Monthly Archives: September 2013

New work Flora & Fauna

In preparation for the Maldon Art Trail I have been working on a new series called Flora & Fauna. Four of the new pieces are posted below and these are the ones that can currently be seen at Wenlocks in Maldon, where my exhibit for the Trail was installed yesterday. I hope you like them.

Flora & Fauna Series

Dark OrchidThe Heart of a RoseSmall Tortoiseshell MonotoneSmall Tortoiseshell on Buddleia
Posted in New things, Studio news Tagged , , |

Is archival ink worth it?

Look on any site selling prints and you may come across people saying that their prints are made with archival ink (including me). But does it really make a difference? I did a lot of research before I bought a printer which was specifically dedicated for making prints and about a year and a half ago I decided to invest in a printer that used archival pigment ink (Canon 9500 MkII in case you were wondering). It was quite an investment and every time I switch it on I feel like weeping as I hear it merrily going through a cleaning cycle and washing away £££s of ink, a set of genuine ink cartridges costs around £90 so not cheap.

So last year I decided to conduct a little experiment to see if it really was worth the money. You can see the results below:

non brand dye ink versus Canon Lucia archival pigment ink

non brand dye ink versus Canon Lucia archival pigment ink


I printed two similar pictures, the one on the left was printed on my office printer which I only use to print invoices and documents on. I use cheap but good quality non brand dye based ink cartridges on this printer which is perfectly fine for office documents. The one on the right is printed on the big daddy printer using Canon Lucia archival pigment ink. They were printed in April 2012 and have been tacked on a wall in a sunny location. The picture was taken last week. They started off pretty much the same colour but within about 3 months the dye based ink had faded dramatically and continues to do so.

Now I am not a chemist or an ink expert but I know what my eyes are telling me.  Prints really should never been kept in direct sunlight but even so I can’t really detect any significant fading with the archival print. So this is why I choose to use archival pigment ink. According to the manufacturer a print should last a lifetime if kept in the right conditions (unlike these poor prints!). There are archival dye inks available but I have not tried those, and I have not tried any other brands so I can only comment on my experience.

So, in conclusion, it may seem tempting to save money and use cheaper inks for your prints  but in the long term,  apart from the obvious differences in quality when first printed (trust me they look really different),  if you want your print to last it is worth using archival ink. In my humble opinion if you are selling prints,  you really owe it your customers to use it.

Posted in Good to know Tagged , |

Procrastination Project 1

Procrastion Project 1

You know those days where your to do list is so long you could wallpaper your home with it and yet some how you find your self doing something entirely different that does not seem to have any relevance to what you actually need to get done but you do it any way, I call these my procrastination projects.

So the first example is my friend Salome here, she was once a very sad plaster bust with peeling yellowing paint, and frankly she really should have been sent to the tip, but the person who gave her to me is very dear to me and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, so she got a makeover instead.

How Salome got her makeover

  1. Peel off any loose bits of paint. Use medium grade sand paper to even out edges of chipped paint to the plaster underneath, then fine grade sand paper to take the shine off all over. This creates a surface for your paint to stick to. Wash down all over with a damp cloth and leave to dry thoroughly.
  2. Paint all over with a coat of chalkboard paint. Leave it to dry for about four hours. I used Rustins, instructions for other brands might differ slightly. Don’t use your best brush as the paint does seem to stain the brush even after lots of washing.
  3. Once dry lightly sand all over once more and wipe clean with a damp cloth. When dry add one more coat of chalkboard paint leave to dry and voila your done.

Salome now lives on the kitchen window sill and compiles my shopping list for me, she now looks a lot better and has a purpose so she can stay for as long as she likes.

What are your procrastination projects?

Posted in Procrastination projects