The Rattle of a Simple Man

  • Look what's coming to Dulwich...

     

    I'm pleased to announce that the Penfold Press will be hosting a show of prints at the Jeannie Avent Gallery in Dulwich. The show marks the Penfold Press's first collaboration with Art Market and runs from 10th - 20th April.  It will feature a mixture of new work and old favorites, including the new prints by Emily Sutton and Angela Harding. I hope you can join us.

  • Angela Harding at the Penfold Press

     

     

    The fantastic Angela Harding visited the studio this month to begin work on her first screen print with the Penfold Press. The new edition explores Angela’s fascination with the countryside and centres on a fox venturing out from the undergrowth.

    Here, Angela can be seen working on one of the layers that represent one of the six colours that will be used to complete the final print.
    With work now complete on the first series of proofs the finished image will be ready for the start of April, keep checking www.penfoldpress.co.uk for more updates.

     

     


  • New work 2015

    2015 looks set to be a busy and exciting time at the Penfold Press. Over the coming months I start work on a number of new prints and projects, some with old friends and some with new.

    The first of these projects is a new print by Emily Sutton based upon a parade of toys. Over the last month, we have reworked the image with the addition of new colours and layers. Work on the print now complete and Emily is due to sign the edition this week. Keep checking the Penfold Press website or our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates.

    After that is the next in Emily’s alphabet series K is for Kittens and Knitting. Following on from J is for Jug and Emily’s sell-out show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, K is for Kittens and Knitting will no doubt bring a little warmth to the cold winter months. Emily has completed the eight stencils needed for each of the colours and work starts on proofing the image next week.

    February sees the return of Mark Hearld to the Penfold Press and the beginning of a new Linocut. Over the years Mark and I have worked together to produce a range of prints that incorporate Mark’s love of nature and his interest in printmaking. It’s great to get him back into the studio and working on a new edition. If you want to see some of our past efforts you can do so by clicking on Mark’s name within the artist section of this website or if you’d like to find out more about Mark’s prints you could always check out the fantastic ‘Mark Hearld’s Workbook’ published by Merrell.

    Later in February Angela Harding will be working at the studio to produce her first screen print with the Penfold Press. I’ve been an admirer of Angela’s work for some time now and I’m greatly looking forward to working with her to develop this new image. It’s always exciting to be working with new artists and I’m sure Angela will bring something new to the studio’s growing catalogue of work.

  • Penfold Press Archive

      
    The exhibition, Ed Kluz, Ink and graphite on paper, 2010

     

    One of the best things about being printmaker is the collection of proofs and other 'oddments' that you gather over the years. At the Penfold Press all printers proof's, sketches, doodles, colour trials and experiments are gathered together in a plan chest draw.  Two such examples can be seen here. 

    The first is a quick sketch from 2010 by Ed Kluz that outlines an idea for a pub sign. At only 10cm in height, the design is part of a series of thumbnails that developed the composition and positioning of the typography. Images like this are invaluable when developing prints and are often used for reference long into the printing. As sometimes happens, this sketch was never fully developed into a finalised print, so it remains as a tantalising glimpse of what might be. 

     

     

     'Untitled', Mark Hearld, Monoprint on paper, 2003

     

    The second is an early mono printed doodle by Mark Hearld that was made for fun whilst waiting for ink to dry. It’s an example of the playfulness Mark brings to the studio and his compulsion to make imagery. Made in 2003 this quick image shows the development of some of the motifs that Mark would develop over the coming years and acts as an interesting forerunner to his later prints.

    You can find prints by both Mark Hearld and Ed Kluz at www.penfoldpress.co.uk

  • Feste Dog

     

    With Emily’s show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park opening next week it seems a good time to post an image of one of Mark Hearld’s screen prints made for his solo show at YSP in 2012. Based upon his own trusted companion Feste, ‘Feste Dog’ is one of a number of images Mark has created over the years that include his pets. You can read about Mark's show here http://www.ysp.co.uk/exhibitions/mark-hearld-birds-and-beasts

  • Patterned Paper

    I've just finished a new batch of patterned paper for the fantastic John Sandoe (Books) of Chelsea. For anyone who hasn't visited, John Sandoe's is one of the best independent bookshops in London and well worth a look. The design above is by Michael Kirkman. Over the past few years, I have been supplying John Sandoe's with a variety of different patterned papers, including seven designs by Mark Hearld. Each pattern is hand printed onto craft paper and makes fine wrapping for any book.

