Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The joy of flat proof presses, gardening and staying on top of things

Today I have been going through my images of flowers that I have taken around my garden in between emailing accounts.

 I just love to do this so I can go back and look at them in the colder winter months. The images date back to last year when we had abundance of rain that overides with all its qualities to  that of the kinked garden hose. We have lashed out and bought a super duper non kinking one this time and it was worth every penny.

This summer the heat has been so intense that the garden hose really didn't achieve a lot at all, the grass loved it, with its shallow root system, but it still persisted with a crunchy brown feel under the toes.

 I have made the garden so it could survive a summer without watering and in the past I have achieved this goal courtesy of barrow loads of grit pushed around from the back lane and dug into the red clay, it was such an arduous task at the time. Where at the time I tore the lining on my rib cage twice from all the determined digging, boy oh boy it was painful and took many months to heal, but  passion and all gardeners know that if the soil is not prepared properly, your time is wasted and it can cause stress on the fledgling new growth.  So it was the worth the ordeal and maybe I need to swing a maddock a different way!

You have this vision that can't be held back by just looking at the gardening books, you just have to get out there and procede at all costs.

Now the garden has cast shadows that protect new growth and its become its only little micro climate even flowering at different times to other plants in the town. It's a very happy garden. It's quite robust to do its own thing now to the point of self seeding every where.

It's got legs so to speak.

But this year with the heatwaves, plants that were in the shade were knocked back with the radiant heat, plants that were doing very well, suddenly became fatigued and succumbed to the compost heap. To my surprise even the cunning blackberries that have never ever thought about turning up their toes were sunburnt and jaundiced.

The crop this year will be skinny and meagre.

 Something I love to do is walk around the garden in the morning, picking blackberries popping them into breakfast bowl as I move around the fence line in the front paddock, where I have allowed it to become a natural corridor of native grasses and berries for the bird life.

This in itself has been probably my best accomplishment with the garden, allowing these natural corridors to spring forth, I have this very healthy balance in the tribes of insects that all keep each other at bay. There's enough food for everyone and the right food.

So cutting a long story short, my garden is my inspiration for our stationery and wedding stationery, which is almost there. I know I keep promising but it is moving along, samples are being made up. Between a balancing act ourselves of building the studio where we are onto our verticals, very soon we will have a roof and walls which will make us feel very clever.

For the new year we have also made all the proof sheets of Maggy Todds story, where I now have great admiration for proof readers and publishing houses, making sure all those words sit beautiful and ordered on the page, now for the negatives then the plates. It's been a very slow process and Maggy has shown great patience waiting for her book while we wear far too many hats sometimes trying to get ahead. but just the same an extended promise is very annoying. It's coming Maggie.

Also I have this gorgeous inspiring video of printmaking on a flat proof press, Bill makes our posters on a similar one. I can honestly say I just love letterpress printmaking, the whole process and the  community of letterpress enthusiasts which in Australia is growing at a fast pace are really very special to be a part of. It was also Virginia Woolfs birthday last week and she was such an inspiration to us with Hogarth Press.

Just go to its very endearing and the world we love. We have the other model a flat proof Farley 25 that came up from Wilcannia newspaper and she prints like a dream. Here are some edition posters Bill made with linocuts and wooden type.

We are also stocking our cards in the Gleebooks 49 Glebe Point Road Glebe
 and Orange Regional Art Gallery.

Next week I will bring another Hill End home to you in pictures.
Prousts' Garden
Boat of Words
Starry starry night
Mirra Whale - artist in residence through Bathurst Regional Art Gallery

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