Exciting work at 20-21

Earlier this week, I was fortunate to see the work of Jason Wilsher-Mills at Scunthorpe’s 20-21 Visulal Arts Centre. The work, encompassing 3D printed figures, interactive sculpture, plus floor and wall murals, stretched around the main walkway and into the main exhibition space at the back of the…

The Iceland Prints I

Last year, I made a trip to Western Iceland. This fascinating country has all the attractions you might expect from a land so far north; spectacular glaciers, waterfalls, geysirs, the Blue Lagoon and a totally volcanic landscape – truly amazing.

Vintage lace, courtesy of Geraldine from Kendal

The Cumbrian Lace Project/1

One of the many lovely visitors to my stand at Printfest this year was Geraldine from Kendal. We got chatting about the prints I had on the stand, and it turned out that she particularly intrigued by some of the prints where the printing plate had been made from pieces of fabric.

A new figurative work

A new figurative work: inspired by the work of Brenda Hartill, one of my favourite printmakers, I'm now working on a vertical landscape project. Some of my previous prints, such as Gold Elements, have used a number of separate plates that I have arranged in different combinations, and I have used…

Info booklets for Printfest 2018

Printfest 2018: one week to go!

By this time next Saturday, all of us Printfest exhibitors will be awaiting the start of the private view. I'm now finalising my preparations for next weekend, which for me will begin with a four-hour journey from my home in mid-Lincolnshire next Friday. From last year, I learned that detailed…

South Holland Open Arts exhibition

As you may know from social media, I have secured a place for my second visit to Ulverston in Cumbria. My preparations for the show are well under way – last year I learned just how much work goes into it for exhibitors.

Back at Printfest 2018

As you may know from social media, I have secured a place for my second visit to Ulverston in Cumbria. My preparations for the show are well under way – last year I learned just how much work goes into it for exhibitors.

Print!! My latest show open in Lincoln

My latest group show Print!! is now open at Project Space Plus at the University of Lincoln! Three Uni colleagues and I from the School of Design are using the print medium in different ways, and using a variety of print techniques.

Sign up for a chance to win this XPress print!

My last post mentioned my experiments with the XPress, a small and portable printing press I've just started using. One of the prints I produced in the first test session with it was so good, I've decided to offer it as the prize in this month's my latest Prize Draw, next Monday (8 January). All…

Mini printing with the XPress

I've made a discovery! Recently, I happened on a social media post by someone who had used a small die-cutting machine as a printing press. This led me to the supplier, handprinted.co.uk. Their website was extremely helpful, with tips on its usage for different printmaking methods – from linocut,…

Peeling a print away from a plate

Introducing: Sinclair Ashman at 20:21

As part of the 'Introducing' series of shows, I'll be showing around 14 prints. 'Introducing...' is a series of rolling exhibitions that give opportunities for local and regional artists to show their work to a new audience. Similarly, it's a chance for gallery visitors to see work from an…

Sun and Moon: the story of a print

Like many people, I have always been fascinated with the sun and moon, because of their basic importance to life, illustrated in art and history. This small print inspired me to look again at the basic round shapes and to with associations of heat and cold through colour and texture. One of the…

Moon in a Pewter Sky

Sometimes, it's really nice to return to a plate I've printed a few times before, and try something different. In this case, I wanted to combine some metallics with other warm colours. I suppose it's part of my on/off mission to get metallics to work consistently. Yes, I know it's really difficult,…

Sinclair at the Kunsthuis Summer Exhibition

This Friday, 16 June, a print from my new 'Landfall' series takes its place alongside 99 other printmakers, painters and sculptors for the inaugural Kunsthuis Gallery Summer Exhibition. Artists from 11 Countries, including Britain, the Netherlands, Iran, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia,…

Landfall plate print (blue/green)

New directions: first prints

After the last post, I went along to the Print Room at the University of Lincoln to try them out on press. Unfortunately, this didn't go well. For all the coats of varnish and a week of drying, the surface of the plate below completely disintegrated, with much of the crackle paste sticking to the…

New directions: plate textures

After cutting the basic shapes I needed, it was time for the exciting bit – adding the surface textures. For this new series of prints, I had in mind the idea of creating some 'imagined lands'; these abstracted shapes could represent aerial views of islands or other territories, but as they would…

