Pool Hall Gelli Prints

‘Riley’s pool hall window’ (5” x 7”)
‘Riley’s pool hall entrance’ (5” x 7”)

These are two Gelli transfer prints I recently created depicting the abandoned pool hall off the A6. I recommend using the Gelli Arts printing plates which I sourced from a local art shop. Using Photoshop Elements, I created a montage of two photographs taken from one of my recent photo walks and combined them to form a new composition. I converted the images to a high contrast bitmap and then printed them off using a laser printer.

I added a dark coloured water-based ink layer using black ink (you can also use acrylic paint).

I applied a reasonable quantity of ink to the plate using a roller. I then placed a laser print of the building onto the inked surface and lightly pressed on the back of the paper once flat with the palm of my hand a few times trying not to press too hard to ensure the image transferred to the gel plate.

After a 30 seconds of drying, I then applied a new layer of light blue water based ink this time to the gel plate with a roller over the black ink.

I then applied some fresh cartridge paper to the gel plate and rubbed / burnished the back of the paper covering the whole paper to ensure all parts were rubbed using my the palm of my hand and fingers.

Finally, I removed the paper to reveal the finished print. This method of mono-printing can be a little hit and miss. Technique is the key to getting the results you want.

Have a look at the video below which demonstrates the laser image transfer gel printing technique.

Source: Gelli Arts YouTube channel

Football stadium print

Just before the new year, I created a new dry point print which depicts the football ground at S.C.F.C. I used a thin sheet of transparent plastic and etched the image onto the plastic using a sharp etching tool. This type of printing plate is useful if you need to copy a photograph or drawing as you can place a copy of the image underneath the plate. Be sure to reverse the photograph or drawing (use a photo editing software product like Photoshop Elements for example) so that if there is any text in the image it is printed the right way around.

Drypoint of Stockport County Football Club

New Year photo walk

Happy belated new year. I thought I would publish my first blog post of the 2023 about my recent photo walk around the marketplace that I did yesterday on a cold sunny Saturday afternoon.

Starting my photo walk on Lower Hillgate, I made my way along Wellington Street up to the Robinsons brewery visitors centre which is on Apsley Street. Making my way pass the stables housing the shire horses for the brewery, I made my way down Churchgate heading towards the marketplace.

Robinsons Brewery in background with the patterned pavement barrier in front.

On Churchgate, I took a couple of photos of the signage on the side of the brewery building in the distance and noticed a metal barrier in front of me had an interesting pattern which looked like aircraft rotary blades. This could be a connection to the former AVRO aircraft factory which was prominent in the town for many years and which has since closed down. The factory was based south of Stockport town centre in the Cheshire village of Woodford where there is now a heritage museum at the former site.

I arrived at the marketplace and decided to walk down towards Mealhouse brow, a steep incline of a street which eventually heads down towards the Underbank. As it happens, the dungeon was open for viewing and I had a look round as I have never visited this heritage site before.

Before 1824, Stockport justice was administered from this small building and prisoners were held in the cells. It was well worth the visit and I managed to have a look around one of the two cells that was accessible to the public from some steep steps. I was able to look through a hole in the cell wall and view the adjacent cell. While I was in the building, I learnt about the people who had been unlucky to have been imprisoned in the cells and learnt of the gruesome stories of murderers and their fate at the hands of the authorities.

After visiting the dungeon, I walked up towards Staircase House located in the marketplace. I took a few photos of the building and also some of the produce hall which I remember used to be a fish-mongers hall. It is now a trendy food outlet where you can dine-in and have lunch from various eateries. The produce hall is very popular especially at weekends all year round.

Staircase House museum.
Produce Hall.

Having taken some photos of Staircase House and the Produce Hall, I headed for a much needed coffee at a well-known coffee shop outlet on Warren Street.

After enjoying my Flat White, I returned to the marketplace and took a series of photographs of the exteriors of the Boars Head and the Bakers Vault public houses from different angles. I must admit I’ve never been inside the Bakers Vault.

Ghost sign.

On my return to my car, I spotted a ghost sign on Park Street near the marketplace. I think the sign was advertising a men’s tailoring shop. There are quite a few ghost signs around Stockport and I spotted another one as I drove home.

Maybe I could do a blog post about these sorts of signs as there are many of them in the area.

December photo walk

While visiting the art gallery last weekend and doing some Christmas shopping, I did a mini photo walk around town to capture buildings I will be making prints of using my photographs as a reference. I headed down to the old Debenhams store which is now closed and took some images.

Debenhams store
Debenhams store

From there, I walked back up the A6 and saw that progress has been made on the new 1 billion pound bus interchange next to the Hatworks museum and you can see the apartment block being constructed.

Bus Interchange development

As I made my way back up the A6, I made a slight detour and had a look at the Stockport Village area behind the Plaza theatre is in the progress of being demolished. I took a few pictures from behind a metal fence.

Stockport Village (now being demolished)

Stockport Village was once a thriving little shopping precinct hidden away and has been abandoned for over 15 years. There used to be boutique shops, gym and cafe. I remember it in its heyday and is sad to now see it all abandoned and being knocked down. Hopefully some of it can be kept and redeveloped as with the other parts of the town.

Here is a last shot of the viaduct with the sun starting to set.

Prospect Printmakers at WinterFest

12 Artists will be seeking their original prints and cards. All works have been printed at Prospect Studios in nearby Waterfoot. Chat to artists, snap up a present. Alan Birch will be demonstrating the art of printing. Choirs, music, mulled wine, festive food, makers.

The Whitaker, Haslingden Road, Rossendale BB4 6RE. Tel. 01706 879 322. [email protected]

Pictures at an Exhibition

On Saturday, I attended the 101st Stockport Art Guild exhibition at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery. I have 3 prints in this year’s exhibition which consists of 2 etchings based on Stockport that I worked on just before the Covid lockdowns and a photo screen print I completed this summer at Green Door Printmaking Studio in Derby.

The exhibition was a massive success and I helped with setting it up over the last few weeks.

101st Annual Exhibition

101st Stockport Art Guild Exhibition 2022

You’re invited to Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery to see the artworks of our talented, creative members. Many works for sale!

Our artists all have their unique style, and you can expect a wide variety of works.

Preview: Saturday 26th November 2022 at 2pm to 4pm (Refreshments provided)
Exhibition: Sunday 27th November 2022 to Friday 20th January 2023

Venue: Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery, Wellington Road South, Stockport, SK3 8AB.

Gallery Opening Times:
Thursday and Friday: 1pm to 5pm
Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sunday: 11am to 4pm
Closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

Telephone: 0161 474 4453
Email: [email protected]

Vernon Hall print

Last weekend, I started work on another. Enron park related print. This time, I created a dry point print of Vernon hall using a technique to blend colours on the printing plate.

Blended inks on the drypoint plate

The technique I use is to add blocks of coloured ink to the areas such as the lawn in the foreground. I do this for each area adding small amounts of ink used by a fine small paint brush. I then use scrim cloth to remove excess ink and then blend the ink by lightly going across the paint in a horizontal direction right to left (as I am left-handed). I then remove any further ink with tissue paper. I try and leave some excess ink in small areas to add some contrast. I then print the plate running it through the press at least once.

Finished print

I created a number of prints from coloured blends to sepia and using black ink. See gallery below.