Happy 2019 to Everyone!

I wish you all a happy and creative 2019. I wish for you to have a wealth of experiences, many joyful ones, and that you may grow from those which are challenging, unpleasant, and sad. It is customary to wish for a happy year (and I did so in the title), and I do hope 2019 will be a good year for you all. For all for who this won’t come true, I wish we will recover from whatever will make it a hard year, and come out at the end as better, wiser, stronger, and hopefully we’ll be able to turn all of it, the good and the bad into great art.

Title Page of First Book in 2018

Five years ago I talked to a grandmother of a three year old with brain cancer while we were both waiting for a MRI brain scan for the kids. That three year old had a life expectancy of another two years. And what that gran said, still rings in my ears: “It is just impossible to be sad all the time. He is still growing and learning things, he’s curious, he’s laughing. And what good would it be to be sad all the time? And so we laugh with him, and show him that life is good, and there are some days in which we really believe it.”

My daughter this summer – proud to achieve a red belt in Ju Jitsu

The year past has been a tough year for us as a family, and I felt unable to do write my usual wrap-up before Christmas because looking back felt too hard a task. There is this saying “you are only ever as happy as your unhappiest child”. I have quoted this line a lot for the past six months or so. But of course this is ultimately not true, it’s too general a statement to begin with. I think I was much happier than my child since her surgery in the summer. But to make up for it, other than she, I worried the whole year approaching it. So as a rough guideline, I do believe in that piece of wisdom.

The surgery she had in early August was meant to maintain her motor function and hopefully, ultimately it will do that. Her surgeon tells us it’s still early days. But as things are now, it has brought her from independent walking to being a full time wheelchair user who hardly can weightbear. With it her care needs and thus my workload (and M’s) increased. But graver than the physical scars and effects has been the psychological impact this has had on her and us. Although since August as many as four (or was it five?) people have written letters asking for psychological support, some of them twice, as far as I know she still is not even on even on a waiting list for the children’s mental health service. For the first time I feel like we have been let down by the system.

headbands in silk

I don’t want to burden you with my children’s troubles, and to be honest, I don’t really want to talk in publicy about their specific health issues. I mention it here because it did have a major impact on my work: I felt unable to respond to calls for art, and was awful at keeping deadlines. When I found the time to work, I really just wanted to be alone in my studio, rather than putting my work out there.

But my memory often fails me, so let me take a walk through the year:

Cats “helping” while photographing in January

In January I was mostly occupied with shop care for Büchertiger Supplies: I added jute twine and cotton twine to my range of threads, and started to scout for silk threads I wanted to add. I also worked on completing the scrolls for my long term project 346.

My work table in Febuary, drawing maps

Technically I started my instagram account and photostream December 31st 2017, but I really started in Febuary when I drew my daily maps. I love instagram, and with the maps-project, I started a “picture a day” stream which – although I am less strict with myself by now – I still try to maintain: One picture a day which best summarizes what I did that day. So if you don’t already, you may want to follow me there for a glimpse behind the scene and in-process pictures.

Making a map a day, adding illegible and often asemic writing, lead me to discovering asemic art in a broader sense. I read and thought a lot about usage of text in art, and about asemic art and writing. It also resulted in three little books with fantastical maps and drawings. (The first of them is in a photo above.)

four bindings, three in limp parchment technique

In March I finally added silk thread to my stock for Büchertiger Supplies after testing it on headbands. I learned to bind books in limp parchment technique. I also started investigating screenprinting more and especially in combination with lino prints. The first version of my Nottingham prints came to life, very much inspired by my daily map drawing which at that point I still maintained.

City prints

End of March, beginning of April I started to cut up a slice of a Nottingham street map. I then continue to make photos and sunprints from the cut-paper. But somehow this never amounted to much. But I still have all those photographs and prints, and maybe I’ll make soemthing of it yet.

I also started to learn Japanese in April: Inspired by my writing / map experiments, and thinking about how to encode language and information in marks on paper, I became interested in the Japanese way of using three different “alphabets” (if you want to call them that) to encode language.

Handprinted Business Cards / ATCs

I had some more fun printing in April, most of it in preparation of my first open studio event. I printed my first set of business cards completely by hand: fish in a jar on a water-colour background.

I first dyed my hair blue in April.