     

     

  • Handbound sketchbooks

        

    J visited the studio last month. J has the distinction of being the press’s first ‘Pen Friend’ and has supported the studio and suffered my (builders) tea for the past four years. While he was here, I was able to show him my new hand bound sketchbooks and with their unique screen printed covers.

    These new sketchbooks combine two of the things I love the most about the Penfold Press, collaboration with like-minded people and a sense of fun. Having the opportunity to work alongside fellow artisans to produce objects of interest always brings a sense of enjoyment and excitement to the studio. Looking back, the Penfold patterned papers that have proved so popular started life as just that, something that Mark Hearld and I could make that was direct, unfussy and above all fun to print.

    My new sketchpads hopefully carry this on, bringing together as they do this sense of fun and the opportunity to work with someone new. Handbound at the Papercut Bindery by Roger Grech, the new Penfold Press sketchbooks have a unique screen printed cover and are each designated an individual number. Alongside this number are the details of the elements contained within its random design, in the example above the more eagle-eyed amongst you might be able to glimpse 'I is for Ice Cream' by Emily Sutton and 'Feste Dog' by Mark Hearld. When beginning a new print, I usually keep a small selection of paper near to hand to proof colour and test the screens. These sheets are handy for maintaining an even flow of ink after cleaning and over time, as they build layer upon random layer, they begin to take on a life of their own. I’m always drawn to these sheets and often show them to the artists as they point to some unexpected use of colour or juxtaposition of an image. Used now to provide decoration for these lovely sketchbooks I’m glad to be able to share them with you for the first time.

    These books bring together the most beautiful craftsmanship and bookbinding tradition with the carefree, random abstraction of their screen printed covers. They will be available through the website towards the end of July; I hope you enjoy them. 

     

     

  • Catching a Mouse

     

     

    Now available for pre-order.

     

    ‘Catching a mouse’ is the first in a series of new prints to be released throughout the summer and continues Emily’s fascination with Victorian transferware ceramics. “I wanted to reinterpret the mugs in a bright and graphic way, building on my ongoing series of watercolor paintings exploring the same subject. I’ve become obsessed with these ceramics and I’m currently developing my own range of plates and mugs that take direct influence from the transferware tradition." Emily Sutton’s new screenprint ‘Catching a mouse’ is now available at a special pre-order price of £165 until Friday 18th July 2014. All pre-orders will be dispatched on this date after which the print will revert to its full price of £195. Click on 'Artists Prints' for more details of how to order your print.


     

  • A first look at Emily Sutton's new print.

     

    Emily's preparatory drawing

    There is always an air of excitement when new work comes to the studio and when Emily arrived on Friday with the beginnings of three new screen prints I couldn’t help but look forward to getting started. I’m often asked how the prints are developed and if they are based on another piece of art, a painting for example? Well, the answer is 'no' and to a certain degree 'yes.' Each new print is different but hopefully the photo’s below will help explain the process to those who are unfamiliar with original printmaking. 

    It is often useful to make a preparatory sketch that develops the composition and some of the smaller elements that will be explored in the finished image. As with all the prints made at the Penfold Press, no pre-existing piece of art has been photographed or reproduced to create our print. In this case, Emily has roughed out the detail of the image and explored some of the colour combinations that will occur. It is from this sketch that the print will be based.

     

    Making the positives that allow us to print Emily's images

     

     

    Drawn on drafting film, the image shows the four hand-drawn stencils that will be used to create the finished print. Each of these layers is drawn directly onto the transparent film with a mixture of materials. Using the preparatory sketch as a guide, Emily has produced one stencil for each of the four colours she intends to use. Although each of the stencils is created in either black ink or an opaque red, the final image will be printed in any colour of Emily’s choosing. Sat on top is the last colour, one that Emily has labelled red/brown.

     

     Our initial colour experiments.

     

     

    This image shows some of our early colour experiments, dabbed out onto a piece of paper with fingers and thumbs. The colours that Emily used on the preparatory drawing gives a basic guide when mixing and to this Emily always brings a strong sense of the tone she requires.

     

    The finished colours, mixed and ready for the proofing process.

     

     

    Now all that is left to do is to process the screens themselves and make the first initial proof. Once complete, this proof will be the first time that Emily will see the four stencils printed in their chosen colours, one on top of the other. Keep checking the Penfold Press blog or our Facebook page to see that first image and for details of its availability.

  • Studio Visit

    Emily Sutton visited the studio last week to collect the materials needed for her new alphabet print. With the key line drawing complete Emily was keen to get back to her studio to begin work on the stencils required for each of the colours.

