Librarian’s Choice: Printmaking

This blog is from Chloe, an Assistant Community Librarian based in the West of the city.

Here are my top five recently discovered printmaking books! I found them inspirational in making me want to learn new techniques or explore them playfully in different ways. I’m always looking out for accessible art projects that you can try at home, and the majority of these books have templates to get you started learning techniques before progressing to creating your own designs. I have ranked the following titles in order of my favourites…

Chloe Printmaking UnleashedPrintmaking Unleashed: More Than 50 Techniques for Expressive Mark Making by Tracy Bautista

DIY printmaking at its best, this book is a feast for the eyes with gorgeous combinations of pattern, colour and composition explored through a vast variety of playful mark making techniques! The book covers DIY techniques for all abilities in an accessible and affordable way using common materials to get amazing printmaking results. From creating your own stencils using hot glue, carved wooden blocks or materials such as rubber bands and toothpicks, to printing vintage lace textures or creating Sgraffito Doodles (scratching into acrylic paint on top of Perspex) there is a technique everyone will enjoy and want to pursue!
Examples of other expressive mark making techniques include gesso fabric prints (using resits to incorporate texture onto canvas), digital photography stencils (using Photoshop), silkscreen painting (using an embroidery hoop and acrylic), recycled plastic prints (using interesting patterns on plastic to print), masking tape and crochet string resists, and hand cut stencils.

Chloe Making an ImpressionMaking an Impression: Designing & Creating Artful Stamps by Geninne Zlatikis

This book makes you want you to design and make your own collection of stamps for printmaking. It begins with the basic principles of materials required and a selection of templates in the back in order to get you started, then delves into inspiring and exciting techniques.

Aside from creating your own stamps, techniques to try using them to create art work include: stamps with positive and negative space, experimenting with textures of surfaces you’re printing on, and how to create repetition through different angles and colours. There are inspiration ideas for how to use your stamps to create your own personal artwork, as well as a variety of projects to choose from: journals, pillows, t-shirts, and wall art to name a few. My favourite projects I look forward to creating are the bookplate and accordion journal. I’m also particularly excited about the cyanotype (sun printing) technique which I’ve never tried, and exploring positive and negative patterns.

Chloe The Printmaking BookThe Printmaking Book: Projects & Techniques in the Art of Hand-Printing by Vanessa Mooncie

This book also covers the techniques relief, screen, sun and mono printing in addition to image transfers and stencils; however it is aimed at transforming ordinary items with hand printed designs. Again techniques are accessible in that they are fun and easy to try at home, and templates are available to help get you started. From ceramic, lino, woodcut, silk and stencil screen printing, there are plenty of projects to try the techniques in: printed plastic jewellery, photographic transfers onto mirror, wallpaper, and solar plates (metal sheets coated in photosensitive polymer which are used as a printmaking surface).

Marbles, bottle and jar lids, string – you name it and I’ve been collecting it to try in printmaking since reading this book! I look forward to trying the book cover project and would be excited to use the silk printing technique. I’d also like to try the negative photograph cyanotype technique as I’d never heard of it before!

Chloe How to Print FabricHow to Print Fabric by Zeena Shah

This book explains everything you’ve ever wanted to know about creating beautiful hand-printed fabrics easily at home, and again this one has templates to get you started. It begins with the importance of mark making (one of the most exciting and experimental aspects in printmaking) and covers techniques including relief and stencilling. It progresses to screen printing for beginners (using an embroider hoop), and advanced stencil screen printing (using Photo Emulsion). It covers useful information about inks, dyes and fabrics and also has a section on the key concepts in print design, including positive and negative space, motifs and various repeat techniques. The rest of the book is brimming with twenty different techniques for printing on fabric, each followed by a simple sewing project. You can also mix and match printmaking techniques throughout the book for any of the sewing projects. Some examples of the techniques include: bleach mark printing, screen printing with freezer paper stencils, lint roller printing, and watercolour mark printing. A selection of projects include tablet sleeves, bean bags and Furoshiki cloths (ancient Japanese cloths used to wrap objects).

I’ve had some bad experiences sewing (perhaps it’s to do with the fact I can’t sew a straight line), but this doesn’t put me off any of the projects! I’d particularly like to use the lino block technique for the tablet cover project, and lino roller printing to make a Furoshiki wrapping cloth.

Chloe Art LabArt Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper and Mixed Media by Susan Schwake

This book is a fantastic reminder of how being playful in your approach to making art can produce fantastic results, (you’re never too old to experiment)! With around twenty pages dedicated to printmaking, instructions are easy to understand and ‘quick guides’ to the basic principles of the following techniques: found object, stencil silk screen, string, polystyrene, mono, stencil and relief printing. Each technique includes an example of an artist working with the medium which is inspiring and makes you pause to consider how you could push the boundaries of the technique further. This is the only book I’ve chosen that doesn’t contain templates or projects but this is fine – the results of experimenting with techniques are works of art in their own right.

