Saturday, 26 January 2013


Prints for Press: January Facebook Special Price Nights
Every month (for 12 months) I will carve and print a new linocut exclusively for the Prints for Press Project and these will be available over 2 advertised nights on my Facebook shop AT VERY SPECIAL PRICES. After that prints will be available for purchase through my Folksy and Etsy shops at full price.
Why am I doing this? Well, I am saving up for a larger press (more details here, with pics! ) so that I can carve and print more bountiful linocuts and collographs.
There will be a running competition, open to those who buy on the night – the first customer to guess the overall theme correctly will receive a give-away linocut print of their choice between: Heart-Strings and Owl by Moonlight (colours subject to availability). If no-one gets it this month, then the give-away will carry over to February’s Special Price Nights. 

Sneaky peek, detail from the January linocut

The first print in the Prints for Press series is a two colour linocut, limited edition of 10 prints only (with a couple of artist’s proofs) 15x15cm, printed on Zerkall paper in light blue and teal-black. Normal full price will be £35. The special price of £20 will only be available for Facebook users on the night.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Studio Plumbing Genius!

I posted a pic of a corner of my studio on Facebook and from the responses it was quickly clear that this little bit of genius was worth sharing in more detail.

Years ago when I moved my studio into the attic I had to sort out the lack of plumbing up there. Printmakers need water for obvious reasons, and plenty of it. Ink is a very messy business. So I came up with something fairly rudimentary involving a water carrier with a tap and a bucket was all a bit Carry On Camping but without the innuendos. 

Nonetheless I carried on this way for a while until my dad came up with a wonderful solution for me....tailored specifically to my needs and the space available for the unit. This design could easily be adjusted for any space.

This little beauty has a stainless steel sink with plug and waste pipe leading to a 20 litre waste container. I think the sink was sold as a salad bowl and he cut a hole in it for the waste pipe fitting. The waste container takes precisely the amount of water which can be stored in the 2 storage tanks ( 10litre rigid water carriers) so needs emptying when they're both warned, never refill your water tanks without emptying the waste. I haven't made that mistake yet, but I like to stay wary! Yuk.

The shower head is ideal, it is moveable so can be directed. It operates very simply from a foot pump. I thought this might be a pain but in reality I don't even register that I'm doing it - it quickly became second nature.

To house the system and keep it cleanable, my dad adapted a painted steel shelving unit (cut a big hole in it) I have the added benefit of a central shelf to store all my cleaning bits and bobs. Note the scanty descriptions of the engineering side of things - I suspect there is a little bit more to it, but that is what is so magical about someone making something for you that you couldn't possibly make yourself. Am pretty sure that he had to change the height of the shelving unit as well - perhaps a welder was involved here as I don't think my dad still has any welding gear.Though I wouldn't put it past him!

All in all, it is an essential piece of equipment which, together with my etching press and drying racks, has been instrumental in turning the attic from a room into my studio.

Thanks Dad. :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

It's a question of lust

I've been doing a lot of dreaming and longing recently...and the object of my heart's desire is not what you might expect, but is something which means a lot to me. So the time has come and instead of dreaming I have come up with a plan of is my 12 step plan for 2013. Starting now.

'Prints for Press' is the working title for this project which will help me get together with a wonderful, gorgeously large and beautifully engineered fabulously heart-stopping Brand New Etching Press. Just so you know what I'm blithering on about, I'm going to run these little beauties by you.

The first up is this honey-pot press from . It is a Gunning etching press, the studio #2 which comes in at a hefty A2 (still portable? only if you're stronger than me!!!). I love it. I really do. Sigh.

Now you'd be right thinking that etching presses are pricey petals and even my trusty Polymetaal baby etching press will set you back enough to make you blink. These A2 presses, great for home studios, large enough for substantial work but small enough not to need a new extension, are the most price friendly of the bigger presses. A press this size will serve me well enough, alongside my old faithful, for all the years to come - should I ever need a larger press then I would happily head on into the studios at Birmingham Printmakers. No, the A2 is the size I long for. The Gunning press comes in at £1322, and that's without the stand!

Next up is this one from the Dutch company, Polymetaal - available in the U.K. through , coming in at £1,400 - again, without the stand. The stands are desirable, but I think a custom wooden stand might be preferable , built with my own shelf needs etc and that's where my lovely husband starts thinking, ok, so that's your birthday sorted!

There is another option (somewhat cheaper), but to be honest I'm really aiming for one of these two. So I'll leave it at that. Now my dreams are revealed - how am I going to achieve them?

Twelve Steps of Prints for Press

It's simple really  - I'm carving a special series of linocuts, in small limited editions,  to raise the money. I will offer these once a month (aha! 12 see?!) at a very special price for a limited period through Facebook (one or two nights), then they will go onto my Folksy shop at full price. All the money raised from this series will be set aside for the press. Prints for Press. Simple. I have started carving the first block of a 2 block print and will launch the project fully in a fortnight. Am excited. It feels good to save up for something special doesn't it. :) I will let people know about the print and the forthcoming special price nights  a few days beforehand through Facebook. If you see it and share it to help get this little plan off the ground, then a big thank you from me. :)

There is a theme to the prints, a loose one, but a theme nonetheless. I think I might do an extra little give-away to the first person to guess correctly once I've launched the project properly on Facebook.  More news soon. Very soon.

Right, am off to finish carving the first one! But not before I've made a large mug of something hot to keep the fingers warm in this cold cold weather. Brrrrr.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Year's Revisions

That's right, am taking a stand against this whole resolution thing, it always backfires and I don't know about you but my resolutions (shhhhh, not that I have any) are (oops, game up) exactly the same this year as last year!

1) eat less
2) drink more....water ( you thought I'd say wine, but I'm on to you)
3) organise work schedule
4) and stick to it

So far so familiar. So this year I will trot along knowing that this fantastic four will plague my conscience no matter what I do, and I've concentrated on some new revisions:

1) evaluate the year's progress for Inkyprints and make changes accordingly
2) drink up all the pearls of wisdom I can track down - I'm still new to all this, but there are others who can help
3) write coherent business plan
4) and stick to it

So that's me then. Getting everything in order, all lined up and facing the right way.

Everything has been crazy busy already with galleries contacting me about stocking work with them whilst also trying to complete a new set of linocut prints, discussing a new collaborative fine art project, and print more journal covers - urgently. I then came across Handmade Lives by Dixie Nichols who was chatting on Folksy and followed up her offer of a shop appraisal. All very useful and if any of you are in the business of handmade business, please do take a look at her site - fabulous advice with hugely readable tips and quizzes.

It was a fantastic year for me, so thank you to 2012 and all those who supported me at home and online. I am looking forward to this year's journey. Part of the business plan included marketing and networking objectives. One of my revisions (see how I did that, not saying the other word) is to crank up the blog natters from sporadic to weekly. Once a week mind, and you'll have to forgive me if I ramble a lot. Because I do. HAPPY NEW-ISH YEAR TO ONE AND ALL. xxx