This post is so NOT a looking back and reflecting on the year that was one! I think there have already been rather a lot of them.
This is about my return to an old love…lino cut printing. I’ve been flirting for months…subscribing to linocut blogs like this and following a lady called Deb on IG. But I hadn’t committed. Even the IG encouragement to carve an image a day for December wasn’t enough to overcome my fear (let’s call it what it was) of having to start again. Again.
Eventually the siren call of standing in the shed with the mossies while my husband cut glass was too loud to ignore and I got out some old stamps and inks from 25 years ago for a no obligations linocut fling. This was enough and now I am re-hooked. I had no Christmas gifts to speak of but oodles of wrapping paper. I was thrilled that my cheap old Speedball carving set was good enough! And a few of the old jars of ink were usable. This had me satisfied-for a while. A day or so. Then I got more inks and discovered the magic of Ezy Carve. Oh dear Lord what an invention!!!!! The joy of carving this stuff is hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t gouged out flesh when cutting lino! I was wary of committing myself to one a day for #carvedecember but in the end I have carved a stamp for each day in my own fits and startsy way.
And OBVIOUSLY I have stamped some polymer. These are very preliminary efforts and I am keen to avoid a plastic look but have got lots of ideas simmering. Stay posted.
Hello you gorgeous, patient people and welcome to any of you who followed me from Instagram . I have a complex relationship with IG but that is very boring to read about so I won’t burble on! Suffice it to say this is a trial break that I may not return from.
I have completed a third necklace in the Tibet range. Regular (incredibly patient!!) readers will know the I have been creating some jewellery based on a trip we did to Tibet 20 years ago. You can read about the other pieces here and here. This one is the most traditionally Tibetan looking one in that it incorporates faux turquoise, coral and bone/ ivory. I used faux techniques that are a mish-mash of those by darling Tory Hughes * and Irene Semachuk Dean.
One indelible image I have from the trip is arriving in a dusty highway town called Tingri. The road had been rough and we were all tired and suffering with varying degrees of altitude sickness. We were craving a wash of any sort** and the sense of surreal that marked much of the trip pervaded. There was a moment of stillness when no Chinese trucks grumbled along the road and into that bizarre stillness, a rider on a horse suddenly thundered. A long turquoise earring dangled from one ear. One hand held the reins of the horse and the other was raised and out to the side in what seemed a caricature of Tibetan rider. He was so self assured. So effortlessly cool. and quite probably thinking about being neither of those things! He was most likely just wanting to get the shop before closing time!
I toyed with the idea of making myself a single long turquoise earring (and looking effortlessly cool and self assured) but how practical (or realistic) was that? There is still a potential necklace lurking in my brain but the necklace pictured is what emerged from lurking! I wanted to incorporate a cloud motif…these Tibetan clouds are characteristic of the thangkas (religious paintings). It is a motif I use repeatedly. Clouds pass, sometimes we love them, sometimes we want them to disappear…but they just are. In meditation practice, clouds are often used as the image fro thoughts that pass through our mind as we sit. If we let them pass, they will.
I also wanted to include faux versions of coral and turquoise. I was inspired by the faux bone decoration of Kathleen Dustin and Luann Udell . I had a lot of fun making this one. I actually made 5 decorated hollow bone beads but decided three were enough for this piece. And I have worn it (and the matching earrings) quite a bit!! Hope you like it.
*Tory was a dear friend who died much too young. Read a little about her here.
**As it turned out, we had a suitably bizarre washing experience sharing a warm shower (the bliss) in a concrete box lined with pink fabric with the surprisingly clean looking Frank and Rachel from the Netherlands. They told us that Golden Earring was still popular. Listen to Radar Love and know why!