A Certain Symmetry at SSA Open 2016

 

A Certain Symmetry
A Certain Symmetry (the print with lines dusted out of each design by Steven)

A little bit of background on the project Steven Blench designed and I printed as an etching and which has been included at the SSA open exhibition this year. It was great to get the piece on the front cover of the exhibition catalogue and also hung up at the entrance to the show as a huge blow up on vinyl.

Steven and his wife Ffion design and make plasterworks including highly ornate cornices and ceiling roses, among other things. They were to exhibit some of their work in Edinburgh earlier this year and Steven asked me if I had any ideas as to how they could render what they do in a 2D format to hang in a frame alongside their other work.

I pictured an etching featuring several of Steven’s ceiling rose designs as a good way to show off the incredible detail at it’s best. Etching on copper gives a very precise line and Steven’s designs obviously required a huge amount of accuracy. So I prepared a large piece of copper plate onto which Steven enscribed his designs before I etched it and ran off a couple of prints.

We hoped to get something we could at least hang in that exhibition, but when the print was pulled it was probably much better than either of us had expected (see top picture). Steven and I agreed that this could be an interesting collaboration with more prints to come as a sideline to what we normally do. He took one of the prints home and, a couple of days later, came back with it having dusted down some lines and areas leaving the final design more prominent (bottom left).

close-up-of-design-2
Close up of middle left design in the top photo with chalked out lines

This process informs the next, which is to render the 2D design into a 3D plasterwork (top photo).

plasterwork
The final plasterwork of the middle right design in the top photo

The print was exactly what we had hoped for but then one of those happy accidents occured that added that something extra to the final piece. I’d been keen to show the prints to Steven asap, so they hadn’t been allowed to dry properly. I resoaked and dried them out on an old piece of plywood, not realising there was a residue of sepia watercolour on it. This soft tone bled out across the wet paper giving the prints a lovely ‘antique’ feel.

Prints are available from the RSA building on Princes Street until 24/11/16
£260 unframed (£350 framed)

See link for exhibition details: SSA 2016 Exhibition

See more of Steven and Ffion’s work at: Chalk Plaster Design: Our Story

Dean Village (No. 4) & the Macmillan Art Show 2016

Dean Village Dusk
Dean Village (Copper Roofs) 67x50cm – mixed media

Here’s my latest in the Dean Village hand-finished etching series. This one, the forth in the series, took by far the longest to complete, but I think there is more fine detail and a greater variety of colours in this than any of the other 3 completed so far. I used copper acrylic paint to give some of the rooftops more lustre and if you look very closely you might see some gold dust stars in the night sky.

I’m taking a break from this project now to work on a large-scale oil painting of the Bank of Scotland building, which sits atop The Mound in Edinburgh. This particular building has always been one of my favourites in the city and it helps to make that Old Town skyline one of the best in the world (to my mind anyway).

Here’s how it’s looking after the first wash of colours. A very long way to go as you can see.

Bank of Scotland, The Mound (WIP)
Bank of Scotland, The Mound (WIP)

Macmillan Art Show 2016

I’m delighted to have had an etching accepted for the 2016 Macmillan Art Show. This takes place at Bonhams between 25-28th August and further details can be found in Scottish Art Scene article below (click the link to view the pdf). My etching of Arthurs Seat & Calton Hill is featured in the article, along with a short blurb about how it was made. Some of the other artists who’s works are also going to be on show are also featured.

http://scottish-art-scene.com/2016.Edinburgh.Macmillan.Art.Show.pdf

© All material is copyright of Clive Ramage 2016