New Year, new linocut projects

As I begin my first calendar year in Margate I thought I’d write a quick post about my plans for world linocut domination in 2012. To set the scene here is a lovely shot from Margate beach of the Harbour Arm and Turner Contemporary. Having established that Margate is, indeed, a lovely and exciting place to live, I am starting to knuckle down to the business of setting up a proper printmaking studio here. The idea will be to provide a space for top-notch prints to be made, with access for local artists, visiting artists and a programme of workshops throughout the year. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years now, so I guess it’s probably time to take the plunge and actually do it.

Of course I will need to do some fundraising to get things rolling. I will need cash for rent and overheads, equipment, furniture, materials, plumbing and electrics and a whole host of other things. The idea is eventually to have equipment for linocut (obviously!), etching and screenprinting. In all probability I will start with the basics and see what the demand is. Having helped to run East London Printmakers for a number of years I know that there is currently huge demand for printmaking facilities, especially at a time when a lot of art colleges are closing or shrinking their printmaking departments.

At least I have my new etching press to use in the meantime. It’s an Intaglio Printmaker press which I bought second hand last year and it prints linocut very nicely up to about A2 size. I’ve only printed small etching plates on it so far, which came out beautifully. It has wheels which is very handy as I can put it against the wall when I not using it.

In preparation for making some new work I have also been researching how to properly sharpen my tools and I shall be writing a post (maybe even with a little video if I have time) to pass on my top tips. Here’s Marcella looking after my newly-honed gouges. I’ve started protecting the tips of the blades with corks so they don’t get damaged.

I’ve also got some new coloured Caligo inks to try out. In the past I have usually screenprinted the colours onto my linocuts but I want to try more multi block printing as I has so much fun with the Vertigo book cover I’ve just finished.

Finally, I’m working on a new logo. Although I like my current one it’s not made with linocut, it’s printed from wooden type on a letterpress. Also, I keep seeing similar designs everywhere I look so I’ve come up with this, which I hope is a bit more eye catching. This is just a rough, but let me know what you think before I start carving! I’ll probably make it anyway because I like it , but I may tweak it a bit.

Thanks for following! I never imagined so many people would be interested in reading about the finer points of linocut. I really appreciate all your comments and messages so please keep them coming. I wish you all a productive and happy 2012.