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'Curiosity Cabinet II' screenprint  wip

soap etc., at the printmaking studio

While I was at the printmaking studio several weeks ago playing with colour, I was also working on a new creatures-in-jars-on-shelves print. Creatures-in-jars seem to be a bit of an ongoing obsession for me and since making my first ‘Curiosity Cabinet‘ screenprint over four years ago (where does the time go!) I have continued to draw new creatures, many of which I have made into little, individual screenprints. But for some time now I have had a hankering to fill a second cabinet with some of these new creatures – nothing happens too quickly in my world, but I finally got around to filling that second cabinet…

'Curiosity Cabinet II' screenprint  wip

exposed screen  |  pile o’ prints printed

'Curiosity Cabinet II' screenprint  wip

tentacles!

'Curiosity Cabinet II' screenprint  wip

cleaning/reclaiming the screen
(one of my favourite parts of the process)

'Curiosity Cabinet II' screenprint  wip

squeaky clean screen… ready for a new project!

'Curiosity Cabinet II' screenprint

‘Curiosity Cabinet II’

The resultant prints are one colour (velvety black) silkscreen prints made in a limited edition of 44. They’re available at the wonderful Otherist store in Amsterdam, and now in my Etsy shop… if it’s pickled tentacles you’re lacking in your life you know where to go!

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

I recently spent a couple of days in the printmaking studio working on a new “Curiosity Cabinet” screenprint (I’m still sorting through and editioning that big ol’ pile of prints, but hopefully more on them soon!). I had a bit of time to spare on completing the CC prints and, as I often work in black and white, thought it would be a great opportunity to spend some time simply playing with colour. Playing being the operative word here!

I made a quick drawing in Indian ink which I could use to create the films for exposure onto my screens, keeping the drawing very straightforward (a simple circular ‘mandala’ motif) as I didn’t want anything too complex distracting me from the serious business of playing with colour.

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

simple ‘mandala’ drawings  |  resultant film transparency for screen exposure, and a screenprinting ink colour chart (I do love a good colour chart!)

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

mixing delicious, gloopy inks
(colour choices perhaps inspired by the garland bedecked patchwork ruminant that presides over the hand-basins in the studio’s WC?!)

I split the design into two parts – an inner and an outer ring – so I could experiment with various colour combinations in simple two-colour prints, and then printed nine different two-colour combinations…

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

checking registration  |  turquoise and red

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

prints awaiting their second colour  |  nine different colour combinations

I always find it fascinating to observe the ways in which colours shift and change, resonate differently, when juxtaposed alongside other colours.

I’m still trying to decide what I’ll do with these prints – having laid them all out in rows on the floor I’m partial to the repeat pattern they produce and am considering stitching them together, with some gorgeously coloured hemp string (pictured below), to create a vast and colourful ‘wall-hanging’ of some sort…

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

hemp string  |  repeat pattern

I’ve also enjoyed pairing them, as notecards, with a stack of brilliantly coloured envelopes I picked up at my favourite paper shop here in Amsterdam (Vlieger – the hemp string was also acquired here).

screenprinting work in progress ('mandala I')

notecards

Although I’ll probably always gravitate towards working in black and white – I like the clarity and simplicity of it – occasional forays into brighter realms are undoubtedly good for the soul!

I recently spent a week at the Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier* working on several new screenprints. Some new black and white beasties in bottles and, a departure for me, something in colour – bright oranges and yellows to be precise…

Once I’ve sorted through the teetering pile of prints I brought home with me after 4 intensive days of printing I hope to post some more images here… but in the meantime please join me for a stroll through the AGA’s delightfully rambling, overgrown backyard. After plenty of sunshine and thirst-quenching summer rain it’s a riot of growth and colour, and a perfect spot to take a breather between pulling prints.

