Playing with mixed media

Last week’s post inspired me to think about the time spent, studying for my BA in Visual Communication (graphic design) at the innovative Edinburgh College of Art. This set of stamps that l designed as part of an ECA brief, reminds me just how much fun it is to play around with mixed media.

We were able to choose our own subject matter for the “Celebrating the Millennium” four stamp project, and l chose to explore the history of writing. Happily for me, how humanity communicated via drawings, and the written word, opened up a plethora of technique.

The beginning of my journey found me screen-printing hieroglyphs onto linen. l was then most fortunate to commission a calligraphy talent (called David Nash), to take the words from the well-known ‘Canterbury Tales’ by Geoffery Chaucer, who in turn gave them a flourishing twist. l lovingly recall how exciting it was to receive the hand-written piece in the post, which l then later sealed with a dash of candle-wax.

Next port of call, was the much-beloved traditional Letter-press. This was lots of fun, and the final result achieved, was worth the challenge of setting the type by hand!

With the final stamp, it appeared natural to complete the circle. And so by hand-cutting a hieroglyph from tissue paper, which was then layered onto a lino print of blue colour, l then scanned the graphic piece onto my computer to finally implement the “futuristic” based typefaces. It was integral at this point to mix the media as part of the story-telling.

Looking back on this piece of work, l realise once again, how precious it is to nurture traditional techniques, and yet l feel re-juvenated with the realisation, that the past and future can go hand-hand rather beautifully!

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