Creativity: Carving and Printing

The invention of printing is one of the most important for our culture, allowing for multiple images or words to be produced with minimal fuss and effort. This led eventually to the tabloid press, but let’s not think about that just now…

Carving an image into a flat plate means an artist can make many versions of the same image, all the same, only not quite identical. I helped recently with a children’s week workshop at Ararat Regional Art Gallery in which the kids made simple plates by drawing into a sheet of foam, the images then printed on paper to take home and keep, and a second print onto a large banner with their school mates work. This activity re-whet my appetite for print making!

I’ve been carving and printing when I get a few minutes – often when I ‘should’ be going to bed. The old truck was done a few years ago (the actual truck is no longer trapped amongst saplings), and the Ginko leaf I’d drawn but not carved until I rediscovered it after the workshop. The red-inked one is of two peony flowers, taken from a Japanese textile design. I found the multi-image frame, and decided to put 5 themed prints in it, starting with the Ginko leaf. The Japanese stone lantern is from our visit to Portland, Oregon, and the teapot from tea related stamps I’ve done for cards and tags. I think I’ll use a conifer from the three I’ve made so far, and I did a Japanese style tea bowl to complete the set. I’m pretty happy with it – I just have to make a print on suitable paper and add it to the frame.

Being creative so often involves all kinds of practicalities and problem solving,but that’s all part of the fun, don’t you think?

Creativity: Carving It Up


I’ve been pretty busy this last week, so not much creativity has been going on around here. However, I have managed to fit in some stamp carving. I did the stylised peony while I was volunteering at the Ararat Regional Art Gallery on Sunday. I was there again on Monday, helping out with Children’s Week’s Printing workshop – which reminded me that a stamp doesn’t have to be a picture of something, so I did the wavy lines – which has some extra texture, because the eraser I used has a pattern on the sides already. Last of all, I did the feather, while I was perched on the edge of my bed in my P.J.s.stamp detritis

It made some mess.treasure trove

Here is another cheap eraser waiting to be carved, lying on a bed of what may be junk, or treasure, depending on one’s point of view! I have stalls at two Maker’s Markets on the weekend,which I need to prep tomorrow, then after going to see the Archibald Prize exhibition on Monday, it will be back to making for me. I hope.

Friday Poem: List

Here we are, at Friday again already…I read one of those helpful “how to figure out what you want to do with your life” articles recently, in which it was suggested that you write a quick list of what you yearn for. That wasn’t all it said, but it set me off on this poem, which, I have to admit, isn’t a complete list of my ‘desires’…music video

I desire –
dark chili chocolate from Seattle,
linen sheets:
warm feet and
a cool breeze on my face;
shade in summer,
sunshine in winter.

I desire also
spicy food and good bread,
coffee in cafes,
tea in a pot,
music in immoderation
and otherwise – silence,
punctuated by birdsong and crickets.

I desire a studio
chock full of art supplies
yet with clear space to work in.

(That might be asking
too much…)

tea pots

I have teapots, but I usually use tea bags, I planted 3 peonies on Wednesday (fingers crossed), my studio space is chockers, but there’s no clear space, just archaeological layers…I’m working on it, OK?

In pursuit of peonies, I bought several pieces on vintage kimono fabric (from KimoYES in ACT) featuring the glorious blooms, and I will be making a wall piece with them, in due course. Apparently the peony, known as King of Flowers, symbolises “good fortune bravery and honour”, and is used in tattoos to “signify a devil-may-care attitude”. I guess I should consider a peony tattoo then!peonies