Sunday 8 December 2013

Meet The Printmaker: Bronwyn Ward

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your workWhat sort of prints do you make?

Hi my name is Bronwyn and I am an ex-pat Aussie whos found herself in Bristol. Im a total closet twitcher and get far too excited about birds and animals in general. I create images of birds using relief printing techniques, usually carving them from wood with very small chisels.

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?

I treated myself this year to a very posh DSLR camera. I am trying to make it take the fantastic images I know its capable of, if only I was more capable! I mainly use it to photograph wildlife to use as inspiration for my printmaking. I also sew (badly) and love creating home-made things in general.

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?

Potato stamps when I was little. I loved getting messy and - my husband will vouch - I still do. I still make my own Christmas paper every year with potato stamps and yes, I have been told I have too much time on my hands! I majored in printmaking at Art School in Melbourne many moons ago and have rediscovered it in recent years. Now I dont think I could stop if I wanted to, the cogs are turning all the time.

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?

I find my inspiration from nature and walking in the countryside. I spend a lot of time observing birds and their movement / behavior and try to translate this into my work. I read a bit of poetry as my attention span rarely gets me through big novels. I find theres often something that catches my imagination and an image comes from that.

Could you give us an insight into where you work your studio/workspace and where you print?

I work at Spike Print Studio, which I fell in love with when I first visited on an open day several years ago. Theres a lovely atmosphere of creative energy and calm contemplation which I love. Its both peaceful and supportive. I also work from home developing my images and sifting through my photographs to form the basis for my work.

The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?

Probably Australian artists like Margaret Preston and Charles Blackman. I also admire many of the artists I work with at Spike, theres an awful lot of talent at our studio.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy the most?  

For me I love working very meticulously when making a woodcut. I enjoy very detailed and precise cutting and use tiny chisels and often use a magnifying glass to make my marks. Theres something very soothing and calming about it. Maybe because Im a bit chaotic and messy in the rest of my life!

Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?

I really love using Peter Reddicks old magnifying glass at the studio. I know it sounds silly, but Im quite sentimental and it makes me feel a little connected to the history of the place.

Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us ?

If you work under a magnifying glass and make a mistake, its usually very small and easier to cover up!!

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?

I would like to have a go at screen printing. I like the idea of working on fabric as I used to work in textile design.

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?

Im not really one for magazines, damn my ipad!

Monochrome or multi-coloured?

Oooooh, can I say both?! I love lots of colour and the challenge of working with several blocks when making a print. Although theres something bold and dynamic about black and white which lends itself to relief printing that I also really like.

Thanks Bronwyn for these interesting leads into how you love to make your prints. It's been great to have your relief prints adding their lovely atmosphere and variety into the print shop along with your very lovingly made artist books.

Bronwyn's work will be with us at The Print Shop until we close on the 24th December, so don't miss out on your chance to see her work alongside our full range of excellent print works from all the traditional print methods. 

The Print Shop 
Unit 6 
Quakers Friars 
Cabot Circus 
BS1 3BU 

Open Daily 
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm 
Sun 11am - 5pm 

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