Friday 28 October 2016

Rubber Stamp Portraits at the London Book Launch

We were overjoyed to have Paddy Malloy's "Brave New Face " portrait stall at the London Launch of "Rubber Stamping" . It was a raving success !
Here are a few examples - more to follow !

Paper and Stamp pads were supplied by GFSmith and Blade Rubber Stamps

Rubber Stamp Workshop at the Art Workers Guild

At the end of the rubber stamp workshop participants placed their work to one side for everyone to see.  

Here's a few of the people who took part;

Harriet Higgins
Brother Rosie Collins
Donna Wilson
Demelza Oxley 
Jeannie Wilson
David Lemm
Will Hill
Marcus Haslam
Rob Lowe - Supermundane 
Isla Miller
Jackie Kirk
Edwood Burn
Hector Garay
Elva Fernández Rivero
Brother Roger Kneebone
Brother Celia Ward
Brother Prue Copper 
Brother Meredith Ramsbotham
Chloe Cheese
Pic Hall
Nammi Eu
Alex Czinczel
Eve Archer 
Jane Cradock Watson
Brother Rachael Matthews
Maureen Milsom
Leigh Milsom Fowler
William Fowler
Brother Zeel
Orson Coupland 
Bebe Higgins
Duisa Kneebone 
Tony Collins 

Jackie Kirk's page (top)
Jane Craddock Watson's page (bottom)

Many thanks to GFSmith paper and Blade Rubber Stamps for sponsoring the event ! 

More to follow . . . keep your eyes peeled ! 

Thursday 27 October 2016

"Rubber Stamping", London Launch

The London launch for Rubber Stamping took place at London's Art Worker's Guild.
In the afternoon we ran a rubber stamp workshop in the Guild's magnificent hall.

Paper was generously supplied by GFSmith and rubber stamp inks by Blade Rubber Stamps.
Members of the Guild, and invited guests made carved rubber stamps in response to their surroundings, these prints were bound by Wyvern Bindery and are to be in auctioned to raise funds for the Guilds building fund.

I will post some of the prints over the coming week.

Rubber Stamping, Get Creative with Stamps, Rollers and Other Printmaking Techniques

At last my book's been published by Laurence King !
Nearly 2 years in the making.

Here are a few of its spreads.

Rob Ryan wrote an excellent forward for the book.

One of my favorite sections to write and make rubber stamps for, was the 'Materials, tools, and equipment' chapter. I really enjoyed carving the tool stamps, and putting down on paper all technical detail I've gleaned over the years.

Then came the essential pages of instructions, the basics, such as how to carve a rubber stamp. Here is a spread on deduction printing, the kamikaze printing method.

Overprinting - this spread came about quite magically. I wanted to replicate the CMYK colour wheel but in an imaginative way. Bulbs seemed an ideal solution, the resulting impressions created coloured spotlights of filtered light. 

For the avairy print I made a set rubber stamps from drawings of taxidermy birds I made, with my nephew & niece, at the Bristol City Museum.

Printing on food ! Yes you can print on food, specialist printing inks are available, or why not use food dye ?
Late one night, after several failed attempts I finally mastered how to make royal icing, its the only way to create these stamped alphabet biscuits. 

Mail Art, this is something I'm really getting into, it's remarkable. After sending dozens of pieces of post out into the world, you'll receive an overwhelming response in return. Try it, you'll full in love with the process, a perfect marriage of life & art.

The work here is a record of my correspondence between the artist Jo Cook and myself. 

The last section of the book features several alternative printing methods, or what I like to call primitive printing processes. My favorite of which is Roller Printing.

I hope you like the book, do let me know what you think.

Primitive Print in the City 3

I've been so busy, that I've fallen behind on my blogging, I'm still trying to catch up with my Summer School workshops.

The last class was "Print in the City 3 " at UWE. For the last 3 years we've been running primitive print making classes in the city of Bristol. This year we were based in the MShed, a fantastic museum in the heart of the city, it's focus, Bristol.
Building on the foundations of the previous industrial museum, it holds tons of exciting machines, vehicles, huge signs and other bits and pieces in its storage depot, Eduardo Paolozzi's heaven essentially. Outside, on the harbourside you'll find more signs, and other industrial paraphernalia. An excellent place to make primitive prints.

We started off making clay prints.

First roll out some clay on an interesting surface.