Open Studio in May

Then in May, finally, the open studio itself. It didn’t seem like much of a success at the time, with only a handful of visitors, but I had some very insightful discussions, which changed my view on my own work. Which is always interesting and helpful. All in all May was a good month for me:

Nottingham print by H. Kurzke

In May I finished my Nottingham print, finally finished the edition of 346, my long term project, worked on eggshell panels (and published a skillshare class on it), and (re-)started work on my project about miscarriages. (But didn’t get to finish it yet.)

Backlit Open Studio H. Kurzke
one of many mini monster rocks made during the summer

End of May I participated in Backlit’s Open Studios as a guest, and in early June we spent a weekend at the seaside to celebrate the twin’s 7th birthday. There on the beach I found a painted rock from #nottsrocks which then let me to paint and hide a lot of rocks myself during June and July.

In May I also started working on finishing my second model for 346, and as a part of it I made miniature kidney bowls. This lead me to experimenting more with papier mache. I made a whole variety of different things, including cups, something like an asemic/fantasy globe, starting a new project that consisted of hiding filled paper mache things in libraries (this is ongoing, I think, but has been put on hold for the time being; I still have a good number of eggs here at home that wait to be placed.)

Message in a papier mache sphere in a sphere in a sphere in a sphere

I layered coloured paper and cut into it, and made pictures like that. The sphere I made is finished. I also tried some planar images with the same technique. The building up of layers is time intensive, as you can only do a couple of layers per day, and then it has to dry. My first outcome was not very satisfying, but I still have some more experiments to do in that regard!

the image is cut into the sphere which is made up of layers of coloured paper


I also made three “talking” heads, and another paper mache sculpture: “sailing”. I have not properly photographed all these, although they have been finished for a while now. They are my most political work so far. – Brexit, the general climate it has generated in the UK, the evil it has come from and will lead to, this all got me deeply worried and although I don’t usually work politically, I poured all my worries into these pieces.

Sailing, by H. Kurzke

In July the school term ends, and thus – mostly – my work time until August. August then turned out difficult due to hospital stay and subsequent coping – or not – with the new situation. I had long before decided to dedicate the second half of the year to my writing: – As you might know, I am currently working on a novel (I hope I’ll eventually finish it!). All of this took me well into October, when I took a couple of days off my care load at home and instead resettled for three nights (five days) to a hotel in Sheffield where I indeed got a good chunk of writing done, and also posted a number of messages in bottles.

A couple of bottles I made for dispatching them in Sheffield
visitor at Backlit looking at the talking heads

End of October then was the next open studio event at Backlit where I again had a chance to participate as a guest. I showed my “talking heads” as well as 346, but had the most interesting conversations and interactions about the heads.

The two heads each “spit out” part of a scroll, and by superimposing the two images, you can read a declaration of human rights. At the end I left space for people to sign, and indeed did gather some signatures from visitors.


talking heads

In November I started my robot a day challenge, made books and prints and prepared for the small Christmas events at Backlit and the German Academy. I tried my screenprinting for real, I experimented with suminagashi, I made some books, and I bought myself my very first letterpress.

My first Letterpress – Adana

And then – it was already Christmas!

(Christmas) cards in 2018

So, in summary: It was a year of firsts and a year of learning. I worked with eggshells, my work got more politised, I printed more, I used my screens for screenprinting, I learned to work with papier mache, I started to learn Japanese, I started to experience suminagashi and papercuts. I learned about asemic art, thought a lot, about language and writing and politics, and the medical system. And I thought and wrote about what makes a person, about the connection of memory and identity, because that is the content of the novel I am working on.

I also started a new blog on the a-n website (with only one post so far) where I want to write about artists I meet. Although not a first in a strict sense, as I have been writing interviews for a long time, I still feel that this is a another first step into the world of art writing

suminagashi, first experiments

What I didn’t do was promote myself enough to get into any exhibition, which I feel really bad about. I did not even manage to get one of my postcards into an postcard show which will open this Friday, and I feel especially regretful about that.

some prints on suminagashi trials

I know I should be out there, finding ways to show 346, my papier mache, maybe even my maps. – I just felt too much drained of energy. And with the lack of exhibiting came a lot of doubt: Am I really an artist? What am I doing, spending years on trying to write a novel? Can I really be writer? What am I doing and why? Does this all make sense?

And less philosophically: Maybe I should concentrate fully on Büchertiger Supplies. It could do with more attention, it brings in real money, and maybe should be my main professional focus. But I do feel more like an artist than like a retailer! Also, who knows what Brexit will bring.

