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Roker Pier commission

Updated: Feb 21

In August I was contacted about creating a linocut print of Roker Pier in Sunderland.

Hannah liked the sense of movement and colour of my 'Sea Days' print. The view of Roker Pier and the lighthouse is special to her. She could send me reference photos but that's not the same as seeing somewhere for yourself.

Roker Pier and Lighthouse protects the entrance to Sunderland's harbour. It was built between 1885 and 1903. In 2012 the pier, tunnel and lighthouse were restored and you can now go on guided tours of the tunnel and lighthouse. Find out more about Roker Pier here.

So the day after the York Printmakers Print Fair I headed up there with my friend Mike, a fantastic photographer. It was a crisp bright day, perfect for being at the coast. When we arrived the tide was out.

Watching the tide come in we watched the waves crash into the curve of the pier. It's then that being there came into its own. I realised that it was important to capture the moment of the waves breaking against the outside of the pier but within the harbour, the sea was fairly flat.

I love the strong curve of the pier itself.

Below shows hows I created the print.

Thank you to Mike Pringle for many of the photos.

Of course, there had to be fish and chips in the sunshine!

Planning the design

Before I draw a design, I spend time editing my photographs, to find one where the composition is balanced and captures the essence of the place.

I took many photographs but the one that was just right was taken by Mike. So thank you, Mike!

I spent a long time sketching the waves, to get a sense of movement as they broke against the pier just right.

I used a close-up photo I'd taken of the lighthouse to ensure I got the essential details right.

Cutting the design

The print was quite a challenge to cut.

The pier needs to be cut in one continuous line. If I stopped half way along it would show. I do love the cut-away curls of lino.

The lighthouse is very small, so very small details to cut.