I’ve been trying to finish this piece for well over a year  she knows it.

Often the first ideas I have are pretty bad and I have to know when to put a piece in the drawer to allow for ‘percolation’. (Is that a word? You know when something comes through slowly?)

This piece was born out of a mild irritation that there wasn’t more of a connect between the Heritage and Decorative Art Collections at the VG&M. Physically they are displayed on different floors, stored in different buildings and curated by different women. Because I experience the world so visually I saw visual connections: this plate is round with a frilly edge, that invertebrate is round with a frilly edge. I made a short series of objects as a result of my irritation and to connect the two. The first was a staircase: each rise and tread a microscope slide screen printed with an imagined specimen. The stairs intended to connect the two floors in the gallery and museum floors metaphorically.

Then I screen printed a series of china objects that had been in my grandparents’ house with my Gran’s garden plan – mostly the Latin names in her beautiful and wobbly pencil script. (I used an onglaze.)

sugar bowl

The objects refer to her garden, a collection of plants and herself as a gardener curating the collection. They are also highly decorative reminders of their home and a life lived that I want to reach for still.

Seeing images of two pots ‘back to back’ the (negative) space between struck me as filled with content neither overt or public – how like my grandparents’ marriage I thought.

Having made a photopolymer plate I toyed with speech bubbles, use of letterpress – all too literal – I put the print away for over a year. Then I played with it masking areas off until, looking at the ‘playback’ below, I saw very clearly the idea of a book, so I printed a version through a stencil on the Rochat press at Bath Artist Printmakers.

IMG_2422IMG_2423 teapot marriage

Look and you will see the stencil slipped in the bottom left hand corner to create a flag. Not sure whether to print again or no – the mistake is often the best bit. Anyways, what do you expect to find in a book? A story. So now this is a version of that marriage, other versions are available…