The Art Printworks at Printfest 2017

This year, I'll be taking my place alongside national printmakers exhibiting at PrintFest 2017. It'll be exciting to see so many fellow printmakers from all over the UK and internationally, and to get a taste of this kind of festival for the first time. Printfest's Printmaker of The Year for 2017,…

New Directions Stage 2: cutting the plates – cut pieces 1

New directions: stage 2

Working from the quick sketches shown in my last post, it was time to start making the plates. Rather stupidly, my first attempt at cutting the shapes was to reach for a fold-out workbench and electric jigsaw. Quite how I was going to cut around such an intricate and detailed shape with such crude…

New directions: stage 1

It's been a while, but following my 'Anomalies' exhibition (which ended last October), I have a new direction for my printmaking. Essentially, it's an exploration of shape and format, and also more freedom to make individual compositions for each print. This is important to me so that I can…

Hello Dublin 2

The Dublin trip wasn't just about attending the Pushing Boundaries private view. We took the opportunity to spend another day and a half just walking around this wonderful city. Many years before, I had visited Dublin but had no real recollection of the place. No, I wasn't drunk! That trip was for…

Pushing Boundaries: Private View

Yes, we made it! On Tuesday 27 October, we rocked up at The Farmleigh Gallery in Dublin for the private view of 'Pushing Boundaries'. If you read my last post, you'll remember that the reason for the visit was to see my print 'Moment'. It was appearing amongst 100 or so prints selected for this…

Pushing Boundaries: Hello Dublin

Over the summer, I answered a call for entries to a ground-breaking exhibition organised by the Printmakers Council. Entitled 'Pushing Boundaries', the show takes as its theme the centenary of the Irish revolution, and called for any print-based response to this event. It will be the first…

Framed and ready?! One of the small images being prepared for transportation to storage

Framed and ready

They're ready. It's now less than three weeks to the opening of my show. The 60 images prints that will make up my Anomalies exhibition next month have been framed, wrapped and stored, ready to be transported to The Ropewalk in early September. As organised as I may have been up to this point,…

Nearly, but not quite: Variation – collagraph print

Nearly, but not quite

The final selections of prints for my 'Anomalies' exhibition have been made, the last few images are being framed and preparations and wall graphics have been prepared. I've sent exhibition notices and contacted galleries. But what about the images; the prints that didn't quite make it – the ones…

‘Anomalies’: the exhibition

‘Anomalies’, the first major exhibition of my works as an artist-printmaker, will be on show at the Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber in September (details below). Through a collection of over 50 prints, the show will explore the role of quick decision-making and ‘happy accidents’ in my collagraph…

All in the detail: 'counters' fromlettering vinyls

All in the detail

As vital as they are, preparing for the show isn't all about the prints. Framing will take some weeks yet, I have long lists of invitees to prepare for emailing, and I'm getting some extremely valuable help with PR. Today though, was all about text support within the exhibition space, as I made a…

A wall full of anomalies: decision made! Crescent moon print 1

A wall full of anomalies: decision made!

I thought that I had made up my mind on the images for the all-important back wall of my exhibition. I was going to use one of the fossil-like plates, so I spent an afternoon in the Print Room at the University of Lincoln, ready to try the plate shown below. The plate printed well, but I wanted a…

A plate for 'The Fourteen'?: collagraph plate

Fourteen from one: a wall full of anomalies

For my upcoming 'Anomalies' exhibition, I'm intending to use a whole wall to feature a number of prints, all from one collagraph plate. I want the images on this wall to embody the anomalies theme, by showing how one of my heavily textured plates can produce a variety of print effects. The…

A brilliant afternoon of experimental printmaking

A couple of days ago, I was lucky enough to see and take part in a really interesting session of experimental printmaking. Along with my colleague Brian Voce, I watched as Dave Bramston and South Korean Designer Mi Young Jang turned large-scale MDF 'plates' into bold, fabulous prints on paper and…

Show Stories: Crescent Moon 3

Show Stories: Crescent Moon

I've been thinking about some ideas for related activities during the exhibition. One of those might involve me presenting a 'live' print session at The Ropewalk. To do this, I thought I would prepare some simple printing plates, in shapes that people will identify with. So, I've come up with these…

Show Stories: #Anomalies16 Anomalies 1: Twitter hashtag background image

Show Stories: #Anomalies16

'Anomalies', Works by Sinclair Ashman. The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber: 10 September - 31 October 2016. Over the coming months, leading up to the exhibition at The Ropewalk and beyond, I'll be using the Twitter hashtag #Anomalies16 to share updates on preparations for the show and its aftermath.…

Anomalies: 10x10cm print

Anomalies I: small plates and acrylic gels

As an extension to the Small Print series I've been working on for the last couple of months, I've been using acrylic gels on small printing plates (100mm square) and getting some very interesting prints as a result. By simply working into the gel – smearing, carving and pushing it around with…

Small print March: gel and interior filler on plate

The Art Printworks small print March!