Ink up the clay impression (using relief printing ink & roller)

And press down on paper !

 Plaster Printing 
 Using the items found in the Mshed storage depot as subject matter,

the participants made a number of carved plaster blocks - these have been sealed with button polish.

Frottage or Creative Rubbings. 

On the last day we made a number of rubbings from a number of interesting surfaces.

For a far more detailed and delightful post on the summer school visit Lilla Duignan
blog , its brilliant !
thanks to Ruth Sidwick for the photographs. 

Friday 23 September 2016

Mail Art Envelopes.

How did the UWE summer school Artistamps get to their destinations ? 
I sent them off in these rubber stamped envelopes. 

Mail Art isn't just a thing,its a process as well
Being the recipient can be an euphoric experience,and the posting can be a magical as well. 
If you're lucky, post office clerks will join in, and collaborate with you, taking time (much to the annoyance to the remaining queue) to select colour, or theme related commemorative postage stamps for your mail.

Dispersing UWE Artstamps around the world

Craig, Jen, Jane, Becky, Steve & Charlotte dispersed their stamps around the world via the Mail Art network. Correspondent Artists, the "Sticker Dude" and Vizma Bruns were some of the lucky recipients. 

Stamp collection photographed by Vizma Bruns ( they arrived safely - Phew !! ) 

Artistamps from UWE summer school

During one the summer months I ran a summer school at the Centre for Fine Print Research, part of University of the West of England. The focus was Artistamps, participants made sheets of postage stamps out of carved erasers and perforated paper. Using a variety of methods they made the classic perforated marks; adapted sowing machines, roulette leather tools (with funky foam underneath when piercing paper), and the department's victorian perforating machine, were all employed

" Snail Mail " stamps by Charlotte Hall.

Craig Atkinson stamps

" Obsolete " stamps by Jane

Space Race themed Artistamps by Steve Tarry.

" Secret " Stamps by Chloe Alexander

" Donkey " & Ice "Scream" stamps by Rebecca Weeks
" Cats " by Jen Goldsworthy

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Receive Artistamps Through The Post !

Hello everyone,

I'm going to be running a (Rubber Stamp) Artistamps workshop from 20th July to the 22 July at the University of the West of England, Bristol. 
The participants and I are very keen to, and interested in sending these faux stamps out into the world. 
If anyone would like to receive some of the Artistamps please send Mail Art envelopes or post cards to my address before the workshop date, and we'll return your Mail covered with our stamps.
Please email me to obtain the  address. 

Hope this finds you well. 

What is an Artistamp ? 

Artiststamps, or artists’ stamps, are closely associated with mail art; they reflect its spirit of marrying art and the everyday. Stamps signify payment, and mail artists test and tease the postal system with their playful appropriation of this official form of evidence.


Monday 30 May 2016

The S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive

The Minnesota Centre for Book Arts have acquired both Scott Helmes and William “Picasso” Gaglione's extensive Rubber Stamp collections. 

To help establish this magnificent collection, MCBA has opened a Kick Starting Campaign 

Here's the link, please make a donation ! 

The H/G Archive is one of the largest repositories of rubber stamps and stamp-related materials in the world. Comprised of hundreds of commercial and one-of-a-kind boxed sets and over 70,000 individual stamps spanning a period of 120 years, the H/G Archive is both comprehensive and incredibly diverse. In addition to physical stamps, the collection includes original stamp art, artists’ books, limited edition publications, journals, catalogs, reference materials, correspondence art, assemblings, design specifications, posters, and production materials.  

The mission of the H/G Archive is to preserve historical, rare and unique tools of artistic expression while maintaining their accessibility to artists wishing to incorporate them into their creative practice. It is a living archive where use by artists and researchers is encouraged.

An exhibition in Open Book’s second floor Literary Commons presents just a few examples of the H/G Archive’s holdings. It offers a rudimentary history primer and demonstrates rubber stamp use by contemporary artists. From Dada and Fluxus practitioners to concrete poets and correspondence artists, rubber stamps facilitate creativity through their inherent immediacy and operative flexibility. They allow artists to simultaneously reference and critique a range of topics from banal day-to-day life to long established social institutions. 

The S. Helmes and W. Gaglione Rubber Stamp Archive will officially open to the public in mid-2017 after initial documentation and cataloging has been completed. At that time it will begin fulfilling its mission by providing unique resources for art-making to emerging and established artists; serving as an educational collection that demonstrates history and social change; supporting future exhibitions and workshops; preserving and maintaining a traditional creative practices; and enhancing Minnesota Center for Book Art’s programming.



