Original Linocut - Church in the Marshes - St Thomas à Beckett, Fairfield, Romney Marsh in Kent
The tiny church of St Thomas à Beckett has been surrounded by water for most of its life, isolated and inaccessible for much of the year until major building work to save the structure in 1913 also resulted in the building of a causeway. Built around 1200AD, it is the last remnant of a medieval village that has long since disappeared. The original timber structure was encased by a brick in the 18th century, and only the original 13th enture roof timbers can be seen in the otherwise entirely Georgian interior. St Thomas à Beckett stands on the Romney Marsh, where people eeked out a living on the flat salt marshes they had reclaimed from the sea. The history of this beautifully bleak landscape is steeped in defending it from the sea and invaders, a great storm, notorious for smuggling and treacherous journeys, and the utterly resilient Romney Marsh sheep.
- original multiblock reduction linocut print
- ink oil-based Cranfield Caligo ink. *please be aware that the finish may be shiny in parts of the print - this is caused by the oil-based inks drying more slowly when they are overlaid. The inks will continue to cure but may feel sticky when your print first arrives - please leave it somewhere dry and airy for a couple of weeks. When framing, ensure that the linoprint does not touch the glass.*
- paper: Bread & Butter printmaking paper, white, smooth, 280 gsm
- print size: approx 19.5 cm square
- paper size: approx 29 cm square
- signed and numbered. Unframed.
- This is a variable limited edition of 31. This print features several gradient rolls and it is therefore impossible to recreate the print exactly. On some, the sky or water is very slightly darker, on others, it is lighter. Each print is will be very similar to the others but also unique in its individual patterns of where the gradient fell.
I design and carve each motif into linoleum before inking the plate and printing it using Albert, my giant Victorian cast iron manual book press. To make a multiblock linocut print, the design is split into layers which are carved into several coordinating traditional linoleum plates, in reverse. All the plates and all the paper pieces have to be registered so that they print in exactly the same area each time. The first plate is inked up, registered and carefully covered with paper, and then put in the press. When this layer is dry, the process is repeated with the other plates until the key block goes on which ties all layers together to make the image. Depending on the number of layers, multiblock prints can take several weeks to complete. For this print, I also used reduction printing, where one of the blocks was recarved to be printed twice and destroyed in the process. This also means that there will never be another edition of these prints.