I also have been teaching German in 2018, and I blame this among other things for the lack of time, the chased feeling, and lack of energy in this past year. Thus I quit. In 2019 I won’t be teaching, at least not German. – A bookbinding workshop is already planned. (Sign up here. ) I hope this will make it easier to make art, and equally important, to get it out there.

Robo Business Card by H. Kurzke

And for my writing: My mentor (I am currently participating in a mentoring scheme) recommends I start making contacts in the publishing world now. I should research which kinds of publishers are interesting for me, who they are, and how to approach them, show up at networking events, talk to people… – All the kind of things I have failed to do for my art now come up for my writing. And thus it officially stops being the evasive thing it started out to be.

I have a lot of plans. Whenever I make anything, I come up with a thousand other things I want to do. Finding things to do is the easy part, and I won’t bore you with going on any further in this blog post which is already much too long. The challenge for me this year will be not just to learn things and to make things but to get them out there.

So this is my aim for 2019: For me to be more daring, to make an effort to get out there, meet people, put my work out there. I don’t know yet how I am going to do it, or where to find the strength to do so. But I want to make a real effort to get it done!

What are your plans and challenges?

Christmas Time = Printing Time: Cards, Giftwrap and Robots

Drawing for Santa by my son

This year Christmas sneaked up on me, ambushed me in the middle of trying to feel a bit more relaxed about my work, and completely everhauled me in a matter of days. I can’t really explain how it all happened, but suddenly it was alreayd the 2nd advent Sunday, my kids were complaining about a lack of christmas baking and M. was sneaking out for an intensive work week in Barcelona, leaving me to make sure all Christmas presents were bought and eventually wrapped, biscuits baked, kids with the correct Christmas outfit in school – it’s amazing how many different Christmas events they manage to fit into a week with a different arrangement for dressing (uniform in the morning, party outfit in the morning; school uniform with christmas sweater all day; christmas sweater or headgear for quick add-on during lunch…).

My table at the Christmas Party at Backlit Galleries

I quit participating in craft markets a long time ago (a decision I’ll have to re-evaluate for the coming year), but I decided to join in at two mini fairs: one at Backlit galleries, for which I decided to bring printed Christmas cards, and I let myself be persuaded to bring cards and some pieces of art to the Christmas fair at the German language school where I was teaching.

First lot of cards: dowloaded a lot of flags, added my own distress pattern, then print this car on it by hand: voilá, travel themed greeting cards.

And so my December was suddently full of delightful – and busy printing. Some of those prints were robots. But I failed to get the full number of 12 full. Nevertheless the challenge was fun, and I might extent it to January.

For now I would like to show you the different printing I made and finished in the last couple of weeks.

my pupil’s booth at the Christmas market at the German Academy Leicester

First up was the printing session with my 7-8 year old pupils at the German academy. They made wonderful Christmas cards and giftwrap together, using different alternative printing plates and – which made things hard – child safe inks and paints.

After the first printing session at school, I started printing my own Christmas cards at home. I decided to finally try out my printing screens. I bought screens, photo emulsion, as well as drawing fluid and screen filler already two years ago, and then was always afraid to actually try it out, because I wasn’t sure I could successfully reclaim my screens afterwards. Finally I overcame my anxiety: What good does it do not to use something out of fear of not being able to use it again anyway?

It was surprisingly easy: I made a drawing first on a piece of paper which I then placed underneath the screen I was going to use.I propper up the screen slightly, and then, with a brush, put my drawing on the screen with the drawing fluid. The fluid is slightly sticky, it’s a bit like drawing with liquid glue, but easy enough. When this is completely dry, the screen filler is dragged across the screen, and when this is dry, you can simply wash out the drawing fluid with some warm water. – And the screen is then ready to pull the first prints. I rather liked the quality of the image produced, and can well imagine to experiment a bit more with this.

Reclaiming the screen was also easier than I feared it would be: I used a filler that can be removed with a mild abrasive household cleaner. After about 15 minutes of scrubbing, the screen looked good as new.

printing with an “easy printing plate”

The other printing plate I experimented with this year was a so called “easy printing plate”. This plate consists of a foam, mounted onto a piece of card. You can then either score this with a pen, and then the marked line won’t ink up. I used this technique with the kids in school (see above the card with hearts). But with a paper scalpel it is also easy to cut and pul the foam and then just unk up what remains. – I am rather pleased with the cat print I made in this way.