I got excited about the gelatin technique as the author described it as their most favourite and addictive process! It’s a way of producing textural-looking, layered monoprints without a press… Ink floats on the surface of the gelatin so you can work on your print over a long period of time. However I want to do more research to check the process is animal friendly before trying it out!

#whatsyourstory – Meet Kim

kim-woodFull-time mum Kim Wood moved to Leeds seven years ago. With her husband working long hours and a new baby to look after, Kim felt isolated in a new area where she hardly knew anyone. She loved using her local library in Newcastle when she was growing up, so when she moved to Leeds she quickly sought out her local library. It’s proved a real lifeline for her and her three daughters; Sophie, Chloe and Phoebe. The girls are total bookworms and they love nothing more than coming to the library to read and explore new books – and taking home armfuls to read! Kim loves the variety of events happening at her local library and the chance to meet other parents and have some grown-up conversations! From storytimes to tea parties to food festivals, there’s always something fun going on that she can bring the family to. Using her local library has really helped Kim feel part of the community.

You don’t just have to take our word for it, here’s Kim telling you her story in her own words: https://youtu.be/C6uja0arxvw

Now you’ve met another of our Leeds Libraries ambassadors, could you be the next? If one of the many services available at Leeds Libraries has helped you, we want to know. Tweet us or write on our Facebook page using the hashtag #whatsyourstory, or email us at whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk, and let us know how we’ve helped you.

Blue Monday

This blog post comes from Charlotte, our Digital Engagement Librarian.

The third Monday in January is now commonly known as Blue Monday – supposedly the most depressing day of the year. The concept was actually created by a travel company in 2005, using a calculation that took into account things like debt, weather and the amount of time since Christmas. However, this calculation has no basis in science and has been debunked many times!

charlotte-the-rest-of-usDespite this, Blue Monday seems to have caught the imagination of the media and looks to be a regular feature for Januarys to come. Even though today isn’t really the most depressing day of the year, it seems as good a day as any to highlight some books that will perk you up this winter!

charlotte-fragile-thingsThe Reading Agency’s Reading Well site is a great place to start. There are two categories of books, Books on Prescription and Mood-Boosting Books.

charlotte-the-worry-cureBooks on Prescription is a collection of books to help you manage and understand health and wellbeing using self-help reading. If you visit a GP or health professional, they may recommend one or more titles from the Books on Prescription list.

If you’re looking for an uplifting read, then head to the Mood-Boosting Books collection. There’s a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry all recommended by readers and reading groups for their uplifting abilities.

charlotte-the-readers-of-broken-wheelAs well as making you feel a bit more cheerful, there’s also evidence that books can make you live longer! The report concludes that, “the benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them … The robustness of our findings suggests that reading books may not only introduce some interesting ideas and characters, it may also give more years of reading.”

 

#whatsyourstory – Meet Jean

Jean image (2).jpgLast week we shared with you details of Bill Hyland’s great invention and this week’s post tells you all about another Leeds Libraries ambassador – Jean Murgatroyd.

Grandmother Jean Murgatroyd, from Armley, wanted to expand her social circle. So she joined the ‘knit-and-natter’ group that meets at her local library. She went on to learn how to knit and every week, Jean and her friends spend a happy afternoon knitting, chatting and relaxing over a cup of tea and a biscuit (or two). Although Jean admits she gets her stitches back-to-front sometimes, it’s a highlight of her week – and she’s always got a homemade gift for her beloved grandchildren. Whilst her husband has been poorly, Jean finds the library a great place to ‘be around friends’ as it takes her mind off things and she always feels welcome.

Now you’ve met two more of our Leeds Libraries ambassadors, could you be the next? If one of the many services available at Leeds Libraries has helped you, we want to know. Tweet us or write on our Facebook page using the hashtag #whatsyourstory, or email us at whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk, and let us know how we’ve helped you.

#whatsyourstory – Meet Bill

Bill Hyland (2)We’d like to share with you the story of another inspirational Leeds resident – Bill Hyland as part of Leeds Libraries #whatsyourstory campaign.

