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Two Birds Looking

My edition of “Two Birds” is down to just a few prints now, and I love the design so feel rather sad not to be able to stock it in my shop for much longer. One option would be to create giclee prints of the original print (which I always keep) but while my business is still small, I am choosing to remain faithful to the handmade process and sell only genuine hand-pulled prints to avoid confusing my customers. A lot of explanation on the difference between a lino print and a giclee print of a lino can become involved otherwise!

The answer for me has been to create a ‘companion piece’ which is something I often do. This will be called “Two Birds Looking” and features the same pair, having shifted position slightly, one looking back over its shoulder as if it may have missed something. The other raising it’s head in awareness.

This second piece is a reflection on lockdown life just as the first was. The two birds always represented souls in lockdown to me; fitting together, blending into their habitat, which at once supports but also encages them. Life on pause maybe.

The second lockdown took us by surprise by having it’s own unique nuances. We thought we knew what to expect, but it was a different experience in so many ways, and once again we had to adapt and evolved to survive. “Two Birds Looking” is my homily to that time.

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Working on the Winter Series

View of the printing studio of Melissa Birch

My major project this winter has been to develop a series of prints based around images of windswept hedgerows which I recorded last winter. A year has gone by since taking the initial photo shoot but it feels like a good project to return to during the winter months when I am once again struck by the bleakness of the landscape.

Drawing of winter hedgerow in black and white

The naked hedgerows speak to me powerfully of loss, but also the potential for new growth even though we can hardly imagine it possible.

So listening to Radio Four and carving the sinuous network of lines was a good place to be while the lockdown continued in the world outside.

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Teasel Notebooks

Notebook with hand printed design of teasel seed heads

Delighted to add a new item to my Etsy shop this month which was inspired by a customer who asked after my Teasel design as a notebook. The original design is a two colour reduction lino print so I had to re-carve the block to make it work in monochrome but I’m pleased with the result. I use Caligo printing ink on the which is oil based and dries to a robust, water resistant surface.