Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Something completely different...

Towards the end of April, as part of our course, the final year students will be creating a pop-up gallery/shop in Wrexham, and we are tasked with stocking it with lovely things at affordable prices.  Since the glass  pieces I have been working on are somewhat experimental I wasn't sure that they would be suitable (or finished!) so I have gone back to my first love, textiles, and combined it with my second love, printmaking.

I've used various scraps of trim and edgings, some vintage, some reclaimed and some just 'spare', to make a series of collagraph plates.  It's a great way to use pieces that are too small for much else, and even pieces that are falling apart; they can be 'repaired' when they are glued to the  plate.  All you need to remember when you're making the plates is that you can ignore the colour and just concentrate on the texture.

My idea was to create printed backgrounds from the trims onto which I could add 'real' pieces of trim.  I originally thought I would ink the plates in a brown colour to give that vintage feel, but I didn't really like the results, even the palest colour seemed to overpower the delicate pattern and texture.

So I decided to stick to blind embossing, which is a much quicker and cleaner process without the ink, better all round!  I've been having fun 'auditioning' buttons from my button tin and scraps of trim from my ribbon box and I have finally made some decisions and sewn a few on...  I'm struggling to decide which is my favourite.  What do you think?

The paper size for these prints is just under A5; I think the size works well with the scale of the elements.  I am wondering whether to do some A4 sized ones as well or whether the extra 'bits and pieces' needed to fill the space will make them look too cluttered.

When I'm embossing I nearly always have a few disasters where either the plate or the paper moves and the whole thing ends up crooked.  There's nothing really that can be done with those prints except tear them up, which is ideal for making cards.

I was so pleased with these cards that I made a couple more prints on scraps of paper just so I could make some extra for my Etsy shop; I'll be listing them just as soon as I get some decent photographs.

And if you're anywhere near Wrexham during the week 22nd to 26th April, do pop along to the People's Market to see what other lovely things we have on show.


  1. Lovely, lovely work. I think my favourite are the plain white ones - the little ones with the flowers.

    Alix Bigbluebed

  2. lovely

    pity I am not close enough to visit :(

    good luck with the pop up shop !

  3. oh they're so lovely. I think my favourite is bottom right with the pink ricrac and little flower. daft though it seems, it hadn't occurred to me that you didn't need to have used white lace etc in the beginning!

  4. Thank you all :) It is surprisingly difficult to ignore the colour and just concentrate on texture when making up the plate... I have to really make myself look twice at a piece to see whether I can use it if I don't like the colour.

  5. Yes,good luck with the shop. I think these pieces will be very successful.


Helen Smith, artist and maker in glass, print and stitch.


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