The Making of ‘Instruments of Hope 1’

A linocut relief print of a retro chrome microphone gleaming under studio lights.

...And now for something a little bit different!

My other half is an ardent gig-goer. In ordinary times, he is out at gigs two, three or sometimes even more times a week.

He really missed seeing new and familiar artists at his favourite venues in 2020 and we know many of those grassroots music venues were already struggling before the virus threw a massive spanner in the works.

So, for his birthday, I made him this print. I told him he could either a) own the only print ever, and I would destroy the plate afterwards (yes, I love him that much!) or...

b) he could have a print and I would sell the rest as an open edition with £5 from every sale going to his favourite music venue(s).

Music Venue Trust logo in black and white “Better than that,” he said, “could it go to the Music Venue Trust?”

We want to make sure that when everyone can get out gigging again, there are places to do it, so we hope that this little print will help.

Please Note: Donations to the Music Venue Trust will be made privately by me as an individual from sales of this print.

Instruments of Hope 1 lino plate image drawn and ready to cut
Instruments of Hope 1 lino plate cut and ready for inking

I have a new toy: a gouge with an almost flat profile. It’s very wide (for me, it’s a massive 10mm!) and removes excess lino in super-quick time. Just look at those wide expanses. Mmmm!

I believe this retro mic is actually a Shure 55. Apparently Elvis Presley favoured this kind of microphone.

This is the design transferred to the plate, ready for me to start cutting.

Instruments of Hope 1 lino plate inked and ready to print

The plate, inked up and ready to print. It’ll never look this pristine again. It’s always a joy to see the inked up areas come to life and better still, this one didn’t need any tweaks once I’d printed the first test!

Do head on over to the gallery page if you’d like to buy one these prints or the second in the series, a semi acoustic guitar, and help keep grass roots music venues open.

Instruments of Hope 2, a semi acoustic guitar