Practising calligraphy with a dipping pen

Calligraphy, life, Uncategorized

This has made my hand ache considerably. My uncle was a sign writer but I’ve found this painstakingly slow to do. I’m learning as I go and quite pleased with how this is turning out. Only taken five hours so far!

Please note, I did not write the poem, a great poem, merely used it to practise my calligraphy skills and have posted it here as it will be including some printing technique (watch for the illustrations) 🙂


Card cut intaglio print no.2

Intaglio, life, People, Printing, Textures

I cut a template printing plate using picture mounting board, gradually peeling off the top coloured layer to reveal the white beneath.


Then I used a roller and watercolour as a printing medium, applied a thin layer and allowed some of the paint to catch the white (can produce a textured effect).


A note to newcomers to printing … Remember that whatever picture you want to end up with will be the mirror image of the printing plate. Have fun 🙂

card ‘intaglio’ printing


Just for fun, I used some picture board card, drew out a basic outline of some woodland trees and a rabbit sitting on a swing at night.

If you’d like to try this yourself, simply score around the outline edge and peel off the top coloured layer of the picture board.


as you can see by this photograph, the creamy white layer is now showing as I peeled off the red.


I then rollered the block printing ink onto the surface and it caught some of the creamy backing.  If you don’t want this texture to appear, you will need to peel more of the underneath away.  I applied a wash of coffee to the trees and Beryl fibre tip pens for the other colours.


As this was the first print pull, I will adjust the background colours between the trees so that there is more blue showing.

Buttons, hooks and a gelli :-)

Book making, Buttons, life, Miniatures, Mono printing, Printing, Textures, Uncategorized

I wanted to create some background papers for a handstitched notebook and liked how these buttons and curtain hooks appeared in the paint, giving a soft almost pastel result. When I started using the gelli plate I used darker acrylic colours, but now prefer the effects of watercolours as the plate stays damper for longer and doesn’t rip fragments of paper away in the process. Now the weather is cooler, I shouldn’t find paint drying out too quickly being an issue!

So, while the paint gelli monoprints are drying, I thought you might like to see a selection of this evenings prints.


The lighter result is achieved by not applying any further paint and taking a second or even third print from it. If you keep going you can clean the plate by using this process.


DIY rubber stamp

Birds, Mono printing, nature, Photography, Printing, Textures, Uncategorized

Ok, so you want to make a rubber stamp, maybe for a logo or a letter head that you can use over and over again…where do you start?

1- buy a large rubber or look in your own stationery drawer
I bought this one in a superstore where I usually get my groceries


2 – decide on a simple image such as this seagull I drew from a photograph I took yesterday in Dartmouth. Sketch it out on the surface with a permanent pen (you may need to draw it in pencil first … I didn’t – see below why this may be a good idea!)


3 – once you are happy with the design you can then go over the outlines in pen. Remember everything you cut away will not get any ink on it so if you want texture leave areas uncut.


As you can see from the above, I’ve added the initial ‘J’. If you do decide to put any lettering on your stamp make sure you do it in reverse or it will print backwards like mine did! Ha ha ha! Ooops!


4 – you may or may not need to cut more away from the rubber, depending on how the initial print comes out. Also, depending on the shape and style of the eraser, you may have to ‘roll’ the rubber while still retaining its print position on the paper. My eraser is rounded at the edges, so to make sure my gull image came out fully, I had to roll it from side to side while applying pressure.


5 – finally add any special touches to your print. This one was the rubber stamp applied to a gelliplate monoprint of leaves. I also added pieces cut from another monoprint where I used a small pepper and some shells pressed into the ink. Finally, I applied a little white on the bird to bring out the features (note the difference between this bird against a blue/green leaf background and the gull on a pale background, where I didn’t apply any white)



Free Giveaway 5,000+ blog hits!!!


An exciting free giveaway! Enteries being accepted from Monday 18th August until midnight Friday 22nd August 🙂

Squarebird 2014 Craft A Day

Thank yoy, thank you thank you to everyone who has visited my blog since it began in January 2014. Now, with over 5,000 hits I’m offering a special free giveaway. Yay!

This is a little different. I am offering fellow bloggers an original limited edition lino print and sketch of their pet as the prize. Please post below this blog post an amusing story, of your pet you would like me to use, the pet’s name and then email me a clear photograph of your pet that you don’t mind me putting on this blog in a gallery and I will select one using a random generator.
This is my stats I woke up to after a long day out yesterday!