Scott Helmes is a visual poet who began collecting rubber stamp sets in 1974. His poetry stretches the limits of language, explores the multifaceted concepts of meaning, and encompasses all manners of reading. His work also investigates typographic concepts, printing methods, and alternative letter forms within the modern meaning of communication. Helmes’ poetry is realized through a variety of techniques and materials such as rubber stamps, stencils, and collage. He has exhibited internationally and his work is in the collections of some of the world’s leading institutions, including Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, Paris’ Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and Frankfurt’s Museum für Kunsthandwerk.


An avid collector of all things, William “Picasso” Gaglione was the original owner of Stamp Francisco and has been involved with rubber stamp art and rubber stamp manufacturing for decades. He is currently the co-proprietor of Chicago's Stampland. His artistic influence on the world of rubber stamping has been documented extensively through numerous international exhibitions and publications. As a publisher, he has produced multiple boxed exhibition catalogs and assembling periodicals such as Stampzine. Gaglione has created many aliases and identifications during his long career as a conceptual artist (Picasso, Dadaland, etc.) and he continues to prolifically create and perform as a neo-Dadist, Fluxus practitioner, and correspondence artist.

Craft of Medicine at the Welcome Collection Reading Room

The Craft of Medicine at the Welcome Collection's reading room was a great success,
the discussions taking place during the day were inspiring and insightful. I had many a visitor commenting on the links between teaching, patient consultations and how to offer support encouragement during these interactions.

I took part of my rubber stamp archive along, visitors to my table spent time experimenting with them, making all manner of interconnecting print impressions. Its always fascinating to watch people using my stamps and the marriages of colour and stamp subject matter they create.
I also taught several surgeons to carve their own rubber stamps, they found it to be not only a practical and immediate process , but a therapeutic one to boot - of course they were very good at it - all that practice of with sharp scalpels.

Here is a link to another similar event organised by the great Roger Kneebone and the Art Workers Guild - this should give you a flavour of such meetings.

Thinking With Your Hands

And here's a picture of the Reading Room, an inspiring place to work and talk.

Monday 25 April 2016

The Craft of Medicine: Illumination through Conversation - Welcome Collection - Saturday 14 May 2016

I've been invited to take part in what will no doubt prove to be an insightful day of conversations between artists/crafters/makers and clinicians.

The Craft of Medicine: Illumination through Conversation
Saturday 14 May 2016

What can a surgeon and a tailor learn from one another? More than you might imagine…

The concept of ‘bespoke’ - a collaborative process founded on a relationship of trust and mediated through the highest levels of craftsmanship - provides a rich metaphor for clinical care. But framing medicine as a craft can bring other unexpected insights, challenging assumptions and open new ways of thinking.

Join clinicians and craftsmen in an unconventional day of informal conversation that invites you to explore hidden similarities between apparently unconnected areas of expertise. And try some handiwork of your own.


Roger Kneebone, surgeon, GP and academic
A group of diverse and expert clinicians, including surgeons and GPs

Craftsmen from The Art Workers' Guild:

Vicki Ambery-Smith (jeweller),
Joshua Byrne, ( bespoke tailor from Saville Row )
Andrew Davidson (wood engraver and illustrator)
Stephen Fowler, (rubber stamp carver)
Rachael Matthews (textile artist)
Fleur Oakes (lacemaker)
Jane Smith (hatmaker)

This event is FREE.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

Master Class in Primitive Printmaking - University of the West of England

Back for its 3rd year, it’s the Primitive Print summer school at UWE,
it'll be great if you can make it,
here are all the details. 

Primitive Print in the City 3

DATES: 26-27 JULY 2016
TIMES:9.30AM - 4.30PM

This is the third year for the primitive print summer workshop, this time we will be printing exclusively in the field, we will visit the city’s parks, riverside, streets, market, galleries and museums to collect raw materials and make prints over the two days.

This experiential course, takes Bristol as its starting point to explore a variety of ‘primitive print’ approaches, including; carved rubber stamp, root vegetable printmaking (such as yams & potatoes), clay block printing (utilising reliefs created by clay impressions of objects and surfaces), plaster printing (from hand engraved blocks of plaster) and found objects printing

  CPD wideformat course