    After speaking to Emily about the image, talk turned to the subject of her upcoming Yorkshire Sculpture Park show. With the show opening in mid November Emily is already hard at work producing the work that will no doubt delight all those who visit. We hope to have some smaller new prints included in the show and with this in mind, Emily decided to take a few extra materials with her.

  • Books to be found in the studio

    For those of you who might be interested in this kind of thing, I’ve included a couple of the books that can be found, (usually wedged under a tub of ink), within the studio. When all the screens are cleaned and the prints are drying in the racks these smudged books are my usual means of filling time. They act as both inspiration and a gentle reward at the end of the repetitive printing process. Here are two that I have gone back to regularly over the last month or so.

     


            

     

    In the Sweet Bye Bye - Margaret Kilgallen

    As far as I am aware the only book dedicated to the brief life and work of the US artist Margaret Kilgallen. I can’t remember where or when Kilgallen's work first caught my eye. Possibly it was the film of Kilgallen herself painting upon the trains of San Francisco. The film captures Kilgallen, along with her husband Barry McGee tagging their way across the freight trains of the US and decorating them with her folk-tinged imagery. ‘In the Sweet Bye Bye’ captures the spirit of her work and documents her distinctive images across the galleries and walls of the US through photos, paintings and sketchbook pages. With her sign-makers eye for typography, Kilgallen was drawn to the beauty of the wavering line, the hand made and a fascination with the imperfect. ‘In the Sweet Bye Bye’ is well worth a look if you can find it, if not seek out the film ‘Beautiful Losers.’ Here, along with a range of others, Kilgallen discussed her interests and explored why she made art.

     

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    The Great War by Joe Sacco

    Having enjoyed Sacco’s brilliant journalistic account of his visit to Palestine during the late ’90s, I have followed his career as America’s foremost journalist/cartoonist with great interest. His latest book, published late last year by Jonathan Cape, captures the nightmare reality of the first day of the battle of the Somme in all its breathtaking and unflinching detail. A wordless, 24ft panoramic ‘The Great War’ is slightly more stylised than his previous work, (cleaner in its line work perhaps) but this only enhances the attention to detail and the respect with which he handles his subject matter. With its nod in the direction of the Bayeux Tapestry, the format of the book, that of a concertina style binding, allows the viewer the opportunity to extend the panoramic to its full 24ft. Initially, it is a quiet, contemplative experience, one that is then transformed through the unfolding of the pages into a swirling mass of soldiers, horses and destruction. Sacco’s fantastic panoramic never fails to render me speechless both as a historical document and through its visual ambition.

     

  • Bright lights, small studio.

    Quite often printmaking paraphernalia has a certain industrial chic or solid dependability that can lift it above mere items of equipment and instead transform inanimate objects into characters within the studio. My Columbian Press, with its eagle surveying all below it, certainly fits this view, however, I feel that my most recent arrival may take time for its more Brutalist inspired design to fit in. I know that the appearance of an oversized light box may not seem that exciting, but this marks the beginning of a new phase in the creation of prints within the studio. Giving further flexibility to the artists involved in producing work and significantly improving the speed in which the screens are processed, the new exposure unit is a vital part of the studio. And maybe, in a way, its monolith like face makes it all that bit more intriguing.

  • I is for Ice Cream. Emily Sutton's next Alphabet print is here.

     

    I is for Ice Cream, Emily Sutton, Screen Print on paper, 2014.

     

    An exciting week at the Penfold Press. Not only is the studio construction nearing an end but so too is the work on Emily Sutton’s new alphabet print. ‘I is for Ice Cream’ is the ninth print in the series and looks set to be every bit as successful as last years ‘H is for Horse and Hound.’ From a printing perspective, ‘I is for Ice Cream’ represents Emily’s most ambitious print to date. It consists of eleven hand-drawn stencils and beautifully layers the delicate Gelato inspired colours to stunning effect.

    When I spoke to Emily about her inspiration for the new print she talked of her childhood memories of eating 99’s on sunny days out in the park, as well as more recent trips to Venice. Here, Emily was drawn to the amazingly decorative signage of many of the Gelaterias (while sampling plenty of ice cream of course). Emily visited the studio earlier in the week to sign the completed edition and 'I is for Ice Cream' will be available on my website from today.

  • Small beginings...

    For those of you that have attempted to follow the progress of the Penfold Press via the web, you will have no doubt have met with a frustratingly low success rate. I hope that this new website goes some way to readdressing the balance and offers you the opportunity to discover some of the prints, both old and new, that I have made over the past ten years or so. This blog should keep you up to date with not only new work but also give me the opportunity of revisiting old prints and offering an insight into their creation. I hope you enjoy it.

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