Thursday, 3 May 2012

Beginning Denebola

So where to begin, where was my inspiration, what was leaping out at me?

Initially, nothing seemed to be 'speaking' to me. I was looking through the radio section of the Radio Times (something I rarely do) and the pattern just hit me in the face.

I forgot to take a photograph of it before I drew over it but here it is after doing so, a little blurred I'm afraid but you get the idea:

I turned it on its side, then used tracing paper to get just the lines, then scanned that into the computer:

Working with it in Photoshop, I was able to create this:

Each of the three sections were cut and 'stuck' together to form one long template. The white was cut away and the lower black part was flipped over and carefully traced onto mount board (it was flipped for those who don't know about print so that when inked and a print taken from it, the 'picture' appears the right way around).

I forgot to take a photograph of this next stage. Once the tracing had been put onto the mount board, the top part of it was carefully cut away. Then the board was varnished twice both sides to turn it into a collograph plate ready for inking up and printing from.

I was not at all interested in the prints resulting from this plate, they were just a means to an end. This did not go down too well I can tell you, after all, I was supposed to be on a printmaking course!!

Collograph plates are beautiful once inked, printed from and cleaned up. I went through the printing process merely to produce the desired effect on the collograph plate itself.

Here it is, cleaned up after its printing session:

Rather unexpectedly, it reminded me of the blitz from roof tops and the search lights - my knife cuts which should not have been noticeable! Anyway, what I had wanted to do was to scan this plate back into the computer to work on it digitally.

I wanted to try and either get a stand alone picture to use with a sound piece OR a digital print that would then have the collograph plate pressed back onto it to create a meld between two different ways of working.

These are a few of my very early trial prints:

The middle black and white work has the word Denebola, loosely translated in Morse code.  I was intending to use 6 weeks worth of RT Times templates (covering the period of the star sign Leo as it happens), to eventually create a long aural and visual piece based on them. Each would be in the colours representing each of the stars in the constellation Leo. Denebola is a blue white star hence these colours.

It was during these (what was for me very early exciting possibilities) that the tutor looked over my shoulder, told me to come to his office and basically tore into me. My work was not what he was expecting from a Masters student (this was just 7 weeks into the course and at one day per week was in effect 1 1/2 weeks into it - doh!!!)

He obviously couldn't understand where I was coming from, that this was how I worked in the early days, experimenting etc. It was all to no avail, he didn't want to know and the whole thing rapidly went downhill from there. 

I'll finished for today as it just brings back too many bad memories.


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