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Aye aye aye

I cut copper sheet into a circle, etched it using acid, printed it using messy ink and an electric press, then painted on top using drawing inks. There are easier ways to make a good picture but this is among the very best ways.

10″x10″ on Somerset paper. Series of 50. For sale individually, £85 each.

Good displayed individually, fun displayed as a pair (same or different colours), creepy when they’re all together.

Yes I can paint pretty much the eye colour you want. No I won’t match it exactly.

I’ll have these for sale at BALTIC Self-Publishing Artists’ Market tomorrow, Sat 21st April. http://baltic.art/artists-market, then hoooo I need to sort out my online shop. But you can email if you want to bagsy one.

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Good, not bad, insufficient.

Yesterday I went to a printmaking-collage-patchwork workshop at Northern Print. Printmaker Bridget Jones did showing and telling about her work, and shared offcuts of her prints for folks to have a go at their own cut&stick.

I made a lavender bag. I enjoyed it. It took 2 hours of workshop time plus another hour to finish at home. It wasn’t hard. Playing with someone else’s offcuts was good to use patterns I wouldn’t usually make, yet the finished thing looks pretty much like something I made. A patchwork lavender bag isn’t going to change anyone’s life but it’s a pleasant enough break from more intense work.

In other news:

  • I’m continuing with a drawing-a-weekday, still enjoying my Nadrash series (quotes from Hansard parliamentary record, rubber stamp lettering, with drawing/painting). I enjoy it and the drawings are good, so it’ll continue for a while. Here’s the inevitable Tumblr page: https://dailynadrash.tumblr.com/
  • Work is good and work is busy. Work is mostly PhD in Education about comics, other comics & Education projects, other Education but not comics projects, and occasional bits of stuff. There’s a lot of it, so this year’s priority is finding sustainable ways to keep going without toppling over. So far so good, innit.
  • Somewhere over the holidays I did some knitting. It’s been a while, and it’s good to have a project that makes me watch TV. I also dug out The Tank (sewing machine) to fix a scarf and hem some shirt sleeves. The Tank needs more use.
  • There isn’t enough printmaking and bookbinding in my life, either separately or combined. There needs to be more of this.
  • Also it’s a while since I packed a suitcase, so that wouldn’t go amiss.
  • All in all, not bad at all.

Festive hibernation to you all. 

Here’s your Christmas card, in a choice of colourways.  3D fabric paint on wood on card. 

A bit more work to do, then it’ll be time to switch off the internet until next year. 

A parliament of weirdos. 

Look look it’s all animal themed! I’d wondered if a visually themed week of quoted interactions from Hansard was possible*, and here it is. 

Also this week my activity sheets are up on ComicsClub.blog for their monthly Comics Challenge series. If I’m gonna encourage kids to make their own weird comics – because what kids should worry about the possible professional and commercial future of their comics – then I’d better keep up my part if that deal. There are plenty of resources out there to help people make comics. Sometimes it’s the weirdness that needs a boost. 

*said no one else, ever.  


Meh. 

This has been a week of phlegm, both for my now-improving health and for the absolute state of parliamentary discourse. Well, phlegm and hot air. I’ve found that I don’t so much enjoy reading Hansard but there is a joy to finding a particularly awful exchange. The drawing wasn’t so much fun this week but maybe that’s the cold medicine talking. Drawing is good. 

A pattern is emerging. 

This week’s news has been about parallel universes bumping into each other in the foggiest of fogs. 

I like this grid layout though, and am still enjoying doing a panel a day. So maybe not all is lost.

My honourable friends. 

Here’s week 1 of my new panel-a-weekday comics project:

Like any busy person, my answer to a busy diary is to start a new project. Here’s my plan, and rules that have already evolved from this plan.

1. Quote from an interaction as recorded in Hansard, the official record of UK Parliament debases.

There’s a lot of talk that has precious little to do with the preceding statement. Sometimes there’s a prolonged debate/conversation. Sometimes there’s a series of questions that were submitted in advance. Sometimes there’s no discernible connection. Interactions interest me in an academic way – how people talk and learn together – so I’ve decided to focus on connected exchanges.

2. Be accurate.

It’s too easy to intentionally misquote people. Context is important. Hansard is not a verbatim transcript, which I reckon is fine.  I’ll include speaker names and the date on each panel so it can be checked. Usually the House of Commons, sometimes the House of Lords.

3. Be selective, be interesting.

There’s a lot of flowery language, my honourable friend, so I think it’s justifiable to edit out the pleasantries but otherwise stick to the transcript. Some things interest me more than others, some exchanges are pithier than others, some groaning attempts at humour don’t need repeating.

4. Be timely.

My diary is split between day-job and PhD research and other stuff. Sometimes there’s a weekly structure, often there isn’t. Doing a panel each weekday has, so far, helped insert some sort of structure. There’s a good discipline in doing something creative each day, making it public, and moving forwards. I’ll aim to do each day’s panel in the evening, or the next morning on days when evenings aren’t possible.

5. Keep going. 

If there’s no sitting that day, dive into the archives. They’re online and well catalogued and free to access. For no-sitting days I wondered about finding other speeches/statements from that day, but (a) it’s the parliamentary-ness that interests me (b) there’ll be plenty of days including holidays/recess when there are no speeches (c) the out-of-my-control-ness of parliamentary interactions is a sweet way to include an element of roulette in this project.

PS: Nad Rash is an anagram of Hansard, the official record of what is said in UK Parliament debases. It is also an underused slang term.

PPS: Are you the editor of a reputable daily news media outlet? Let’s talk syndication.

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