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Winter Blue
Mind Map

This winter I decided to make sure I wasn’t bored, having had to cancel all my courses that usually fill my time. So I decided to go back to school, as it were and enrolled on several online courses. It turns out they all seem to have the same theme, which is – here, now. Here being The Dove, Somerset, and now being Wintertime in a Pandemic. Alongside the courses, and keeping me sane, I’ve been planting trees – lots of them, along with volunteers – on our re-wilding project Wild Lea.

Rainbow over the trees

So trees started to be the theme for the different courses I was doing. Firstly, Placemaking Winter, with Alice Fox. This involves choosing a location near to home, and making dyes and inks from what you find there.

Placemaking sketchbook page

Secondly, Mokuhanga with Robin Frood.

Robin demonstrates Mokuhanga

Japanese woodblock printing using water- based inks. I started using standard pigments

but then experimented with some of my botanical inks

This one, appropriately, used oak gall ink. There’s a long way to go with this exploration, and I shall have to make tons more ink as it spreads very thinly. But the next thing I did was overlay a botanical ink drawing with a mokuhanga print, thus

At the moment I’m wrestling with a multi block print involving Scots Pines, where the block comes out much better than the botanical inks print

So, alongside these two courses, believe it or not, I am doing a year’s online Introduction to Herbalism at the Stroud School of Health. Much more of a struggle! It’s serious school time, and that was such a long time ago….but I’m enjoying making teas, and, currently, investigating herbalism worldwide. I imagine trees might come into this too, or at least plants that grow around trees.

As if that wasn’t all enough, I’ve just enrolled on an artists books course ‘Thinking about Books’ with Les Bicknell of Leicester Print Workshop. Starts in February, so no images yet, but I’m looking forward to new ideas that help me organise all this making into something coherent.

Coherence is what is needed.

Mok 4

This year we are running two studio-based courses and one mainly outdoor-based course: details as follows:

Landscape into Etching

July 18, 19, 20

Tutor: Jenny Graham

Fee: £175

Times: 10 – 4

Further details to be announced: briefly, this course is a marriage between getting out in the landscape to draw, and coming back into the studio to make prints, so it is designed for both painters and printmakers, or people wanting to develop either of those and the links between them. Suitable for all levels of ability.

Summer Flight JG

Drawing in the landscape 3

 

Mokuhanga – Japanese Water-based Woodcut and Monoprint

August 15, 16, 17

Tutor: Robin Frood

Fee: £175

Times: 10 – 4

Further details to be announced; briefly, you will learn a technique that uses the free flowing water-based inks of Mokuhanga to create work that either has structure and can be repeated, using woodcut, or the one-off approach of monoprint, or a combination of both. Suitable for both beginners and more advanced students.

Mok 6

Woodwork and Tree House Design

May 6 & 27

June 17, 18

July 8 & 22

August 12, 13 & 26, 27

September 2 & 16, 17

Tutor: Jim Blackburn

Fee: £30 per day,  or by donation, of skills, materials, money…

Times: 9 – 6

Taking part in designing and building the Dove Tree Hide will be a very broad and project-specific activity. Participants will learn basic carpentry, joinery and green woodworking skills, ie splitting and cleaving oak, as well as how to use more modern materials and connections. Tree species will be considered and discussed, as will wood science, and building biology (why wood rots etc). We will explore how structures work, designing with the materials at hand as we make and build.

Jim writes: ‘The last thing I want is for people to feel any pressure on them as regards ability or experience as we will be a mixed group of people; young and old, male and female, skilled or unskilled. I will be filling in the blanks (of the tree house build) as necessary so as not to lean  heavily on the group, rather I am looking for an exciting voyage of discovery, design and making!’

Jim with ladder

Please contact Bron Bradshaw at bronbradshaw@yahoo.com, or phone 01458 850682 or text 07905644015, to register your interest in any of the above courses, and I’ll send you the booking form and further details.

 

Regular etching classes start again in October: please contact Bron if you are interested (Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday mornings)

Robin Frood is coming over from Venice again this August and is offering a 3 day Mokuhanga (Ukiyoe) course August 17, 18 and 19, here in my studio at the Dove.
Here is her course description:

The Japanese woodblock printing technique, mokuhanga, which was used to great effect in the mid-nineteenth century by artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige, uses pigments and rice starch which are applied to the woodblock with a brush and printed by hand using a bamboo pad. It is a technique that has recently seen a widespread revival due to the fact it is ecological and allows a great flexibility of approach.
This three day course will explore a range of expressive possibilities from the traditional method to more modern experimental techniques.
Course fee will be £165 which will include basic materials, paper and inks: more expensive paper will be available for students to buy if they wish.
Courses times: 10 – 4 daily
If you are interested, please fill in the form I’ve attached to this email and return it to me with a deposit of £65, payable to B J Bradshaw, at
Dove Studios
Barton Road
Butleigh
Somerset
BA6 8TL
(sorry, no form attached: this was from an email I sent. Contact me on bronbradshaw@yahoo.com/)

Prints hanging up to dry

Prints hanging up to dry

Finished prints stretched on boards to dry

Finished prints stretched on boards to dry

Robin examines a print

Robin examines a print

Collaged print

Collaged print

More prints

More prints

End of course discussion

End of course discussion

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