The series of 6x6 and the even smaller prints for Small Print International have been great fun to do. The restricted size format resulted in a really interesting scaling down of the marks and stuck materials on plates. I even managed to control the pouring of varnishes on the 100mm square plates,…

Six by Six by Eleven – the prints: prints on the drying rack

Six by Six by Eleven: the prints, part 2

I thought that I had taken pictures of all of the second set, but it turns out that I hadn't. I may take some more for a future post. Never mind, here's what I have right now. Like the first set, I had returned to some of the themes and materials I had used previously at a larger scale. It's been a…

Six by Six by Eleven – the prints: cross shaped print (detail)

Six by Six by Eleven: the prints, part 1

In my last post, I showed the eleven plates I had made, to be printed the Print Room at the University of Lincoln. Last week, I was able to devote a whole day to the task. I chose to begin with what I thought would be a couple of very interesting plates, made using glasspaper. The plates looked…

Six by Six by Eleven: birch plywood printing plate with stuck glasspaper (close up)

Six by Six by Eleven

With September's exhibition at The Ropewalk coming up fast, I've been so busy preparing, that I haven't had much time to think about making new printing plates. Last week though, all that changed. I was able to devote the best part of two days to it, so I headed for the garage and all those bags of…

Fabulous print set from Hot Bed Press

Fabulous print set from Hot Bed Press

Earlier today, I travelled to The Ropewalk to collect my personal set of prints, as part of the 20:20 Print Exchange. Organised by Hot Bed Press in Salford, the exchange brought together the work of print studios and educational establishments in the UK, plus special guests, The Icelandic…

Print Stories: '6x6' Part 3: image 10

Six go to market

Today, I took six of my '6x6' mounted prints to The Ropewalk to go on sale. In a way, it was a bit like sending children off to make their way in the world. The prints did look smart though, nicely window mounted and protected in cellophane sleeves. Inside each one, I placed an information slip…

home page image: 'Seam' – gold detail

Print Stories: metallics

For a little while now I've been experimenting with the idea of working imitation gold leaf (also known as Schlag Metal or Dutch Metal) into my prints. See this previous post on post-print embellishments. I've also returned to printing with metallic inks. Last year, I tried this with some fairly…

Hull – my print on show at InPrint 2015

Print Stories: InPrint exhibition in Hull

Yesterday, I went along to see the work of our Ropewalk Print Room group as part of a brilliant public exhibition in Hull. The exhibition, InPrint, was organised by Rob Moore from Studio Eleven Gallery in the city, and included printmaking in almost every conceivable form, from regional, national…

Print Stories: post-print embellishments – gold thread

Print Stories: post-print embellishments

Recently, I've been looking at the work of other printmakers and artists who have produced interesting results through the introduction of sewing into materials. I've looked at the work of printmakers who that have used threads and fabrics as part of the platemaking process, as I have in the past,…

Michael Brennand-Wood: image 9

Michael Brennand-Wood at NCCD

Last week, after a business meeting in Sleaford, I took the opportunity for another visit to the National Centre for Craft and Design (NCCD). I was delighted to see a truly brilliant exhibition of work by Michael Brennand-Wood. Ideas based on fusions of western and Islamic cultural influences, as…

Print Stories: '6x6' Part 1: finished poured varnish plate

Print Stories: ‘6×6’ Part 1

Later today, I'll be off to The Ropewalk to try a new set of plates. I have eight plates at six inches (15cm) square, in which I've been experimenting with different methods of mark-making and ways of applying texture. In many ways, they take some of the techniques I've used previously, but applied…

Print Stories: Garage Goodies – the prints II – print 1 (close up d)

