A selection of my lino cutting tools – laid out here in a pretty bog standard arrangement…   

                           Next up is a more dynamic and creative structure – and yes, before
                           you ask, I did find myself a little disengaged at work today….

Studio Dog

Here is one of our canine studio members, Tommy Waldock-Davies, making himself comfortable on my Wishful Thinking lino blocks – he is a little shih tzu and WILL NOT KEEP STILL, especially when he knows he’s having his photo taken…..

New Year Feebles

Yesterday I was by the sea in Norfolk.
Today I’m back home in London, sadly twiddling my thumbs and avoiding any work or studio related thoughts.
This time last year I rather perkily blogged about New Years Resolutions and the tricks I use keep myself motivated. (I even managed to throw in a quote from Chuck Close – ‘Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work’.) If you’re interested, you can read it here.
This year I’m mostly thinking about how bleedin’ difficult it is just getting into the car to go to the studio, let alone arriving there ready to do some work.
Oh well, I might as well leave it until Monday now…..

New Studio

   Here’s the new studio, with some of the presses installed. Just a bit more to go….

              Well, I’m not sure but isn’t this brand new studio looking a lot like the old one?

The Big Move

So it’s goodbye to Brixton and hello to West Dulwich.
After many years, Half Moon Studio is relocating to a 1930’s ex-factory building a couple of miles away.
And if that sounds like a simple operation, believe me, it hasn’t been. Several tons of printing presses have had to be moved -five of them, to be precise. In addition, there are several more tons of associated equipment – sinks, acid baths, paper drying racks, aquatint cupboard, metal guillotine, work tables, plan chests, etc.,- some of which have had to be winched out through the first floor window, straight onto the very busy Coldharbour Lane.
Not to mention, of course, the several hundred frames, several thousand sheets of paper, several million tubes of ink. Alright, I might be exaggerating here (but not by much).
And then there was all the rubbish – oh dear, I can’t go on.
Still, as we keep telling ourselves brightly whilst covered in dust and grime, it’s all going to be much better at the new place……

Studio Fairytale

Once upon a time, there were two honest and hardworking artists called Susie and Sonia. They toiled away in a very spacious printmaking studio called Half Moon in South London – and here is a picture as it was in the olden days.

In the years that followed, another artist, Martin, joined them, followed shortly by a little Jack Russell terrier called Nipper ( whose name is quite apposite but that’s another story…)

Next to join this merry band in Brixton were two more hardworking and honest printmakers Louise and Gail, who were then followed by a third, Karen, squeezed in some time later
Of course, this was not the end of their story as we all know that principal characters never seem to learn anything from their various predicaments and carelessly carry on making the same mistakes over and over again.

So, consequently a little shih tzu called Tommy and a huge standard poodle called Casper also felt compelled to daily undertake the long, arduous journey into this crowded studio from far-flung corners of South London.

So, children, the moral of this story is that no building can expand outwards, however much important stuff (and printmakers and dogs) we feel we need to cram into them but it doesn’t matter – we keep trying anyway.

(And that’s a kind of happy ending….)

Affordable Art Fair

The Affordable Art Fair is over again for another year and in spite of the uncertain economic climate, we all at Half Moon Studio sold well.
To be honest though, one of the the nicest things about doing the fairs is the contrast – after the comparative isolation of the studio, it makes a change to get out and meet so many of our customers, some of whom come year after year to see us (you know who you are and thank you !).
As usual, though, things went a little awry.
The stand had the store cupboard put in the wrong place and we had to wait around for a precious hour or two until it could be re-built.
I forgot to take any photos – not a single one – which is a bit of a pain. Hopefully someone else will have some I can use.
There were a few (okay, a lot) of unscheduled trips back to the studio to pick up things accidently left behind and things we didn’t know we’d need.
And I had the very special treat of some last-minute re-framing. I don’t know what I was thinking but I’d written the title down on one batch of prints as Winter Equinox instead of Winter Solstice. As it was a brand new linocut, I was really tempted to just leave it as Winter Equinox – it seemed easier than having to open up three frames to change the name. That was, until it was pointed out that you only get the equinox over the Equator, and never over London Bridge Station….

Still, you have to look on the bright side – nothing will ever be as bad as the year we went to the Buy Art fair in Manchester, and managed to leave half the work behind
It was only when the van got to Manchester and the work was unloaded that you could see that something didn’t look right.
But before it could be figured out what that was, the mobile rang. A kindly member of Artichoke, the studio upstairs, was ringing to find out why so much of Half Moon’s work had been going up and down in the lift all day….

Back to work

Well, summer is over – the kids are going back to school and I’m back at work, contemplating getting on with some serious printmaking.
Those sunlit memories of weeks slowly drifting by in Devon and Norfolk are fading fast but not to worry!
After all, I now have lots of other things to look forward to – looming deadlines with complimentary panic attacks, freezing cold hands, dark afternoons, rickets…..