986 897130 to check availability..
Prints are available for sale at the exhibition.
Another great morning today with all the folks at Fisher Arts and Social Club
We brought our press along again, this time to do linocut printing. After a quick demonstration of the technique everybody got stuck in. Two hours later all the folks had finished their designs and printed off at least two prints!
Many thanks to Sophie for inviting us back and to all the participants who made it so enjoyable.
To find out more see their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fisherartsandsocialclub/
A brief guide to making your pinhole camera, taking your photo and developing it!
You will need:
General Materials: a light tight container, black paper or paint, aluminium foil black electrical insulating tape.
Tools: a pin or a fine 0.3mm drill, knife/scissors/ paint brush, a measuring jug.
Darkroom: Any room where you can successfully provide full blackout . A photographic darkroom safelight, 3 shallow trays a bucket of water and a length of chord and some clothes pegs to allow your prints to dry.
Photographic chemicals: (https://www.silverprint.co.uk/) Harman Direct Positive paper, Neutol Eco Developer, Citiric acid, Adofix plus Fixative.
Optional extras: Pinhole Master for IOS or Pocket Light Meter (iOS & Android)
Making your pinhole camera
1) Select a light tight box or tin
2) Use black paint or black paper to cover internal surfaces of container to minimise reflections.
3) Create your pinhole. If using a tin use a 0.3mm micro drill bit in a small hand held modelmakers drill. If using a cardboard box make a hole in a piece of aluminium foil with a pin or small needle. Then use black insulation tape to stick the aluminium foil over a small hole cut into the box. ( NB after making your hole use a small piece of emery paper to remove any metal burr from the reverse side.
4) Make your exposure control using a small flap of cardboard using Black insulating tape as hinge and a separate piece to act as a means of securing your exposure flap in the closed position.
5) Choose how you will secure your photographic paper in the camera. It can be as simple as strips of self adhesive tape or use some card to make some retaining slots that you can slide your photographic paper into.
6) On our courses we have chosen to use Harman Direct positive paper. This is a black and white paper which avoids the need for an intermediate film negative. The ISO speed of the paper is about 1 to 3.
6) Go into your darkroom and using a low wattage photographic safelight put a single sheet of photographic paper into your camera. ( keep your paper at least 3feet from your safelight to avoid fogging the paper) Make sure that you put the paper in the right way round. (Most photographic papers have a glossy coating on the light sensitive side).
7) Before leaving the darkroom make sure that your exposure control flap is securely closed and the box is light tight. Use black insulating tape to seal up any opening edges.
Taking your pinhole photograph
1) Set up your pinhole camera so that it is pointing at the scene you wish to photograph. Avoid trying to hold it steady yourself as the exposure times are long and you will inevitably blur the image . The angle of view of your camera will depend on the shape of the box and in particular the size of the photographic paper and its distance from the pinhole. Once you have taken your first photo you will get an ida about how to arange your camera. (The likelihood is that the pinhole camera will capture a much wider angle view than you at first anticipate )
2) Getting your exposure time right can be by
a) Trial and error!
b) Rule of thumb guides or
c) pinhole exposure apps.
Rule of thumb guides that come with Harman Direct positive paper suggest the following:
Bright sunshine (summer) 1-2 minutes
Bright but not direct sunshine 3 minutes
Overcast (mixed sun/cloud) 5 minutes
Dull /Cloudy 6-10 minutes
Interior lighting1 hour
Pinhole exposure apps such as Pinhole Master (ios only) will require you to calculate your Camera’s aperture number . This is simply the focal length / pinhole diameter. The focal length is the distance from your pinhole to the photographic paper. ( where focal length is 45mm and the pinhole diameter is 0.3mm then the Aperture is 45/0.3 = 159. This is often expressed as f/159.
Using this aperture figure and the ISO number of the paper (1-3) you can create a camera setting for your pinhole camera and then the app will be able to use your phones camera to take a reading of the brightness of your scene and give you a suggested exposure time a countdown timer to take the exposure and also log the scene brightness imag , the date , time , exposure and the GPS co-ordinates !
