Sunday, 17 March 2013

Up, Up and Away!


It's been a whole month since my last post. To be honest, I've not felt like writing very much over the last four weeks. I don't like starting a post on a bad note, and it would have been very difficult to avoid recently. We have been searching for a new home here in Christchurch, as we have to move out of our little apartment soon for ECQ repairs to be carried out. It's been a lot trickier than we expected. There's so much competition for places at the moment with the huge influx of people into the city in the last 12 months. Every place we've applied for, we always end up second choice and we're starting to wonder what more we can do.

But enough of that! Some good friends of our have offered to put us up should we have to leave our current home sooner than expected so that takes a lot of pressure off :)

Along side all this, I have managed, some way or another, to keep up with my creative pursuits and there's been a fair few projects sharing my work space recently. Something I'm really enjoying working on is for a handprinted fabric swap hosted by the extremely inventive Leslie Keating of Maze & Vale. Participants are asked to print one metre of fabric and send a fat quarter of said fabric to four different people around the world. I will be sending my fabric to the UK, the States, Canada and NZ. It's very exciting to be sharing something I have designed and printed myself with strangers from far and wide!

I started with a vague concept surrounding the phrase: 'come fly with me'. I have a fixation with hot air balloons at the moment. I find them both aesthetically pleasing and an apt representation of our journey over the last 13 months. To me, they embody escape, travel and exploration. I imagine floating above the world and seeing everything from a great height. Everything that was once giant and problematic, becomes a little spec on a much wider landscape. Sometimes, I wish I could rise above the mesh of confusion that life can be, just to see the bigger picture and the light at the end of the struggle. A hot air balloon ride would be a very quaint way to achieve this perspective :)

I chose to have a go at printing my design using stamps. I took a trip to my local art store last week to purchase some carving tools, rubber stamps, lino and ink. After an afternoon spent sketching, transferring, carving and testing, this is what I came up with:

It still needs a bit of work, after my first tests revealed quite a few imperfections. But I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt and found the process very enjoyable (well, up until I slipped and gouged a little bit out of my index finger!) 

I also made a little rubber cloud stamp. The rubber carved like butter and, unlike the lino, didn't require heating every few minutes. It also seems to take the ink better but since the lino is the cheaper option, it seems a better alternative until I start getting more serious about it. 

I remember my Mum printing with lino when I was little and felt a warm familiarity as I sat and carved. I think this could be the start of something special...

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