After discussing the bottle top paintings with lithographer Lee Turner, I was excited to get in the Hole Editions studio to make some bottle-top prints.

I wanted the prints to reflect the paintings; the subject should be something small, easy to find, often discarded and produced in multiples... Pennies? Stamps? The monarch’s head; an image so familiar, so mundane and yet so charged with history, politics and ideology.

After working out some logistical problems (such as, ‘What the heck is a bottle-top print?’ and ‘Will doing [x] with a bottle top break that nice expensive printing press?’) we settled on a couple of options:

First step, smash some bottle tops so the inner base surface was a flat plane! Then I could draw directly on to the bottle top and create an image to be transferred on to a litho-stone. This process led to one set of prints, not yet editioned with the working title ‘The Prinny D Die Res’

The second process involved less smashing and more traditional litho work, drawing directly on to the stone rather than into a bottle top first. A cap frame was then transferred on to the stone and the two aspects combined into one image, a process with involved blanking out areas of the image using real one-pence pieces as they perfectly fit the centre of the bottle top. This image formed the basis of the ‘Penny Blank’ edition, the hand coloured ‘Drag Queen’ and ‘Ain’t Enough Black’ editions and the three-colour-run ‘Lucky Six Pence’ edition.

With nods to numismatist, stamp-collecting and petty admin tasks throughout the process, the series is a playful reflection of our under- and over- valuation of common currencies, and the ideas and ideals they represent.

All prints are available to buy via the artist or www.holeeditions.co.uk 

All images © Nancy J Isherwood 2017

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