I was lucky enough last month enough to receive a small grant from the Visual Arts and Craft Maker Awards from Creative Scotland and Orkney Islands Council. The grant’s aim is to support a period of skills development or experimentation, and I’m using it to try working with imitation silver leaf and iridescent inks and binders, trying to capture something of those shimmering, cold blue skies and soft winter fogs we’ve experienced over the last months. It turns out using silver leaf is tricky! It’s so light and filmy it just blows everywhere, and there’s a real knack to laying it! But I’ll persevere, as early results seem promising.
I’ve long admired the intricately detailed mezzotint prints of moths that printmaker Sarah Gillespie makes. In each print, a single, delicate moth emerges from the velvet black ground like a pale flame. I would dearly love to own one. Perhaps one day! In the meantime, I now have her book, “Moth”, with images of many of her prints, alongside a poem by Alice Oswald and foreword by Mark Cocker. Moths are such overlooked creatures, but so important as pollinators and food source for bats and birds who prey on them and their caterpillars. But, like so much else, their populations are in steep decline.