Cat print

For the rest I stuck to familiar block prints, carving some text, more cats, paper crowns, and a more traditional Christmas card. Here are all my different cards in one image:

And with the cats prints still slightly wet, I then set off to the first Christmas evening at Backlit. At the table directly beside me, someone had set up an Adana and offered self-printed (letterpress) Christmas cards. I was hit by an extreme case of press-envy.
I firmly believe in not buying anything for myself from October onwards. What I don’t get for Christmas, I wish for my birthday in January, and if there’s still something I want after that, I have Christmas or birthday money to spend it on. However, this year, I couldn’t resist the urge: I knew that there was an unused Adana sitting in the basement at the writer’s studio, and I knew whose it was. A few days later, I brought it home together with a lot of type:

Bringing home my first letterpress

Unfortunately a lot of the type is in disorder, and I’ll probably spend the next year sorting type. – If I can finish in that time! I am also looking forward to using if for printing lino. The format is good for printing cards, too. So maybe I’ll have to produce more cards in the coming year.

The Adana sitting in my studio

What are your Christmas gifts – self-gifted or received by others? And what are your plans for the next year?

Robots Week 2, Walking, Notepads

On the right, robots of the week

Do these two count as two robots? Then I am still on track with my challenge, but so far I didn’t manage more than this one scribble. I might catch up on the weekend, though.

Martin’s Pond in Wollaton

I did try and go for walks, as I notice that this really helps my creativity. Last week, I ventured into a “nature reserve” nearby. I don’t know whetehr this is an English or a Nottingham thing, but there are a lot of so called nature reserves among residental areas, some are big, some are small, all feel to me like I wasn’t living in a big city after all. The photo I took maybe 15 or 20 walking minutes away from our house in the area where we live.

Trowell, Notts, November at noon

Today then I decided to turn the other way and walk past the city borders. The photo below was taken after maybe a 30 minute walk. Although the landscape looked really nice (Novembery-autumny-English), it turned out a bad idea to venture out that way: I had to walk close to a street on a narrow sidewalk where cars sped past me at the permissable speed outside cities. And when I decided that I had enough of this and wanted to take the bus home, I had to realise that my bus card wasn’t valid (because I was outside city boundaries).

Well, what you don’t do to wake the muse. Can’t say it worked on this occasion. I was too worried that I would be run over by a car.

yesterday’s three. Not the most brilliant stitch pattern… But I rather like the covers. I think I’ll add some holes and change the stitch tonight

The pile I made 8 years ago. Stocks are running low now.

Yesterday evening I made a couple of notepads. I just finished with the one I was using (I made a huge pile years ago, and slowly use them up. I love the format…). It was great making books again. I might try more of that in the next couple of weeks 🙂

To mark the occasion, I re-edited the instructional post I made at the time to include the old photos; why don’t you check it out here: Enjoy!

Robots Week 1 and Writing 日本語の字

In my last blogpost I challenged myself to a six weeks, 12 robots project. And this is how far I got: I made myself another of these maze-journals I love to keep for my daily sketches. I had them also for my fish and beach findings projects (if enough people speak up, I’d love to show those, too!).

I am not really happy with any of what I produced this week. I started off with BB-8 (although followers of my instagram account will know that it was the second robot I shared there). I essentially looked at a picture and tried to copy it. I thought I needed to get a feel for robots, and kind of went with it. As a copy from a picture goes, I think it’s o.k., but this is just not what I had in mind for this project.

The second robot I drew was the lady robot with the ipad stomach. It was on the same day, and I wanted something significantly different from the spherical Star Wars robot, but the result looks more alien than robotic to me.

And my third approach, ghah. The fact that the shadow is wrong. This keeps bugging me. But, well, that’s how I drew him. Maybe the next week will turn out more playful and more comic, somehow I felt quite pressured by my own expectations in this week. I want to go for simpler and more friendly this next week.

Any of you tried anything? I would love to see it if you drew something!

