I don’t do New Year resolutions. They are a bit like writing lists – I don’t do that either. To my mind they are just reminders of things you have failed to do. I’ve never had targets either; in fact, something that has lived with me from Portree High School was being told by a maths teacher that I had “a stunning lack of ambition”. It was an unusual combination of words.
I have generally needed others to give me deadlines, as self-imposed ones are far too easy to miss – or to blame on Jeremy Kyle. So maybe that’s why I felt an unusual sense of achievement at finishing my first Throw Up 20.18 print in the last hour of work before the festive break.
The photogravure print had been hand tinted with colour and the final stage was to print the names of the 1898 MacTavish Cup-winning squad over the image. This was to be transparent, almost ghostly – the trick being to still see the players, but also enough of the text to read.
The names had been cut on lino and instead of printing on paper, transparent drafting film was used. This allowed the text image to be photo-exposed on to a screen for screen printing.
After a few experiments, the ink was mixed and a squeegee pushed the words through the screen and on to the players.
The finishing touch was to print a warm glaze or tint of transparent ink over the whole image.
As there is also a fabric printing table at Highland Print Studio, I thought it was worth a trial screen printing the linocut text on to a T-shirt. High Fashion.