I found a Beech Tree stump at Allen Banks with a fabulous shape and having received permission to print it I set out recently on a warm dry day to prepare it. It took a couple of hours to sand it, burn it, wire brush it and finally shellac it, so I needed to return on another day to actually print it. Moss came with me. It was good to chat to people who wandered past, some asked what I was doing, others wanted directions! Everyone felt blessed by the sunshine and beautiful surroundings.
A baby in the middle of the hollow trunk.
As I hand burnish the paper 'moulds' into the surface as this makes sure every millimetre is pressed. The Beech had fallen a while ago- as the wood was soft- so that after charring and wire brushing the brush actually added texture to the wood too. So while I was printing it I wondered how well the ink would transfer as this felt like the most 3D surface I had worked on yet. All I can see of the print as it develops is the shininess on the back of the paper, and only when I look at it at a certain angle to reflect the sunshine.
The print is finished and it looks good! Safely wrapped up ready for the walk back to the car.
The next part of the process is to damp the paper and then stretch it. I am stretching it around a wood frame and it needs to be glued round the edges as the paper pulls significantly as it dries and any loose edges will crease. This is a photo of the wet paper, glued and ready to be left to dry.
The paper dried really well and now sounds like a drum! This image is in the Craft, Design, Innovate Exhibition as part of the Great Exhibition of The North at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle-upon-Tyne which starts on 3rd June - 26th August 2018
The Beech will now head off to Grizedale Forest to be part of my solo exhibition at Grizedale Forest Cafe gallery 14th November 2018- 17th February 2019