It’s been quite a productive start to the year for me, and I have realised that the artist residency I did in Japan in 2018 is still having quite a profound effect on me two years on – I can feel my work shifting a bit.
Here are a couple of new pieces…
These two new pieces are available to buy as part of the #artistsupportpledge movement on Instagram. If you haven’t heard about it, check it out! It is the brainchild of artist Matthew Burrows . Many artists, myself included, have found themselves without work due to the COVID-19 epidemic – whether it be teaching, technical work, exhibiting, or funded project work. Personally, all the courses I was due to be teaching up until September have been cancelled, and the print workshop where I work as Technician is currently closed. The #artistsupportpledge is an attempt to alleviate some of this mental and financial stress, creating a culture of generosity and support for and between artists.
The concept is a simple one. Artists post images of their work on Instagram, which they are willing to sell for no more than £200 each (not including shipping). Anyone can buy the work and every time an artist reaches £1000 of sales, they pledge to spend £200 on another artist/s work.
Follow me on Instagram: @desforgery
If your interested in buying work, do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m excited to be running a few printmaking courses and workshops in the next few months covering various techniques – photo-plate and plywood lithography, etching, and Japanese woodblock printing (Mokuhanga). Still a few places available, and they’d make great gifts for the creative person in your life! More details below…
2 day course at West Yorkshire Print Workshop, Mirfield
Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd December 2018
11am – 5pm
This course will teach you all the basics of hard and soft ground etching, along with aquatint, to enable you to create a wide variety of marks and effects. Hard ground produces crisp, clean lines, while soft ground can create softer, textured, crayon-like lines and impressions. Aquatint is way of creating tone on an etching plate. All these techniques can be used in conjunction to create unique, atmospheric prints.
You will be etching zinc plates using copper sulphate solution, a less toxic alternative to traditional nitric acid. The course is led with a hands-on approach from the start, with the opportunity to produce a good number of prints to take away with you. You will also learn about paper, inking and registration techniques. This is a great course for beginners and those who need a refresher, and can act as a lead-in to membership of WYPW so that you can continue to use and develop the techniques you have learned.
Japanese Woodblock Printing (Mokuhanga) – Taster Session
Day workshop at West Yorkshire Print Workshop, Mirfield
Saturday 9th February 2019
11am – 3pm
Join me for a demonstration of Japanese Woodblock Printing (Mokuhanga). I will also be talking a little about my residency in Japan where I learned the technqiue, and showing some of the work I made during the residency.
Alternative Techniques in Lithography
5 day summer school at Leicester Print Workshop
Tuesday 23rd – Saturday 27th July 2019
10am – 4pm
Learn experimental processes with and without the use of a press over five days in this Summer School.
Join artist and printmaker Kathryn Desforges for an immersive 5 days of hands-on printmaking.
This course will teach you the basics of plywood and photo-plate lithography with an experimental approach, and a focus on using hand-drawn imagery, (although there will be opportunity to incorporate photographic or digital imagery as well).
Once you have to got to grips with the techniques involved, you will have the time to practice, and develop your work using either or both of these processes to create hybrid prints.
I’ve been in Japan now for 3 weeks, and so far it’s been fantastic! I started my trip with a couple of days in Tokyo being a tourist, then made my way to the Mi-Lab residence in Fujikawaguchiko to start the artist residency learning ‘Mokuhanga’ (Japanese woodblock printing).
The residence is in a really beautiful spot – near Lake Kawaguchi, overlooked by Mount Fuji (Fujisan!). It’s been cloudy for the last couple of days so he’s been hiding, but when he does pop up it’s as if out of nowhere…turn a corner and suddenly there he is!
