One of the great things about coastal walking is the number of interesting buildings you can encounter on your way. Since walking the South West Coastal Path I have become very interested in lighthouses, particularly the rock lighthouses that were constructed around the coastline of the UK. The feats of engineering that were involved are incredible given the nature of the locations and it has been quite a thrill to see the Longships Lighthouse and Wolf Rock (just!) from our walk during the Cornwall leg. Consequently I have become keen to find out more about our local East Anglian lighthouses and recently visited Harwich to view the two – High and Low – lighthouses there. From Harwich it is only a mile or so on to Dovercourt to see the two iron pile structures that sit on the beach. They were built to replace the ‘misleading lights’ of Harwich, eventually fell into disrepair but were restored in 1975 as unlit monuments to local maritime history.
I have never been to Dovercourt before so took a lot of photographs while I was there, some of the ironwork, mainly of the different shapes and patterns.
At home I decided to do some simple block printing, so began by drawing some basic shapes plus the outlines of the buildings, thinking I might choose to trace them later.
I then used these clunky drawings to carve out some basic shapes from potatoes, plus I traced the images a few times onto tissue paper.
I used the potato stamps on a variety of papers and made a nice collection.
On some of the papers I added some embossing powder.
And I made a very messy collage which didn’t turn out at all as I’d hoped!
The next day I did the printing all over again, this time with a variety of fabrics. I also printed out two of my photographs onto calico, using my inkjet printer. The calico was carried through the printer on a freezer paper backing sheet. I then put the images together with some of the printed fabrics to create what I think will be a wallhanging. It’s not completely finished as I’m not sure what I will do with it – wish I’d thought about it and made it into a cover for a folder or something similar as it will never be hung on the wall!
The one thing I am pleased about though is the printing onto an old vintage tablemat. It’s a thick evenweave fabric, but it took the paint very well. I selected some lovely linen threads that a friend gave me as a gift, added a few dyed stranded cottons and set about stitching into the shapes. I haven’t sewn in the evenings for ages so hoping to add a lot of stitch to this piece, which is hooped up and started now.