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 ambitious project.

First though, I need to backtrack a little. Since I started printmaking, around 22 months ago, I’ve been trying to push the limits of the technique, in terms of materials used to make printing plates and the limits of the press size. For me, this has resulted in some really interesting results, which others have been kind enough to say they also like. Almost all of my images to date have been abstract in nature. This has been most deliberate. Looking back, I think that I started to become ‘serious’ about printmaking because I saw it as a completely separate form of visual expression from that of my ‘day job’ as a graphic designer. It was what I needed, almost as an ‘antidote’ to the necessary restrictions of client work. Therefore, I have been most careful not to plan the development of my images too much. Instead, I let the image happen, through messing around with a variety of materials and the process of making the plate.

For this new project, I’ve decided to focus on an idea based around specific places in Lincolnshire – the county I’ve called home for the last five years. My wife are inquisitive and nosy people – we love to travel around the county and beyond, visiting towns and villages just to see what they’re like. My research started with making some notes about some of these places: rivers, landmarks and topographical features, past and present industries, famous people, markets etc. But, whilst it was interesting to discover these facts and details, I felt that any imagery based on this information would be too complicated, too ‘planned’ and deliberate and too figurative.

'A Sense of Place' notes on Brigg


Some of the research notes on the town of Brigg

However, what I found most interesting was the satellite view of each place. The major roads, streets, rivers and canals carve out a strange, web-like pattern, which of course is different in each location. Also interesting is the Ordnance Survey Grid reference number, (above, top right) which I may use in some way on the plate, to pinpoint exact locations in a more oblique way.

Brigg: satellite view


My next step will be to take these line shapes and see what happens when I lay them out using various materials – possibly in string, carborundum, or by cutting lines into a loose surface. I’ve also been looking at how to get the Ordnance Survey number onto a printing plate. To do this, I’ve been messing around with Demo label tape – reversing the tape roll in the dispenser to make sure that it prints the right way round on paper.

As always, if you find the work or the ideas interesting, why not comment here or Tweet to let me know what you think.


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