And now to something completely different…

Learning Japanese

Some of you will know my interest in writing as an abstract thing. At least ever since I started making (artist) books, but probably much longer I have been very interested in just how writing looks, the abstract idea of putting marks on paper to convey meaning. The magic of reading, when you look at writing, and it’s like a ghost voice inside your head is speaking to you… This is all just very interesting and wonderful to me, and has been part of my artistic work for a while.

page from sketchbook by H. Kurzke, from maybe 4 years ago, using some abstract (asemic) writing

My newest thing is learning Japanese and Japanese writing. It is my handwriting you can see in the photo above. It looks awful. Just like a first grader smudging letters on the page, I just can’t seem to get the length, tilt, and overall look of the letters and symbols right. At the same time looking at them makes me happy and proud. Like so many hobbies I pick up, as an artist, I never know whether this is actually part or will be part of my art practise, or something private. At the moment it clearly still is the latter. But who knows…

I cannot clearly recall, when my interest for Japan and Japanese language and writing came about. When I was a child, my father went to Japan for two weeks on a business trip that involved some travelling in the country. He took a film camera with him and came back with maybe a 30min. clip about his impression of Japan. I was absolutely fascinated by it, and must have watched it hundreds of times. But that never really translated to a wish to go there, or learn the language or anything like it. At times, when I touched Japan or Japanese culture here or there, when it came to paper, printing, bookbinding, or pottery, this fascination bubbled up again, but it always vanished: Japan is a long way away, and it never felt completely real to me, I suppose. But over the last couple of years, the interest grew. To an extent that when I came across duolingo (more about that in a minute), after trying out Spanish, French, Polish, and Dutch, all languages I had (tried to) learn at some point – I started to learn Japanese and stuck with it. I have since had my Japanese lesson every day and there came the point where I actually felt confident enough to tell people, that I am learning Japanese.

Learning Japanese, the first thing you have to do is to learn different ways to write the language. To write Japanese you can use Romaji (which uses roman letters only, it looks like: aiuoekakikukeko…), Hieragana (which look like this: あいうおえかきくけこ。。。), Katakana (which look like this: アイウエオカキクケコ。。。), and Kanji which are not a sound based system and look like chinese characters. In real life Japan, to write a sentence, Hieragana, Katakana and Kanji are all used side by side. A simple sentence may look like this: マリアとジョンは寿司好きです。
Pronunciation of Romaji is very much like reading them out in German, so for me Romaji wasn’t a big issue, but English speakers actually also have to learn how they are pronounced. That is why for English speaking learners, some discourage learning Romaji. However, knowing Romaji is the best way of typing Japanese on a English keyboard (I am typing Romaji, and then I can chose to replace them with Hieragana or Katakana). It just musn’t be used instead of proper Japanese writing.

So, you can imagine, the first weeks of learning Japanese were filled with learning to read and write Romaji, Hieragana and Katakana. Learning Kanji is something that never seems to stop, you just learn the Kanji with new vocabulary. (Well, I do. Many learners actually don’t even bother to learn many kanji at first and then try to catch up later.)

I heard others who tried to learn Japanese and kind of gave up because of the complex writing situation. But probably due to my inherent interest in writing as such, that didn’t put me off. On the contrary, I really enjoy writing. And if learning to read and write kana is the only thing I’ll take away from it in the end, then it would still be worth the effort for me.

And the world has never been better for language learners. When I grew up, learning a language meant a huge investment both in time and money: You had to sign up for a language course, pay for it, pay for the books, and then go there once or twice a week and spend the time there.

Now there are language learning apps which actually help a lot and are more effective than I thought they ever could be. I am using a couple of apps, and I feel like I am really gaining from using them side by side, all of them are free, some contain ads, for others I voluntarily spend some money, still less than I would have paid for a language course, though. I am using duolingo, lingodeer (this is especially good for Asian languages), Kanji tree (to learn Kanji), and My Time! Japanese Vocabulary (which is a flashcard system to learn vocabulary).

In addition, I now discovered italki. This is a plattform, where you can find people to talk with. You can look for tandem partner, people to chat with, or formal lessons (which will cost about the same as taking a course, but you’ll have private lessons). I payed for my first video session this Monday. I signed up for it because I realized that, as good as these language learning apps are, they always present me with multiple choice, and I learn much more to translate Japanese to English, than really to say anything. And indeed, my first half hour of trying to say something in Japanese has been just a bunch of stammers, and learning to really speak Japanes seems like a really long way off.

The last language I tried to learn was Dutch. As a German speaker, you immediately understand a lot, and you can start speaking pretty much from the first day you sign up. So not being able to properly introduce myself in Japanese of studying for half a year every day has its frustrating moments. But then I see the writing again, and it just puts a smile on my face.

Recently I have been thinking of how to use this experience of starting to learn a language in my art making. Mhm, maybe a little robot, starting to learn?…

Writing and Robots

I am currently focusing on finally finishing my novel, thus other projects have to wait in line until it’s their turn again. In German you can say: I pushed everything non-urgent on the long bench. I always imagine a long bench with different projects in boxes like they have them at airport security checks, pushing one in after the other. Every now and then I sort through the boxes, but more often than not it’s a LIFO system, which results in some projects sitting in boxes for a VERY long time, sometimes quite literally.

