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re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

March and April are big birthday months around here, with lots of friends and family celebrating another year on the planet. In an attempt to spring-clean and clear some much needed storage space in my studio I’ve been re-purposing test- and dud-prints from previous screenprinting projects as gift wrap, cards and gift tags…

re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

They make for some beady-eyed packages… but so far the recipients haven’t seemed to mind being eyeballed by their birthday gifts!

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The colourful wrapping papers in the third ‘diptych’ are by
(top image) 1973 and (bottom image) Sukie

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by sakurasnow this year, and for your fun, supportive, inspiring comments. And thanks to all of you who have bought my prints ‘n things over at Etsy – I’m humbled, honoured, and grateful. You guys rock!

I’ll be closing my Etsy shop for the rest of 2012 at the end of tomorrow (Friday 7 Dec), so if you’re still hunting for the perfect gift for the trickier members of your gift-giving circle head over to my shop before Friday ends (everywhere in the world) and you might find just the thing for…

the beachcomber

part of 'An amateur naturalist's specimen collection'

the entomologistand the larva-lover

part of 'An amateur naturalist's specimen collection'

the collector

'Curiosity Cabinet' creatures

the cephalopod-o-phile

'Octopus & Anemones'

the ornithologist

'Owl in Oak'

and the panthera pal

'Panthera Pair' - 100% donation to Panthera wild cat conservation group when you purchase this print

… in your life.

100% of the ‘Panthera Pair’ print price will be donated to the Panthera wild cat conservation group, and all orders placed (for anything) will receive* a couple of kirigami snowflake cards as a thank you.

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* while stocks last ;)
In the unlikely event that stocks don’t last I’ll send some specimen collection cards instead.

With the drawing, printing and hand-colouring finally complete, these little (each one is ±9x9cm), colourful specimen screenprints are now available in my shop >

I was glad to use this project as an opportunity to play with lots of colour, but while I was at it I couldn’t resist pulling a few clean, black-only prints. I do love the clarity and simplicity of a velvety black screenprint! These are also now available in my shop >

And I love the cobweb-on-a-frosty-morning quality that white ink on a darker background has, so I made a few variations in white on coloured pastel paper. These aren’t currently available in my shop, but if you’re in Amsterdam you can pick ’em up at the always awesome Otherist store [Leliegracht 6, 1015DE, Amsterdam]

If you’ve just arrived at this ‘Process, part III’ post but would like to start at the beginning you can find ‘Process, part I (drawing)’ here and ‘Process, part II (screenprinting)’ here

watercolour ‘testing’ strips

After printing was complete I hand-coloured additional details on some of the specimens – a wonderful opportunity to get my gouache and watercolour paints out and play some more with colour (which is not so scary after all ;). One of the great things about the screenprinting medium is the ability it gives you to print multiples relatively easily and quickly (once all the elements of the process are in place the difference between pulling one print or ten is negligible). I made more prints than I intended for the final editions so I would have lots of ‘blanks’ to play with while making hand-colouring decisions…

experimenting with different placements of the hand-coloured elements… and intrigued by how this radically (or subtly) affects the look & feel of an image.

testudines / tortoise shell specimen
hand-coloured details added in bronze and copper gouache

countless candy-coloured coleoptera legs

The hand-colouring part of the process was time-consuming but a lot of fun – it gave me plenty of opportunity to experiment with colour. And I love getting lost in a drawing’s details, to the point where everything else seems to fade away. I find there’s a lucidity that comes from repetition (albeit slightly different each time) – this is no doubt part of the appeal pattern has for us. Hand-colouring piles ‘n piles of prints was therefore a kind of moving meditation for me… very relaxing :)

echinoida / sea urchin

Well, that’s it for these ‘process’ posts – thanks for looking/reading! Next post – the completed print series…

I have at last completed the new series of little screenprints (the largest is ±9x9cm) I’ve been working on, loosely entitled ‘An amateur naturalist’s specimen collection’ (the larva of which you may have already met here). I have been patiently waiting for some bright, natural light (not a common phenomenon in the depths of a Northern winter) in order to photograph them and make them available in my shop. The beautiful, crisp, bright days came earlier this week (along with some bone-chilling sub-zero temperatures!), the photos have been taken and, after a bit of tweaking (bright winter light is still winter light), they’ll be ready to go. In the meantime, as I love to see pictures of other peoples’ studios, projects or processes, I thought I would upload some process pics* of my own over the next couple of days (and buy myself some time to get the prints listed in the shop!).

I was inspired to make the series by all the small, wonderful remnants of nature I’ve found on long beach walks, mountain hikes and woodland wanderings (or, in the case of the iridescent blue-green beetle encased for all eternity in perspex and pictured below, at the curious natural history treasure-trove ‘Evolution‘ in New York City). I wanted to make a series of vividly coloured, graphic and emblematic images in homage to these beautiful, precious things that always seem to fit perfectly into the palm of a hand, or reassuringly into a pocket.

The first step, of course, was to raid my ‘specimen’ collection for inspiration…

… and make some choices about the things I wanted to draw (there were also some critters/specimens I really wanted to draw but don’t have in my collection – e.g. a chameleon skull, a sand dollar skeleton, a larva! – so these required a bit of book and/or internet research).

Research done, I started on the ink drawings…

always happy when the early morning light hits my desk and studio walls just so (and it appears that my ammonite drawing was unconsciously informed by two stripey studio-mates!)

the initial brush and ink drawings were made at 2x the intended final print size

Once completed the drawings were scanned, tweaked & resized and digitally manipulated to create the ‘colour separations’ necessary for the screenprinting phase (a separate ‘image’ is required for each layer/colour to be printed, as can be seen in the photo below of some of the colour separation transparencies I made. These are used to transfer the images onto the screen before printing, by coating the screen in a light sensitive photo-emulsion and, when the emulsion is dry & with the transparencies positioned on the screen, exposing it to UV light).

As I don’t have the facilities to screenprint at my home studio (I work at the wonderful Amsterdams Grafisch Atelier when I want to screenprint) it’s important that I ‘front-load’ a project as much as I can to ensure that when I do arrive at the Atelier I can work as efficiently as possible.

Next post… let the printing begin!

* This is not intended as a step-by-step guide to screenprinting or a tutorial of any kind – it is merely a collection of roughly chronological process pics… for anyone who might be interested in the general anatomy of a screenprinting project (from this person’s perspective ;)

some of my work, available on etsy
support worldwide wild cat conservation


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


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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