Monoprinting @ Cheltenham Science Festival

This week I am on the road at Cheltenham Science Festival. I have a station set up in the #Makershack

I am running a monoprint stall.

So…’What is a monoprint?’
Have a look at Tate’s definition here:

I am a big fan of monoprinting because each print is unique and you can get unexpected results. I love that it is a highly experimental process during which happy accidents can occur and you can end up with a print you didn’t initially expect. It is also very simple and a lovely hands-on technique. During the day we have had lots of visiting schools coming to the Makershack and they seem to be absolutely loving getting stuck in and creating!

I am teaching a simple hand pressed technique that could easily be continued at home with materials which are easy to get hold of.

At my station in the Makershack we are using glass plates, ink rollers, water based block ink, newsprint paper and lolly sticks. This is our method if you would like to try it at home:

Inking up a plate with a thin layer of evenly distributed ink. Draw an image into the ink using a lolly stick.

The next step is to carefully lay paper over the plate and then hand press the paper onto the plate (circular motions with the palm of your hand tends to work best). Then carefully take two corners along the shot edge of the paper and peel off the paper to reveal your print.

With this method you will create a background the colour of your ink and the image you have drawn (the scraped away ink) will be the colour of your paper. If desired, after creating your first print, you can take a second print, called a ‘ghost print’, which will also be a unique print.

I have started to fill the windows of the Makershack with prints while they are drying, with anyone welcome to return to collect their prints during the week. It is a constantly changing art installation. If, at the end of the week, there are any uncollected prints I am going to bind them to create a book.

I am having a great time here at the Cheltenham Science Festival bringing the joy of printing to young and old and everyone else in-between!

My stall was featured in two of the festival highlight videos on YouTube Here are the links:

The Super Ordinary And Some Rust

Firstly I would like to say thank you to Mission Gallery and the Jane Phillips Award for giving me the opportunity for this digital residency. I am an emerging artist and I am honoured to be here to share my work.

At this point in time I am just coming to the end of one body of work and I’m about to start focusing on something new, so this residency couldn’t come at a better time! I am going to be trying out lots of different techniques and ideas over the next few weeks and posting them here.

My most recent work has been to answer the question ‘What is Super Ordinary?’ Using this quote as a starting point- “How should we take account of, question and describe what happens everyday and recurs everyday; the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual?” Georges Perec, 1973

I came to a natural stopping point in my project when I exhibited some of my work in the Graduate Expressions Exhibition at the Oriel Henry Thomas Gallery at Carmarthen School of Art.

With Every Fibre Of My Being (2022)

Stainless Steel Sink, Stainless Steel Wire Wool, Ink, Acetate

Saskia Fletcher

But when does an artist truly finish a project? The answer is never! Each time I come to the end of a project it becomes part of me, and it’s always ticking away in the background, influencing my new work in some way or another. For me there is always more ideas floating around on the periphery, something to add, something else I want to say or simply something that I just never got around to doing.

So with that in mind this is one of those things… early on in the project I had saved some metal kitchen shelving but hadn’t actually used them for anything. Last week when I was sorting out my garden I found them rusting away in the corner. So I thought I would try out a rust transfer technique I had seen on LuAnn Kessi’s blog. It is a process I have been meaning to do for a long time. You can find the post by LuAnn here:

I used her recipe to create some rust prints on some scrap fabric.

Here are the photos of the process and the results:

I enjoyed this process and I am pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail that has been created on the fabric. I like the different tones and the patchy quality of the outcome. Not all of the details have been picked up, and to me, the imperfection is what makes it all the more interesting. The two prints I made took time (4 days worth of patience!) to create and of course sunshine (which can sometimes be hard to come by in West Wales!) What I like most is that I have collected and captured a moment in the objects history- which is a one off and can never be replicated much like a mono printing – my favourite process.

My Super Ordinary project has turned out to be much more than just creating art. It has also created a new way of thinking for me. Now that I have come to an end of this body of work I know that this project is going to stay with me. I would like to thank Olivia Clemence for setting me the task of defining the Super Ordinary (it was daunting at first!) but it has changed the way I see the world. I will be keeping in mind the Perec quote above as I move forward into a new subject area… I will continue to question everything.

You can find more of my work on my Instagram page