Drunk in charge of a Broomstick

…or ‘The Home-brew’ on Glastonbury Tor

This is another for the 2015 calendar of course.

I wanted a couple of views of the Tor that were less than obvious. This one is so obscure you would probably never recognize it as connected with the Tor at all, but it is in fact the very top of the tower on the Tor – the remains of St Michael’s Church. Or at least that was the idea. Despite numerous photos my brain refused to believe the actual shape of the crenelations, and without reference to any actual evidence I corrected my sketch so that the top of the tower seemed more like I thought it was.

Alas! I went up the Tor for the first time since drawing this sketch a few days ago, and realized that the top really doesn’t look much like this – the crenelations are much deeper. So in fact this is the top of the tower as it appears in my imagination… It is too late now, the print is printed.

Cat and the Home-brew
Cat and the Home-brew

But then again, perhaps this is the top of the tower as it appears in the Witches imagination too: it is quite possible they never actually flew there at all, and the cat peering at the probable cause for this hallucination, is doing so from the comfort of a battered armchair. Which is the more likely scenario?

The Home-brew and the Full Moon on St Michaels Tower
The Home-brew and the Full Moon, on St Michael’s Tower

This picture is printed from the aluminium plate in the photo below, and is another that has a combination ofΒ  etching and drypoint. First I etched the outlines of the figures, and then etched a tone across the whole plate, which gave me the grey of the sky. Then I used a steel burnisher to put in the moon and its halo, and the light on the bottlesΒ  – smoothing down the etched surface again. Finally I filled in the dark figures in the foreground with a lot of scribbling in drypoint. This a good example of having to do ‘imaginary drawing’ – drawing where I have to imagine what it might look like in the end, because what it looks like on the plate is all wrong! On the metal plate the shiny burnished surface of the moon shows up light, but so do the shiny scratched lines of the figures in the foreground, which will be the darkest parts in the final print. It could be quite confusing, if I expected the finished print to look like the metal plate…

Aluminium plate with drypoint and etching
Aluminium plate with drypoint and etching

Below is a photo of the plate half-way through – the looming piece of kitchen paper above it is taped across the front of an anglepoise lamp, creating a diffused light which is sometimes very helpful.

Drypoint under a lamp
Drypoint under a lamp

Below is the lamp again – you could use tracing paper for this, but the kitchen paper works just as well.

Drypoint on aluminium under a diffused lamp
Drypoint on aluminium, under a diffused lamp

16 Comments

  1. I love this. It’s so gothic.

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  2. Terrific piece and thanks for showing your process – I’m a typical geeky printmaker and I love the technical stuff πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Rosie! btw: ‘accidentally’ bought a mezzotint rocker on Ebay this week – new and at half the price that they usually are – still not cheap but my brain went ‘want new shiny tool!’ πŸ™‚ thought you would appreciate this problem!

      1. oooh new shiny tool ooohhhh

  3. Mgon β™₯

    Wonderful! There are so many great elements to this art piece. Makes you feel good just looking at it. I love it. Great job! ❀

    1. Thank you Mgon… also also thanks for re-blogging again πŸ™‚ xx

      1. Mgon β™₯

        You betcha! I had no choice but to reblog it. Sooo compelling! πŸ˜‰

  4. Mgon β™₯

    Reblogged this on Mgon β™₯.

    1. Thank you so much πŸ™‚

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