I’m afraid I’m going back to my days at art school again, mostly because I’ve been rooting through my old sketch books while working on the new series of Fenland ‘skyline’ prints and the first of that series is underway. Just put the old sketchbooks thing down to ‘Lockdown Fever’, I suppose it’s the new title for good old ‘cabin fever’, next I’ll be sharpening an axe and oiling the action on the rifle. Putting potential lockdown insanity to one side I think this print goes back to 1963 and reviewing the original image in the sketchbook, hastily executed in pen and ink, I rather like it. The woodcut itself was drawn on a plank rescued from a rubbish skip and then printed in black on what my printmaking tutor called ‘Porridge paper’, pretty horrible paper that in polite terms looks a bit like regurgitation. So, there you are the story of an image that was inspired by an industrial landscape somewhere in the Cleveland Hills ironstone mining district on Teesside around the Liverton Mines area. The ironstone that was mined was taken to the steelworks built along the River Tees from Middlesbrough to Teessmouth where it was turned into girders, beams, rods and plate. They continued supplying the industry until the middle 1960’s when the ‘unprofitable’ mines were closed down. I think I may have to revisit some more of those old images, is it nostalgia or just a great subject to work with? Right, back to the Fenland skylines.
Liverton Mines. Woodcut on a pine plank printed in monochrome on Porridge paper in an edition of ten. Size 210mm x 550mm approximately. Sold out.