Sunday, January 18, 2015

Address To A Haggis

My latest limited edition screen print celebrates 'Scotland's favourite son', the 'Ploughman' poet Robert (or Rabbie) Burns, and in particular his famous 'Address to a Haggis', the first verse of which is reproduced here. The young Burns here enchants with praise the noble and 'great chieftain o' the Puddin'-race' - before promptly dispatching him. A mouse - his 'wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie' - looks on.
Burns' birthday, the 25th January, is celebrated internationally as Burns Night and marked by a supper including Haggis, Tatties and Neeps (and much Whisky) and this rhyming toast.
This 2-colour print measures 42 cm high by 30 across (A3 - a standard frame-size). It is printed on 300 gsm Heritage paper in a strictly limited edition of 35, signed and numbered by the Artist. The print can be yours for £85 + P&P and is available for purchase through my BigCartel online shop and from other reputable outlets.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tiles & Tribulations #2

Tiles and Tribulations #2

Another of my recent ceramic Delft Tile trials. This one actually went pretty well - a little of the mysterious pooling and shrinkage that I plan to get to the bottom of evident in the corners, but otherwise, looking pretty much like the real McCoy (or the Dutch equivalent thereof)!

A traditional Mermaid design rendered in raw (unfired) cobalt. The black specks visible are charcoal powder, used to create a template for painting the image.

The same tile, fired and 'aged'. Note the desired craquelure on the finished article - Result!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Whitstable dash

A lightning visit to the Print Block in Whitstable Harbour to proof my latest screen print and sign a batch of Printers Proofs, and then drop in on the In-laws. Always a pleasure and an inspiration!

Tiles & Tribulations #1

Tiles and Tribulations #1

They say that the Course of True Love never did run smooth. That's as may be, but let me assure you, its as nothing compared to the Course of Glazed Ceramics!

However, I'm pretty happy with the progress I'm making, despite the setbacks. Here the particular glitch has been a pooling and distortion around the applied Cobalt Carbonate glaze - there are various possible reasons why this might have happened (I have been well informed by those in the know) and shall address them all, one by one.

Here, a Triton delft tile, before firing. The smudgy black dots are charcoal, used to 'pounce' the design onto the tile from a pricked stencil, or spons.

Here, the same Triton delft tile, after firing. The glitch is most evident on this particular tile. I am investigating ways to avoid it as we speak!

Art Angels

Ah! Look what came in the post t'other day! 

My first collaboration with Art Angels - my Tourettes de France design now available as a greetings card, and my Cockney Alphabet in green as gift wrap! I am delighted!

A Look Ahead...

A Look Ahead to what, potentially, this Year has in store. 
I have already signed up for two Solo Shows in the Spring: the first, 'O England My Lion-Heart' at the Lion Street Store in Rye the first week-end of May, followed closely by 'A Troynovant Peculiar' at the Town House in Spitalfields. This is in addition to being part of the Norwich Print Fair Elements IV group exhibition in April, and then, if selected, part of the 20th Norwich Print Fair in September as well. Finally, I shall round the Year off with a Print Sale in Norwich at the end of November, provisionally entitled 'A Winter's Tale'. I hope also to be involved with other group shows that may pop up along the way (hint hint!)..
As well as continuing to produce limited screen prints (I'm aiming, perhaps a little over-optimistically, for around 25 new designs this year!) I plan to pick up my paint-brushes again after many years away from them. In addition I have a number of letterpress print projects in the pipeline, working together with print maestro Martin Clark at Tilley Letterpress in Ledbury. I also have a challenging, and somewhat daunting, ceramic delft tile commission for a monument, and after that shall be focusing on creating traditional delft tiles for my own home, and then possibly further select commissions after that.
There are also further collaborations afoot with Fortnum & Mason, and artist and curator Marc Rees, as well as a proposed and ongoing project with Dan Bugg of the Penfold Press. Fingers-crossed, I may also get the chance to work on a poster design in conjunction with the Lexicographer of Slang, Dr Jonathon Green, a print for the Museum of British Folklore and possibly the Friends of Arnold Circus, and on a personal project commemorating the Life and Work of Oscar Wilde! Phew!
Around all this I want to make time and space in my life for walks, cycling, pottering in the garden, river- and sea-swims, cooking, eating and enjoying the company of friends.
Any road, enough with the Trumpet-blowing! Now to get on with creating!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Hallo there!

I have returned after a Year's hiatus. It's good sometimes to take time out, to be away, but its great to be back!

And so to kick things off, a little image freshly penned to wish you all a very Happy, Prosperous & Creative New Year. Here the symbols of Janus (after whom we have January named), Roman god of doorways, crossroads and the passing of the Year - a Key to lock the Old Year behind you and a Cock to crow in the New!