On Monday I visited The Print Shed which is several miles West of Hereford, in other words nearly in Wales and very rural. The Sat Nav took me 4 miles down a single track road with the only passing places at the entries to fields. Since the only other traffic was tractors pulling trailers bulging with potatoes, guess who had to do the backing? However since it was close to Paradise to a bookbinder/printer, I forgive it and found another way home.
The outbuildings of a farm have been converted into a 'print shed' equipped with very large presses for an artists commune. If you pay an annual fee, you can use the presses freely. What was even better, they were having their Christmas weekend and lots of the artists' work was hung. A very talented bunch, lots of lovely linocuts by Ursula Prosser to which I succumbed in the end. The people were friendly and chatty and quite willing to let me join. So I will do so after Christmas. I do not see me getting there in December.
In the afternoon, I was at the Malvern printmaking class and have just about finished cutting all the linocuts for Sir Patrick Spens. This was the last class till mid-January but the tutor, Karen, has told me how to use my own book press to print the linocuts. I hope I will at least be able to do trial runs and correct/replace any of the lino cuts I do not like. The difference between the class press and the Print Shed is that the class press is very small and, since there are 12 students, I will never get enough time on it to do more than one book. It is my intention to do a number of them. Beware all friends!! I need to do a complete trial run because I have not really decided how to bind it. I am thinking of a single folio with a folded paper cover but I need to decide what weight of cover paper/card would be best so I can see several trials at the binding. There is also the decision about what to put on the cover. I am wondering if I am able to cut a lino cut with title lettering. Well I can always try.
And talking of old films, I was lent a set of Powell and Pressburgers DVDs by my daughter, Anne. The one that surprised me was Tales of Hoffman. I have always been fond of this opera and realised that I must have seen this around 1951 when it came out. Certainly before 1955 when I left Edinburgh. But the treatment in the film has influenced my views on every performance of it I have seen since. Yes it's dubbed and yes the singers are not that good. But - - - the Barcarolle duet where Julietta sings a duet with her reflection is magical and of course I always expect the candles to be turned into diamonds, rubies and emeralds. The dancing is fabulous, much better than you ever get in an opera house but then it was Moira Shearer and Robert Helpmann.
No photos but I have taken the donsu off the Megado and, will take photos today. The next bit of weaving (for Convergence) is turning out well and apart from worrying about what yarn/colours to use in the weft, I will be busy for the next few weeks.
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- I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.