A look onto the “long bench” in my studio 2016

“long bench” in 2018 – not much has changed, actually box on the very right here (of which you unfortunately can’t see the contents) is the same as the one on the top left, the boxes with “ruled world”, … see that bit of paper peeping out under the boxes on the left side, those are from a project about Johannisfriedhof in Leipzig which I started in – uh, 2009 probably or even earlier; the same paper are on the very left in the photo above.

Now the thing with benches, imagined or real, long or short, is that when you push too much on it, eventually things will start to fall off on the other side. Which is a good thing. Some things will just never get finished that way but that’s o.k. However, my bench is a bit too long for my own good. Meaning: I don’t forget easily about all those project sitting there. For example I am aware that I still owe you a blogpost on rapidograph pens. You probably forgot, but years ago, I bought rapidograph pens, and ruling pens and all kinds of traditional drafting equipment, and I was making different experiments (that book also needs to get finished) and I wrote some blogposts, 2 I think, about the ruling pens and compasses I got for myself, and I promised a third blogpost on rapidograph pens which I never finished. And it keeps on bugging me. I usually finish work at 9pm and then watch tv with DH for an hour before going to bed, and every night I sit down and call it a day, I have this nagging voice at the back of my head that I really *should* finally write that blogpost.

24 sided regular Polygon
the kind of things I was drawing back then with my rapidographs

Anyway…

While writing, what I like to do is meditative tasks. Like folding and cutting paper, or printing small prints, or – probably – ironing (I must admit that I have not tried it; no ironing is done in this household). My favourite meditative task to prepare for a writing session is to walk. Somehow my thinking seems to change when I am moving my feet. I know I am not alone with this, but I find it rather startling and wonderous, really.
I start on my computer, and see what problem next needs to be solved. Then I start for a walk, pondering the problem. Often my thoughts will drift, on the landscape I see, or maybe I’ll concentrate on discovering graffiti or whatever. That’s part of the plan, and I let them drift. Eventually they’ll come back to the problem with fresh ideas.

Sometimes I can find it hard to give myself the time and room to do that. When I am on the brink of going out, it can seem like wasted time. More often than not, I am hard pressed for time. I am thinking about my time in slots. When one opens up, I think about what task needs doing most urgently. Let’s say a generous two hour slot opens up, then dismissing all waiting orders, ignoring emails that need to be answered, let projects that want to be photographed or finished rest, and go for a walk instead feels luxurious.

Sometimes it is.

And because it can be so hard, that’s why I closed my shops for a week when I went to Sheffield last month. But this one week was so successful that I now to schedule time for walks. It’s still hard though. I was planing to be on a walk right now, instead I am at my desk, blogging.

Well, despite this difficulty, writing is coming along well. But don’t be fooled, I won’t finish any time soon. If I am ever finally done, or at least when I decide that the time for concentrating writing is over for the time being, I will probably have a huge stack of paper to bind, as I spend much more time on the meditative task of cutting them than finding time to actually bind books. – Athough, thinking about it, Once I have enough of them, I suppose I could add sewing as one of those tasks that can be done almost on autopilot…

The small prints I am making, don’t pile up. They are distributed with the thread I am selling, and I frequently run out. Currently I am painting backgrounds with watercolours generously splashed over large sheets of watercolour paper. I then cut it down to A4, feed them through my printer to add business information on the back, and then cut it down further to business card size. Then I assemble my stamps, try out different colours and combine them here or there.

I started with some of my “women with hat” stamps, some of them decorated with snowflakes – it’s getting comparably cold here by now, after all.

OOAK business cards – or ATCs

Then I decided to print some of my bottles again, to then “fill” the bottle with different stuff. Some do have the fish that I had in there before, but then I decided to cut a little robot. And I thought it came out rather cute. Then I cut another tiny stamp to give him a heart shaped balloon…

OOAK business cards – or ATCs

I am wondering whether I should engage on a robot sketching (and printing) challenge. I regret to have failed to maintain a steady pace with inktober, and gave up completely in the first week. But maybe I could make it a six weeks, twelve robots challenge. – It’s six weeks until I’ll close shops for the Holidays. Mhm, anybody wants to join me? We could maybe make it a robot picture/print swap, too!