A Creative Crafts Association event, this fair is being held inside Brockholes Nature Reserve, the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. Beautiful setting for this indoor art and craft fair. Please note this nature reserve is a dog free zone, so do not bring your dog for the day (too hot to stay in the car!)Read More
Cyanotypes originated in the 1840s and was one of the first non silver techniques to create photographic images. It was later adopted as a copying technique, becoming known as “blue print”. It is a negative process, so where light does not hit the sensitised material it remains white. I mix a solution of chemicals and paint it on a heavyweight paper, or fabric, which is put in a dark place to dry (as the solution renders the material sensitive to UV light). I then place items on top of the paper which form the subject of my image. If making a wet cyanotype I spray it with cider vinegar or use soap bubbles as they react with the paper. I place glass on top and expose to sunshine, or on dark days you can use a UV lamp. Once happy with the exposure I wash the paper/material until all the residue is gone. As it dries it oxidises, turning blue.
Linocut is a relief printing technique, where an image is carved onto a piece of linoleum. Linoleum is made of rubber and linseed oil, backed with hessian. I draw a sketch and transfer it onto the linoleum. I use a selection of sharp Pfiel tools to carve out my image. I currently only produce mono block prints, but you can also make multi block prints or reduction prints. When happy with my image I use a roller to coat the linoleum with oil based ink. I take a test print by laying a piece of paper on top of the linoleum, and rub it with an even pressure until the image is transferred. For larger prints I use a hydraulic press. The final prints are printed onto archival paper. I use Japanese Hosho paper, which is very lightweight but exceptionally strong and takes ink well.
Homeware, Jewellery & Gifts
Olive & Myrtle is a gorgeous gift shop in Bellingham, Northumberland. Emily stocks handmade, fair trade and artisan goods, and supports local crafters and artists. I am delighted to have my work in her shop. www.wildflowertrading.com
I am proud to have selected cards available to buy from Matthias Winter, Hallstile Bank, Hexham. Please pop in to this fabulous shop, or visit their website. www.matthiaswinter.co.uk
Tearooms & Gift Shop
Falstone Tearooms is situated in the Victorian Old School in the picturesque village of Falstone. Aimee and the team serve delicious food and beverages, my dog George and I regularly pop in for refreshments after walking in nearby Kielder forest. You will find my cards and a selection of framed prints in the gift shop section.
Gillian made us a beautiful linocut of our home in the Cheviot hills, which really captures the sense of place and atmosphere. It was really easy to talk to Gillian and go from an idea to something that works much better than anything I’d imagined at the outset. All in all, a commission is a wonderful way to end up with a piece of art which is unique, which means something special to you, a friend or your family, which has hours of Gillian’s time and skill put into it, and supports a local artist.E. Davies: Northumberland
I came across Gillian’s art at a fair and thought her images of nature and the landscape were beautiful and original. I bought a set of cards, which, actually, I was loathe to send to friends and family as I wanted to keep them for myself, they were so lovely. I checked out Gillian’s website and was simply entranced by the range of her art. Each is so different and so sensitively executed. I bought three prints and more cards, the art came beautifully wrapped and when I opened the packages the pictures were more impressive than the website portrays. Gillian’s art to me is life enhancing, and I send her exquisite cards to a dear family member who really needs to keep in touch with the natural world, and is not able to enjoy it at present. Gillian offers great service and communication as a small business. I highly recommend her work and I shall be buying more of her art in future, to give as presents - well, maybe! More likely the Gillian Swaile art corner of my house will just get bigger, I’m sure I’ll have difficulty letting them go!D. Robinson: Cumbria
Design Commission - cards & giclee prints
I was asked to create bespoke cards and prints that would be exclusively stocked by Celtic Crafts, an established family business situated in a 400 year old cottage on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. The designs feature the wildlife and natural beauty of this historic island just off the Northumbrian coast, which can be accessed daily via the causeway.
My friend’s family breed award winning alpacas near Hexham, Nero Black Alpaca. This alpaca print was commissioned for a family gift. It is a mixed media artwork print, combining my original linocut print with digital art. Presented as a Giclée Print, expertly double mounted and conservation backed by FSC certified printers who are members of the Fine Arts Guild.
Private Commission - Linocut Print
I was asked to create a linocut print of a holiday home in the Cheviot Hills. It was to be a night time scene showing where the property was nestled in the vast valley.It sits beneath the hills with the glorious dark skies above. When I visited the property to get a sense of the place I could clearly see that some badgers had been foraging in the garden!
DesIgn Commission - Pet Sympathy Cards
Orchard House Vets are based in Northumberland and like to “treat your pets as if they are our pets”. When a client’s beloved pet sadly passes away, a card of condolence is sent. I designed a bespoke sympathy card for Orchard House incorporating their company logo on the back.
Design commission - Pet condolence cards
Conanvet is a long established independent veterinary practice in the picturesque Scottish Highlands, with branches in Conon Bridge, Gairloch, Ullapool and Fortrose. They are a mixed practice who care for animals large and small, and I was pleased to design and supply their bespoke small animal condolence cards.