Print Stories: Garage Goodies prints 2

In the last 'Garage Goodies' post, I showed the first set of prints from a series of long and thin plates I've recently made. Yesterday, I travelled back up to The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber, to take part in another print session with all the lovely people in the Print Room. It's always really…

Plate of horizontal landscape made by scratching the mount board surface, peeling away and various carborundum/glue combinations (closeup)

Print Stories: Garage Goodies – the prints 1

In the first 'Garage Goodies' post, I wrote about the making of a series of plates at a common size, but widely varying materials. As ever, I was unsure about how the plates would print, as some of the materials used, such as raffia, were likely to become heavily compressed going through the…

Print Stories: Garage Goodies

Recently, I've decided to look at experimenting with an image series, linked only by format. Although the plate size will be common to all the plates, they will differ in texture and in the materials used. So, I've been raiding the bags of goodies in my garage (that's what garages are for) for…

Printing in Lincoln. Untitled: black and gold image (detail)

Print Stories: Printing in Lincoln

Last Wednesday, I spent a whole day (yes, a whole day!) printing in the brilliant Print Room at the University Lincoln. The day started slowly, as I was having difficulty wiping the plates clean in the backgrounds, where I wanted no ink to appear. I was also experimenting with the inclusion of…

Elisabeth Frink. Riace II, III, and IV

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yesterday saw my first visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The park is a delight, even in the rain! Works by Brtish and international artists abound and seem to be perfectly situated within the stunning surroundings of the park. Pieces by Moore, Hepworth, Caro, Goldsworthy and Long, plus many others…

London Calling 3

Whilst in London, I caught up with a friend for lunch and a stroll around Tate Modern. Then, we headed over the Millennium Bridge towards St Paul's Cathedral. Just opposite the cathedral, we spotted some familiar eyes on a familiar face, but in an unfamiliar setting...

Painting by Cy Twombly: untitled (Bacchus) 2006-8

London Calling 2

The recent London trip wasn't entirely about my Royal Academy submission. I also took advantage of the close proximity of London galleries to get along to some interesting stuff – at the RA, Tate Modern and the National Gallery.

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition – deliveries sign

London Calling 1

I have just returned from a couple of days in London. The main reason for the visit was to take my entry along to the Royal Academy Summer Show for the second stage of judging. Having taken my large, wrapped package on a crowded overground train from South London to Charing Cross, I decided not to…

Print Stories: Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

I really feel that I'm tempting fate by even writing about this at this stage. A couple of months ago, I entered two images into the first stage of judging for this year's Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. One of them made it into the second round. So, tomorrow, I'll travel down to London with the…

print Story: 'Darker Forms' image 3

Print Stories: Darker Forms 3

Following my last post, which showed the prepared plates ready to print at The Ropewalk, I can now show the prints! In fact, I didn't get the time to print as many as I had hoped. This was partly due to a few factors; a full compliment of printers, limiting access to the press, difficulty wiping…

Print Stories: Darker Forms 2

Really excited to be heading back to The Ropewalk today! It'll be good to meet up with Tim Needham and the others in the Print Room group again, as I haven't printed there since November. From the last plate making session, I seem to have loads of plates to print. This gives me a problem – which…

Print Stories: Darker Forms

It's been a while since my last post. I've just been incredibly busy in my 'day job' – design consultancy work for clients and teaching in Lincoln. The break has been positive though, as I've been able to return to printmaking with a clear mind – ready to continue with experiments in texture and…

Brigg: section from research notes

Print Stories: A Sense of Place (part 1)

It's been a while, I know, but I'm not one to post if I've nothing substantial to say. Well, now I do. In my last post, I mentioned that I might be thinking of a change of direction for my imagery, using the collagraph technique. I now have an idea for what I hope will be quite an interesting and…

'Death of The Green Man' – collagraph print

Print Stories: Winter Solstice – conclusion

In my last post, I introduced my latest project, a brief set by The Ropewalk, on the theme of the Winter Solstice. After the initial sketches (shown above), I developed them a bit more, before committing making the plates. I had always intended that the series would show the dark side of the myths…

Preparatory sketch: 'The Sun God'

Print Stories: Winter Solstice – beginnings

I have a new project! For its Christmas exhibition, my usual print venue, The Ropewalk, will be holding an exhibition of prints on the intriguing theme of the Winter Solstice. Here's a flavour of the brief for what could be a series of up to three prints each: As the year dies, days shorten, night…

