As a group we had discussed possible ideas and talked first about our own work and subjects that we had looked in to individually regarding our Rat editorial projects.
What does your work say? Where is it seen? How is it used? This sign-up project asks you to co-create a visual ‘vocabulary’, articulating a given subject, in a specified format, to a defined public. How your work adapts in order to be active in collaboration is explored through its application to on-screen, in-print and in-exhibition contexts.
Our printing workshop highlights the striking similarities between human and rat when comparing population size, behavior and how widespread both species have become. By creating your own rat self portrait, you can imagine first hand the epic journeys these small mammals have undertaken in dominating continents and proving themselves to be one of man’s greatest foes.
To achieve this workshop we had decided we would create printing stamps for participants to use to create their own rat self portraits. the stamps would be of personal attributes for example beards, glasses and guitars as well as the obvious eyes nose and mouth.
From this we had finalised our idea and was able to visualize how both the workshop and the exhibition would fit practically into the spaces Kirstyn had visited that morning.
In this stage of the planning process we hadn’t been made aware of the space we were going to be given so kirstyn talked us through the possibilities of the space. We had to adapt our ideas of a longer table to the table we have to use. we could work around 3 sides of the desk instead of along the desk. We could also hang the wet prints along the back, with string held up by the two beams in between the pillars.
We then as a group moved on to the practical side of the workshop
starting by discussing the rat silhouette being stamped on the postcards we had brought. The postcards were a little under A6 , that the participants could print on to. After discussing shapes and sizes we decided to just print the background and have the rats silhouette left blank and white, this was far easier to print onto, more visible for the little prints and also adds a background to the image.
After cutting out the rat stencil and printing a few testers we then decided to play around with the mini stencils. We briefed some ideas such as glasses, beards, different eyes, different mouths, accessories, and then we began to experiment
It was fun to play around with different ideas and was interesting to see how different each rat could look with a similar combination of stamped features. This boded well for our workshop as we had planned to make 100 rats. We had also decided to keep the images completely black and purchase black stamp pads due to the fact there were limited stamps and the chance of cross contamination between colours could cause several prints to be ruined.
Meanwhile we had finally decided upon printing our final images to be exhibited Black and White and on blue paper this was because the common colour throughout all our images was the colour blue. As a collection of pieces they are all extremely different anyway but printing them on the same paper brought them together. This decision did take us a while to finalise as we were so aware of our differentiating styles.
Having finalized out workshop we carried our tables and workshop materials to dove street studios where we had the opportunity to begin setting up our workshop.
We have finalised how our table set up will be to be the most efficient it can be. We decided also not to have chairs as we wanted this to be a fast pace and easy to partake in workshop. Instead of hanging the cards on the wall we wanted more layers to our table and added this small structure in the middle back with string and mini pegs to hang the works upon. We have made sure we have enough materials such as postcards and ink pads for the half hour, we have put up examples for people to be inspired from, and also set up a ‘rat mirror’ at the side in the theme of our rat portraits. We have also talked of roles, my role is to film, write down opinions and comments of the workshop and take participant photographs, we also have a photographer in our group who will take a portrait of the person and postcard so we will have a collection of photos, and people to talk to about the event and what you have to do.