3) Once exposure has completed.secure your exposure flap and take your camera back to the darkroom.
Developing your pinhole photograph
1) Set up your darkroom with 3 shallow trays ( Develop , Stop and Fix) and a bucket of water!
2) Mix up your developer ( On our course we use Neutol Eco Developer ) This is diluted 1 part developer to 4 parts water . We find 100ml of developer and 400ml of water making 0.5litre of developing solution is a good amount.
3) Mix up your stop bath ( On our course we use Citric acid ) This is made up with 5g ( about 1 teaspoon) of citric acid powder to 500ml of water.
4) Mix up your fixative ( On our course we use adofix plus ) This is diluted 1 part fixative to 9 parts water . We find 50ml of fixative and 450ml of water making 0.5litre of fixative solution is a good amount.
5) Under safelight conditions take the photographic paper out of your pinhole camera.
6) Place into Developer tray and gently agitate for 90 seconds. You will see the image begin to form after the first 10 seconds or so.
7) Remove paper and place into stop bath for 10 seconds.
8) Then transfer into fixative tray for 60 seconds.
9) Transfer to bucket to wash for several minutes and then allow to dry.
5th century B.C.
Chinese scholars discovered that light travels in straight lines. The philosopher Mo Ti recorded the formation of an inverted image with a pinhole.
Drawing by the astronomer Gemma Frisus’ De Radio illustrating the principal of the pinhole camera. He used the pinhole in his darkened room to study a solar eclipse.
Leonardo da Vinci gave a clear description of the principals of the pinhole camera in his notebooks: “When the images of illuminated objects pass through a small round hole into a very dark room…you will see on paper all those objects in their natural shapes and colours.”
1822 to 1839
Development of the first light sensitive processes for capturing images . From Joseph Nic Ophore Niepce in 1822.to Sir John Hershel in 1839.
Sir David Brewster is believed to make some of the first pinhole photographs. He wrote about it in the1850’s in his book “The Stereoscope” It was the first time that the word “pin-hole” was first coined.
Flinders Petrie, a prominent archeologist took many pinhole photographs during his excavations in Egypt.
Lowestoft born photographer George Davison exhibits “The onon field” a pinhole camera photograph in the 1890 exhibition of the Royal Photographic society . This led to a brief period of interest in the technique. Following a brief flourishing of the commercial production of pinhole cameras the technique largely disapeared in the early 20th century except for educational interest.
Several artists, unaware of each other, began experimenting with the pinhole technique – Paolo Gioli in Italy, Gottfried Jäger in Germany, David Lebe, Franco Salmoiraghi, Wiley Sanderson and Eric Renner in the USA.
Jim Schull publishes “The Hole Thing: A Manual of Pinhole Photography a paperback book which popularised the technique and remains a valuable resource today.
On the 29th of April the first World Pinhole photography day was held.
We have found that our success rate with avoiding damage and tears to the aluminium foil during inking up has been much improved by using thicker aluminium foils. Most domestic aluminium foils are around 8 to 9 microns thick but some commercial or BBQ foils are much thicker. We have successfully been using a 20 micron Aluminium foil that we found on amazon. The details are as follows:
Testudo Alu Foil, Catering Foil, 30cm x 45m, 20 micron
£8.99 including free UK Delivery.
Easterly Studio Trail Weekend
For one weekend only the Easterly Artists Trail is a collaboration between five artists in the Lowestoft and Waveney area who are coordinating their Suffolk Open Studio days on the weekend of Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June to provide visitors with the opportunity to visit every studio on the same day.
If you can’t make it on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of June the other weekends in June when the artists studios will be studios will be open are as follows:
- Hilary Barry June 2nd/3rd and June 9th /10th
- Hugh Davies & Lisa Hurcum June 23rd/24th
- Nina Roffey June 9th/10th
- Fiona Shreve June 2nd/3rd and June 9th /10th
Download Easterly Artists Leaflet
Please Note : Access to the studios may involve stepped access. Please call the artist beforehand to check access arrangements
I left the Welsh mountains at 17 to go to art school, but the landscape and its history continue to influence my painting. My work is often a combination of the real, the remembered and the imagined: I aim to evoke the memory of landscape and experience.
