Lockdown week 48

Through the nets

Great Spotted woodpecker, through the curtain.
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2017

Nothing to see, just listen to the sounds of the morning woodpecker.

Perhaps the same bird that visited in 2017 is back to wake us. Or a new younger one is passing by and spied the coconut.

Print and Tools Tests

Continuing the visualisation of 2021 tool equivalents to Jim Dine’s inspirational prints of 1950’s hand tools is throwing up a variety of options. The digital images are offering a stark contrasts with the photographic images of the hard disc metal containers and leads. https://printsanew.jonnieturpie.com/21st-century-tools

Five Removable Hard discs. 2007-2020. digital drawing.

These will be inkjet printed on plain and textured paper surfaces. With access to the School of Art print room and the assistance of master printmaker Justin Sanders the trial of an etched image of the most modern disc (LaCie 2TB) has delivered comparison of hand made image and backgrounds with the digital images. Each image is drawn on tissue paper and transferred on to the soft and hard ground plates with no digital or photographic elements. Additionally the etching process into copper plate, printed on selected paper and hand inked, is fully manual. The inclusion of the irregular connection leads locates the rectangular discs on the square plate and subsequent squared image on the rectangular paper. A clean background for the linear drawing works well in giving the modern disc/tool a status akin to the Jim Dine prints of hand tools.

LaCie Tools. Two plate etching.

Following first proofs from soft and hard ground plates, drawing into the hard ground was undertaken using burin and roulette tools. A second hard ground etch was applied. A two plate print was taken with the hard ground printed on top of soft ground, providing a hint of shadow to the hard ink lines. Finally a series of prints have been made to assess the effects of varied backgrounds and highlighted areas. The backgrounds were achieved by leaving some ink on the plates beyond the etched grooves, ie not fully wiping the surface clear of ink using the ‘Surface Tone’ technique. Background textures were also left in the ink as the pattern of the scrim was embedded. Highlights were created by cleaning selected ares with a hand made cue tips. ie not cotton wool sticks, but soft paper rolled into a point and bound with masking tape.

8 test hard and soft ground etchings of LaCie removable hard disc

Keatleys metals weighing.

Next an experiment with another disc image will be undertaken through the aquatinting etching process on new 300x350mm copper plates purchased from the Birmingham Metal Suppliers Keatley’s where cost is calculated by weight. Another analogue contrast with the digital tools to be represented.

The silkscreen surface test that was made prior to lockdown by printing transparent screen ink medium has reclined in a print room plan chest drawer for four months, but sadly has not dried sufficiently to be drawn upon. An additional two days in the drier has not hardened the medium. As the surface texture/pattern is of interest an alternative to drawing may be to lightly drop carbon dust from some height to maintain the texture, but provide sufficient small barriers to screen exposure which may deliver a unique surface to be printed from and be assessed as a serigraphy portrait background. Equally the dust might dry the medium surface to a degree that drawing materials may be held.

Results reviewed as the week progresses.

Chance Meeting

My second excursion to the City Centre and the School of Art was diverted by an unexpected meeting with a visitor to the city as she photographed the statue of Queen Victoria in the square that is named after her. She asked if I would take picture of her in front of the statue and the classical architecture of the Town hall. I pointed out the Museum and Art Gallery and that I was on the way to the School of Art which she was immediately interested in seeing. I introduced her to its magnificence, before encouraging her to see the newly opened centenary square.

Tusti. Digital drawing. 2021.

I have shared a drawing of her which celebrates the event that was the first time I have met by chance and engaged with a new person in 11 months. We swopped insta names and it occurred to me that I had put all sense of being in covid to one side, apart from our masks, and engaged as a resident sharing the sights of the city in non restricted times. On reflection it was a liberating experience indicating what we have been missing and look forward to returning to.

Lest we forget

September 17th 2020. Digbeth, Birmingham UK

covid update

Thats it

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