72-year-old Bill Hyland, from Oakwood, invented his 4-in-1 de-burring tool for plastic pipes way back in 1976, but didn’t have the time or resources to put it into production until after he retired, he went to an exhibition at the Central Library. The team, who he describes as a ‘good meeting of friends’ offered him expert advice and support, including putting him in touch with Leeds Business & IP Centre. He then spent the next few years, using the library service to research the background of an invention and how to put the plan into action. The library staff gave him valuable feedback, as well as helping him to bring his creation to life. Seven years on, Bill’s device, the Burrfect, is on the market and selling well. Proof that you’re never too old to start something new.

 Without Leeds Libraries, Bill said that he wouldn’t have known where to start. The Inventor’s Group helped him from beginning to end. Computers, and learning how to use the internet effectively, has helped to make his vision come true. Bill’s advice is ‘If anyone has an idea, bring it forward – the libraries will help’.

A specialist BIPC (Business and Intellectual Property Centre) Leeds team is available for in depth business and intellectual property enquiries. In the Business & IP centre you can find a wide range of resources which can help you, whether you are just setting up in business, writing a business plan, targeting new customers or researching new markets.

We can guide you through the procedures required to help you protect your products and services using patents, trade-marks, registered designs and copyright and can help you avoid infringing the Intellectual Property of others.

To learn more about how we can help your business please visit us at Central Library on The Headrow in Leeds. Alternatively phone: 0113 247 8282 or email informationandresearch@leeds.gov.uk

BIPC is a partnership between Leeds City Council and the British Library and is a member of the Business and IP Centre network, supported by the Intellectual Property Office, DCLG and the Arts Council.

Leeds Libraries – New Non-Fiction this week

Here is a selection of the new non-fiction titles that will be arriving this week.

Life below stairsLife below stairs: in the Victorian & Edwardian country house by Sian Evans

From the cook, butler and housekeeper to the footman, lady’s maid and nanny, this is a glimpse behind the scenes of some of Britain’s grandest houses.

 

 

 

Eat yourself beautifulEat yourself beautiful: true beauty, from the inside out by Rosanna Davison

Combining cutting-edge nutritional science, wholesome vegan recipes and practical advice for making the most of a hectic daily routine, ‘Eat Yourself Beautiful’ is a functional and accessible guide to promoting beauty through nutritional wellbeing and the adoption of a balanced lifestyle.

How to knitHow to knit: go from beginner to expert with 20 new projects by Mollie Makes

Knitting may seem complicated, but in fact there are just two stitches you need to learn. Once you have mastered knit and purl, you can knit pretty much anything. The beginner’s section starts with a run-through of the basic tools and equipment you’ll need, as well as a handy guide to choosing yarn. Once you’re ready to start, learn the best way to hold your needles, and tackle the different cast-on methods to work out which works best for you. Once you’ve cast on, you are ready to make those all-important first stitches and choose your first project.

deep southDeep South: four seasons on back roads by Paul Theroux

For the past 50 years, Paul Theroux has travelled to the far corners of the earth – to China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, South America, Russia, and elsewhere – and brought them to life in his cool, exacting prose. In ‘Deep South’ he turns his gaze to a region much closer to his home. Travelling through North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas he writes of the stunning landscapes he discovers – the deserts, the mountains, the Mississippi – and above all, the lives of the people he meets.

Queen ElizabethQueen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family

 ‘Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family’ is a visual guide to the Queen, from her childhood to today. Telling the story of the House of Windsor, including events such as the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and profiles on key people such as Princess Diana and Prince Harry, right up to the birth of William and Kate’s second child, this is the complete guide to the world’s most famous royal family.

Maggie SmithMaggie Smith: a biography by Michael Coveney

No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain’s best-loved actors. This biography shines the stage-lights on the life and work of a truly remarkable performer, one whose career spans six decades.

Our Children & Young People’s eReading Room is live and even more @Child_Leeds Friendly

Click this cover for a(n) eBook sample of The Hunger Games Complete Trilogy.Click this cover for a(n) eBook sample of The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips.Not enough time to get down to the library?

Feeling the chill and want to stay indoors but fancy a new read? Or maybe you’re getting a tablet or eReader for Christmas?

Well in addition to our incredibly popular main eBooks and eAudio collection, we’re thrilled to announce a new eReading Room for Children and Young People, making it easier to find the titles aimed at this age group.

With nearly 800 titles to choose from, search by:

Subject (thriller, humour),  Collection (most downloaded, just returned, audio, new),  Level.Click this cover for a(n) Audiobook sample of Mockingjay.

Click here to view eBook details for The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav PilkeyWe’ll be adding titles to the collection on a regular basis and it’s easy to download – Downloading instructions 

All downloads are FREE, and you can download up to 6 titles for 21 days.

Place a hold if a title you like is already out. that’s free too.

You just need  library membership and a PIN number (if you’re a member but don’t have a PIN you can easily get one from your library) Enjoy!