breaking the silence

I know it has been kinda quiet here lately… I am busy at work in the studio, and it is WAY too hot for a cold-blooded English woman like me this summer. Money is really squeaky and I am really just not feeling very upbeat or chatty. I did get away for the weekend last week, a friend let me tag along on her trip to State College, PA, where I experienced my first grilled sticky at the diner and saw some really beautiful art. Also to my surprise I met someone whose art I have admired for a while – Jenny Pope which was great!! Her new pieces were amazing, and coming right back around to that money thing, I wish I had some so I could buy one!!

Jenny makes glorious woodcuts, which as a wallpaper aficionado really speak to me. Early wallpaper was printed from woodcuts, often very many blocks, like the design that won the gold medal at the great exhibition in London in 1851. The winning design came from a french firm whose design broke all of the new design reform ideas, which just goes to show that new design ideas are always slow to take root in public taste… Charles Eastlake who wrote a wildly popular book on household design that was a best seller in both England and America wrote that the general public should stick to flocked wallpaper as it never attempted to resemble anything and was therefore unlikely to break any design rules… although I doubt that this type of flocked wallpaper would be considered in good taste today!! He blamed the manufactures for pandering to the public’s lack of tasteĀ  ‘a public who prefer the vulgar, the gaudy, the ugly even, to the beautiful and perfect .’ rather than educating them. Anyway back to that award-winning paper… it was a hunting scene and was printed using 15,000 individual wood blocks. I can’t find an image of it online, but if I can locate one in my thesis notes I will scan and post it later! OK before this turns into a boring wallpaper history blog which no one will find fascinating but me, I am out…

If you are out and about this weekend I will be at Art in the Woods, stop by and see me, mention you read this blog and I’ll give you a discount!!

1 thought on “breaking the silence

  1. Thanks for popping in to visit my blog. I have, so far, only used one item from the ephemera swap but I’m still thinking about them. One of these days I’ll just start working and an idea will grab hold and I’ll make the collage.

    I loved reading about the wallpaper. I can’t imagine having to use 15,000 individual wood blocks to print something!

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