Here is an example:
My kitten is a white spotted tabby and she’s called Nikon. She has a habit of sleeping on our shoes and playing in my OHs…

View original post 90 more words

A productive day … and fun in the auction house

life, Printing, Textures, Uncategorized

Today I went to auction again, this time because my son was selling some boxed Star Wars figures and needed some funds for uni.  It was interesting because of the range of Lots in the auction rooms and there was an eclectic mix of people bidding.  Hard to tell, how much the figures were going to go for, yet there were boxed collector cars, stamp collections, boxes of postcards and children’s toys also on offer.  I found a tall draw chest that I had plans to bid on which had an estimate of £10 on the lower end of bidding.  It started a lot higher, so I opted for a desk that would provide me with more working space. When I’d won the bid  I watched with amusement as the auctioneer cocked his head to read my bidding number card, which I hadn’t realised I was holding upside down!  Last time I went there (my first auction visit in twenty-four years, he winked at me when I won the bid for the cast iron press – clearly seeing how delighted I was!).

When we returned home after a successful sale, my son helped me move the furniture and my cast iron printing press into the newly decorated shed that my OH has been working on while I’ve been working in the city.

I picked up a bargain table/desk with shallow drawer for under £30 and now have somewhere to store my papers flat and keep them dry (a complete contrast to when they were in the covered yard which had a leaky roof!).

These are some of the images I took from the day, including some gelliplate nature printing and the discovery of the remains of a wasps’ nest inside one of the drawers in the yard (which I thought looked a bit like a little rose)

DSC05062 DSC05063 DSC05065 DSC05110 DSC05066 DSC05108

The cat print and layering

Animals, Lino, Mono printing, nature, Printing, Textures, Uncategorized

Please note that all photographs and print images you view on this blog are copyright.

In printing we use the term ‘hicky’ when quality-controlling prints. The term refers to a blotch or imperfection found in the print and transferred via the roller of a lithographic printing press – basically when something has landed in the ink and created an unwanted impression. I can explain this a bit clearer on one of the example prints below. A few of the pepper seeds got caught up in the ink and on my roller from an earlier print. When I came to do a print from the lino over the top of my pepper gelliprint I could see the spots left by the seeds and some seeds still stuck in the paper. Obviously this could have been deliberate or intentional, however I didn’t want this effect on the cat print. Maybe you prefer it? Everyone’s taste is different. I’m glad it only occurred on one of them!

The first impression from the lino came out like this, using white acrylic on brown card:


I then played around with layers of colour using the gelliplate then overlaying the black inked lino



And here is a close up of that unwanted seed from the pepper:



Preparing my next lino cut …

Animals, Lino, Mono printing, nature, Printing, Textures, Uncategorized

This sketch outline is of a friend’s cat – a ginger and white long-haired puddy cat that is so pretty I just wanted to capture it forever in print.

On this occasion I’m using soft white lino. I prefer it (although it’s more expensive) as it doesn’t crumble so easily and is more flexible to manipulate.


Returning to gelliplate printing … I thought I’d show you all a couple of prints I made today which took several layers of inking from the plate to build up the print. Managed to get my twelve-year-old to have a go after I’d finished too.

This leopard was created using a masking template of ripping up textured paper that I had previously used for another print. Some of the dotty texture transferred from the paper to the gelliplate and back to the paper again. I then added a fine outline using a brown fine liner pen just to give the cat a bit of an outline.

This is a print from the textured paper which was applied to the plate after it had been inked up, then removed. The impression left in the gelliplate then transferred over to the paper.

Daily Post photo prompt ‘Textures’ and ‘Art-Drop-Day’

Litho, Mono printing, nature, Printing, Printing, life, Screen printing, Textures, Uncategorized

There are two links to share with you today: one is
I think this is a fabulous idea having taken part in the Be Creative ATC mystery card drop. Although I never knew what happened to my card, some others from the group had their ones found and recorded on Myfanwy’s special page. Some left ATC (artist trading cards) in very public places including inside craft books at a book store. I’d like to take part in the art-drop-day by leaving one of my limited edition prints somewhere to be found. As bloggers who have been reading this new blog know, I am passionate about printing and enjoy working with lino and textures and drawing into the ink on my gelli-plate :-). I hope you’re enjoying what you see so far on this blog; I will be exploring on here the other types of printing plates including woodblock printing, rubber stamping, intaglio, polyprinting and presenting you with some simple stencil outlines so you can have a go yourself! 🙂

This brings me on to the Daily Post prompt for this week, Textures:

My OH has promised he will make me an A3 screen printing frame for my workshop. In the meantime, here is my contribution for this prompt illustrated in a series of photographs of preliminary works of pencil sharpening, a litho print I did a while ago of an apple and the layering involved on my A2 screen print to illustrate decomposition:

There is a raised surface left by the crayon and I love how the curves left from the sharpenings contrast with the smooth lines of the sharpener.



20140809-082329-30209727.jpg I then did a study of the process of peeling an apple and produced a litho print from it in preparation for a final screen print using colours. Obviously the more colours and layers of ink you put on, the textures increase as you can feel the overlaps of ink 🙂


20140809-082521-30321600.jpg The lightest colour is applied first on a screen print. I am just going to show you the first and final result.