Inking tools in the print room

Print Stories: Lincolnshire Coast 7

In my last post, I described the creation of the last two plates in this series. A couple of days ago, instead of my using my usual venue, The Ropewalk, I went along to a different venue to print them. Whilst I love printing there, it's not always possible or convenient – Barton upon Humber is an…

Plate detail, with matchsticks embedded in the surface

Print Stories: Lincolnshire Coast 6

Today, I worked on creating the third and fourth printing plates for what will become the 'Lincolnshire Coast' series of prints. Once I'm happy with the eventual prints, these two images will complete the series. I'll then work out what to do with them! My options will be to try and sell them…

The carborundum/varnish mixture painting process complete

Print Stories: Back to the new 2

Yesterday, I printed the plates I was working on in my post 'Back to the new I'. These plates were first printed around a year ago, but I wasn't happy with some of the results. In the previous post, I described the remedial work on the plates, to strengthen the surfaces and add contrast in some…

Lincolnshire Coast series, image 2: print hanging in studio at The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber

Print Stories: Lincolnshire Coast 5

Yesterday, I went along for another print session at The Ropewalk. My main aim was to print the second image for what will become the 'Lincolnshire Coast' series of prints. In the previous post on this, I showed how the printing plate was made. Here, it's all about the print. Going back to the…

Painting the carborundum/varnish mixture onto the plate surface

Print Stories: Back to the new 1

Tomorrow, I'll be off to The Ropewalk for another printing session. Right now though, I'm in the middle of sifting through some printing plates from earlier this year and last year. Amongst them, I've found a few that I wanted to print in a completely different way; lighter, darker or using a…

Print Stories: Lincolnshire Coast 4

Following on from the first Lincolnshire Coast image, I've been thinking about what to do next with the idea. Generally, I only two or three images around the same theme. This is because I quickly become bored with an idea and want to move on to something fresh. However, I enjoyed the method of…

The Hepworth Wakefield. Exterior.

Wakefield trip

I had an interesting trip to Wakefield yesterday. The main reason for going was to see the current temporary exhibitions at The Hepworth. Having tweeted my anticipation ahead of the visit, I have to say that the reality left me disappointed. First up was Franz West's 'Where is my Eight?'. This is…

Brenda Hartill print: 'Summer Variations IV'

Influences 1: Brenda Hartill

Influences' will be an occasional look at some of the people, places and things that inspire and influence my printmaking. Around 20 years ago, when we were living in South London, I wandered into a small local gallery. I happened to notice the print below. At that point, I hadn't heard of Brenda…

What's in 'The Box': box contents

What’s in the box?

Like most printmakers, I don't have the room or the money to create a print studio at home. However, I do create my printing plates there, on the dining room table. To print the plates, I transport my inks, paper and other paraphernalia the one hour journey to the Print Room at The Ropewalk in…

Revealing the print: 1

Print Stories: Liquid and powder 2

Yesterday, I took the prepared plates shown in the previous post along to The Ropewalk to print. As always, a lovely group of 8 people were there to continue to work on plates begun at home or at the previous session in the Print Room. Others, including myself, had plates ready to be inked and…

Partial coating of carborundum

Print Stories: Liquid and powder 1

Sometimes, I use print sessions at The Ropewalk to new versions of plates that have been printed before, in an attempt to improve the quality of the print in some way, or to try different inks. This time though, I want to use some spare time to prepare completely new plates. This series is a…

Print Stories: Lincolnshire Coast 3

In the last post, I described how the printing plate for the collagraph was made. Here, I'll complete this 'Print Story' by showing and describing how it was printed. Yesterday, I loaded all my printing paraphernalia in the car and made my usual the familiar one hour journey to join in a…

'Lincolnshire Coast' series

Print Stories: Lincolnshire Coast 2

In the first post, I described the inspiration behind the choice of subject matter for the image. Here, I'll focus on how the printing plate for the collagraph was made. With my sketch of that stretch of Lincolnshire coast in mind, I decided that I wanted the print to have a long and relatively…

Moggs Eye beach, Lincolnshire

Print Stories: Lincolnshire Coast 1

Many different materials can be used to create textures. I have used various fabrics (including torn up dishcloths), plastic netting (such as fruit bags), threads, plastic washers, household filler, PVA, varnishes, kitchen foil, adhesive tape etc. Alongside these, Carborundum is particularly…