* Not having the space or necessary equipment for screenprinting in my own home studio it’s wonderful to be able to make use of the AGA’s facilities. If you’re looking for somewhere to work on your own printmaking projects here in Amsterdam then the AGA’s fully-equipped studios (lithography, blockprinting, etching, silkscreen printing [including textile printing] etc.) might be the place for you! More info can be found on their website (and if you don’t live in Amsterdam but fancy the idea of living and working here for a short-term period you could apply for an artist’s residency at the AGA :)

A week or so ago I spent a few days in the printmaking studio working on a new set of small, individual ‘Curiosity Cabinet’ prints. There were very few people at work in the studio on the days I was there but there was still a very palpable buzz of antecedent creativity… in the multicoloured ink spots on the door handles and around the ink-mixing area (vibrant remnants of a million past projects)…

in the pleasingly structural patterns created by the drying racks and stacked screens…

and in the other-worldly, sulphuric glow cast by the daylight block-out windows in the coating and clean-up room…

I love to see the crisp, completed prints stack up…

but I’m also equally enamoured with the ‘distressed’ quality of the image negatives on the screen when the printing stage is completed and it’s time to strip the exposed emulsion and reclaim the screen…

and especially as they dissolve back into ghostly nothingness…

During this session I printed six individual creatures in a limited edition of 30 prints each. These wriggly, squiggly, spiny, slippery fellows make up ‘Series 1’ in my ongoing series (I just cannot stop drawing them!) of ‘Wonders from a Cabinet of Curiosities’, and they can now all be found in my etsy shop if you’d like to start your own curiosity cabinet collection. They can be acquired individually or as a complete set of six.

I’ve already finished drawing the ‘Series 2’ creatures… and I can’t wait to get back into the studio to print them!

Inky fingers are indeed happy fingers :)

some of my work, available on etsy
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copyright

All images and words on this site are © suzanne norris / sakurasnow unless otherwise specified.

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A gift from a friend @jessebreytenbach a couple of years ago, this tiny, beautiful artwork has taken on a deeper poignancy and significance… [Artist: Stephanie Simpson @me_and_norman] - #stayhome #isolation #art #hope #collage #foundtext #goldleaf #gold #crescent #moon #spring #blue #sky #birds #seagulls #soar -
There’s a cat among the pigeons... A very good reason to #stayhome Be safe, be well. - #idiom #pigeons #cat #grayson #grey #greeneyes #ThinGreyDuke #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #GraysonTheGreat #socks #catsofinstagram #catsofholland -
Venetian grafica, part II - #venice #winter #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #vermeer #scubamask #architecturalsculpture #stonework #pinecone #water #reflections #canals #seaweed #shrine #jesus #lion #planetearth #strongman #flare #emergency #climatechange #pattern #texture #colour #art - Credits: The ‘woman in scuba mask’ street art is by Blub, based on Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ c.1665. Other artist’s unknown (to me). - [Photos taken in November 2019, shortly before this vulnerable, fascinating city was once again flooded, and long before Italy went into the current lockdown state]
Venetian grafica, part I (part II to follow, because Venice is an incredibly visually rich place – what textures! what colours! what magnificent, ancient urban decay! – and I was incapable of culling my photos down to just the ten permitted by IG in a single post!) - #venice #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #architecturalsculpture #stonework #medieval #embellishment #grotesque #chimera #water #reflections #canals #damp #edvardmunch #scream #selfie #baroque #vivaldi #scubamask #violin #owl #tourist #raven #plaguemask #pattern #colour #art #climatechange - Credits: The ‘man with violin’ street art is by Blub, based on an anonymous portrait of (probably) Antonio Vivaldi c.1723. Other artists unknown (to me). - [Photos taken in November 2019, shortly before this vulnerable, fascinating city was once again flooded, and long before Italy went into the current lockdown state]
The only thing crazier than one one-lunged-wonder is two one-lunged-wonders! - #grayson #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #ThinGreyDuke #GraysonTheGreat #doppelgänger #doublevision #tightsqueeze #thecrazies #grey #cat #greeneyes #darkroom #blackoutcurtain #window #reflection #russianblue #catsofinstagram #catsofholland
Glasgow grafica… - #glasgow #scotland #winter #urbanenvironment #streetart #graffiti #urbanart #mural #mushrooms #amanitamuscaria #highrise #highway #creatures #animals #cat #entangled #yarn #birds #beak #steeple #sandstone #gardenshed #hedgehog #treeskeleton #silhouette #concretejungle #pattern #colour #art - (December 2019)

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