The first week was very intensive, being taught all the basics of the Mokuhanga technique by Chihiro Taki – a Japanese printmaker who makes the most beautiful woodblock prints. (I recommend checking out her website: http://www.chihirotaki.com)
To start off we all did a little presentation about ourselves and our work, which was an opportunity to get an insight into each other’s art practice, and an understanding of why we were all there. Taki San then presented some of her work, and seeing her prints in the flesh really blew us all away – such subtle colours and textures. She then gave us a brief history of woodblock printing, and we got straight on with the technical stuff – covering ‘Iruwake’ (colour separation), the ‘kento’ registration system (the best, simplest and easiest way the register prints!), and introducing us to the tools we would be using to carve the plywood blocks – the ‘Hangi-toh’ knife, the ‘Maru-toh’ gouge, and the ‘Kento-nomi’ knife.
Taki San then went on to demonstrate the printing process. The block is inked up with watercolour or guache paints, using ‘Maru-bake’ and ‘Te-bake’ brushes, along with ‘Nori’ (rice paste- very important in the process). The damp paper is placed on the block, (prepared the day before), and a ‘baren’ is used to apply pressure on the back to transfer the ink to the paper. (This mainly happens through absorption – the fibres of the kozo paper ‘drinking’ up the ink from the block.) She also showed us the different effects you can get if you alter the amount of ink, water, nori and pressure used – including ‘gomazuri’ (sesame effect), ‘mokumizuri’ (wood grain effect), and ‘bokashi’ (gradient).
Phew! It’s a lot to take in, but so much fun and a it’s so exciting to be learning something which is so different from the kind of printmaking I am used to. Being here has made me realise that I haven’t had this much time dedicated to learning and creating work since university – 13 years ago!
This is the first post I’ve managed to write since being here, as I’ve been trying to spend as much of my time as possible just sitting at my desk and making….but I will try to post again soon, as It’s a good way of reviewing what I’ve learned.
I’ll leave you with a few images from the last few weeks. Thanks for reading 🙂
P.s. My apologies if I’ve spelled an or the Japanese words wrong!
Join me at The Hepworth Print Fair
Fri 2nd – Sun 4th March 2018, 10 – 5
Private view Thursday 1st March, 6 – 8pm
Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5AW
T: +44 (0)1924 247360
E: email@example.comI’m really excited to have a stand at this year’s Hepworth Print Fair. I’ll be showing a selection of recent prints and artist books, along with a new range of greeting cards, available exclusively at the print fair, and afterwards through my Etsy shop. (Sneak Peak HERE). If you haven’t been before I highly recommend it, it’s a great atmosphere and an excellent place to buy original prints and gifts. Hope to see you there!
New Light Prize Exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery
Exhibition continues until 2 June 2018
Open Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 4pm
Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield, HD1 2SU
Free EntryMy ‘Peak’ etching starts it’s tour around the UK with the New Light Prize Exhibition, first stop Huddersfield Art Gallery!
It is a chance to see some of the North’s finest artists in one of the North’s finest galleries. From the hyperreal to the purely abstract, from printmaking to sculpture, this high-profile open exhibition celebrates contemporary artists from all corners of the North of England, including the winner of the £10,000 Valeria Sykes Award.
All works will be for sale.
Click Here for Exhibition Catalogue
I’m really excited to be showing some new litho work in this group show at Tarpey Gallery in October. The common link is the lithography fellowship at Leicester Print Workshop, which was for me a transformative experience.
The work I’ll be showing is all based on time spent lurking around Canadian woodland – noticing, observing, reflecting, and being present.
There will be some fantastic work on show, highlighting the creative possibilities of lithography.
More info on Tarpey Gallery website: http://tarpeygallery.com/exhibition/a-study-in-stone/
I’m having a January sale! To celebrate the New Year you can get 25% off all items in my Etsy shop until 31st January. There are a few colourful collages, prints and artist books in there to brighten up your winter! Head over to my Etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kathryndesforges) and use the code HAPPYJANUARY25 at the checkout. Happy January all!
I’ve spent some time in the studio at Leicester Print Workshop recently, taking photographs for a basic step-by-step guide to stone lithography. While the photos were meant to be used as still images to illustrate the process, I realised they might look good put together as a little animation sequence – so here it is!