Copperfields, Beach Road, Kessingland, NR33 7RW.
Tel: 07800 643117
I am interested in drawing and mark making on paper as a means of exploring imagination, form and space. I use a range of printmaking techniques including linocut drypoint and cyanotype as a means of moving beyond recording and observation into abstraction.
29 Lyndhurst Road, Lowestoft NR32 4PD
Tel: 01502 580912
Working with linocut printing gives me the ability to retain a spontaneity and immediacy to the images I create. My inspiration comes from the domestic and the everyday, both observed directly from life and from the imagined details of the short stories that I write.
29 Lyndhurst Road, Lowestoft NR32 4PD
Tel: 01502 580912
I have been working on found wood for several years making sculptural assemblages. I also use found or discarded, items and place in boxes as well as paintings and collages. I often write small books to go with some larger works which are included in the sale price. Found objects are my weakness!
52 Park Drive, Worlingham, Beccles, NR34 7DL
Tel 01502 715118
Brutalist architecture influences my ceramic designs. I create sculptural forms with under-glaze transfer prints: both are inspired by images of buildings such as The Barbican or Park Hill in Sheffield, or the iconic buildings on the Southbank.
9 Marsh Lane, Somerleyton, NR32 5QX
Tel: 01502 730837
Suffolk Open Studios
Every year all across Suffolk over 100 Artists open their studios during weekends in June. You are invited to see how and where they work and get the opportunity to enjoy paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics and other works of art outside a gallery setting.
For information on the full range of open studio events please see www.suffolkopenstudios.org or pick up a printed brochure from participating studios, local libraries and visitor information points.
Brilliant Day at Grit Fest. Sparrows Nest Park was looking at its best with a big turnout and beautiful sunny weather.
Our free drop in linocut printing workshop was busy non stop from 10.30 am till 4pm. Lots of enthusiasm for having a go from all ages four to four score plus! Lots of interest in what we are doing and our upcoming open studios in June . Hope to welcome you all then . Really rewarding day, lots of new people and old friends. A friendly atmosphere, people sitting out on the grass listening to the bands and some dancing!.
Thanks to Paula White for allowing us to include her quick sketch.
A big thank you to all the organisers who made Grit Fest happen. See you at the next one !
For anybody who missed being able to print their own we have some artists proof copies of our grit prints available in our online shop
Paper-works* editioning work for Tessa Newcomb
Tessa Newcomb came to us wanting to produce an edition of a set of prints. She had in the past executed traditional acid etched prints with the assistance of a print studio but now wanted to revisit producing prints using new techniques. After a day in the studio on one of our “Introduction to Drypoint” courses, she decided on using drypoint card as her preferred media and went away clutching a stack of materials.
The following week, Tessa returned on one of our members days, with twenty or so card drypoint plates. A busy morning ensued assisted by us to produce proofs of all of the prints.
We set out all the proofs in the studio. Working together with Tessa, we discussed the options for whitling the wide selection of images down to a set for editioning. Being executed on drypoint card there was a concern that any edition should be reasonably short to avoid deterioration of the plate. It was decided to go with limiting each edition to twenty. After much discussion four prints were selected as the basis of the editions.
The chosen images required some care with wiping during the inking up process as residual tone on the plate was a desired feature for parts of the image. To help keep the prints clean we decided that editioning would be a two person task. One person inking up and wiping and the other staying ink free and registering and passing the prints though the press. We estimated that we might achieve an average print rate over a day of about 6 an hour. In the end with cups of tea and biscuits! ) we achieved the full edition of 80 in about two and a half days
The prints are now all completed, signed and editioned ready to put up for sale on the website and distributed to gallerys
If you are interested in paper-works* assisting you in editioning a print please get in touch via our contact page.