Mar 192012

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to my 100th blog post.  Two years ago, almost to the day, this blog was conceived and I hope you continue to enjoy my missives.

How fitting that this post should coincide with the completion of my largest ever project — a large print edition for the London 2012 Olympics.

Way back in December 2010, I introduced you to Rachael Clewlow’s infographics but at the time we were not in a position to divulge their true purpose and context.

As a brief reminder, I scanned two of Rachael’s acrylic artworks and reproduced them at actual size.

A year later, I was given the go ahead to make a total of 730 prints to grace the walls of the Hilton London Wembley hotel, forming part of the Olympic Village.

The trusty combination of my HP Designjet Z3200’s and Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308 won through yet again…

Rachael Clewlow's edition prints at Jack Lowe Studio for the Hilton Hotel and London 2012 Olympics

A small fraction of the 730 prints made in total...

Most days, for five minutes or so during the late afternoon, I stand at my studio window — coffee in hand — watching the sun descend over the city.

On one of those occasions, I pondered how far the framed prints might stretch end-to-end.

Of course, with the power of Google Earth at our fingertips these days, it didn’t take long to come up with the answer:

End-to-end, the framed Olympics prints would stretch from Jack Lowe Studio to just beyond the Millennium Bridge

End-to-end, the framed prints would stretch from my studio window to just beyond the Millennium Bridge.

What’s more, following a fortuitous meeting with one of the top brass at the newly conceived Sky Tyne and Wear, it also didn’t take long for the media to come knocking…

Sky Tyne and Wear journalist, Neal Walker, visits Jack Lowe Studio to document printing for the Hilton Hotel and London 2012 Olympics

Sky pay a visit to document proceedings...

To complete my very own Olympic event, my machines would be in action for ten hours every working day for over six weeks.

Of course, once the pieces were printed, there was still work to be done.  Each print had to be trimmed to an exact size and, between me and my Rotatrim, the 4500 cuts were executed perfectly.

Wary of all the hard work that could soon be undone, I also had a custom hod constructed.  Designed to carry around one hundred prints at a time, this simple vehicle certainly earned its keep when it came to safely carrying completed work to the framer, Bruce Reid, downstairs at Unit 19.

The custom-built print hod at Jack Lowe Studio for the Hilton Hotel and London 2012 Olympics

My custom-built hod, which could carry around 100 prints for transportation to the framer...

Rachael Clewlow's edition prints at Jack Lowe Studio for the Hilton Hotel and London 2012 Olympics

I interleaved every ten prints for ease of counting...

Every now and then, Rachael would pop in to sign the latest batch of prints.

It would take her several hours to complete each session but, with the aid of multiple cups of tea, she soon got used to writing her name hundreds of times…

Rachael Clewlow signs her edition prints for the Hilton Hotel and London 2012 Olympics

Rachael Clewlow during one of the mammoth signing sessions...

These prints have now left my studio and I have to say that, even though 2012 remains steadfastly relentless, there’s a part of me that misses Rachael’s work passing through my printers.

I was often asked by passers-through whether or not I tired of seeing the prints.  “Not at all!” was my consistent answer — I feel sincerely honoured to have played a small part in the London 2012 Olympics and all in the comfort of my home-from-home in Newcastle upon Tyne.

I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the artist, Rachael Clewlow, and her gallerist, Andrea Harari, for their help and enthusiasm and for bringing the London 2012 Olympics to Jack Lowe Studio.

Rachael’s exhibition, The Process, is showing at Jaggedart in London’s Devonshire Street from 19th April to 12th May.

Rachael Clewlow's edition prints in situ at Hilton London Wembley for the London 2012 Olympics

The finished pieces hung in situ at Hilton London Wembley

24 inch rolls of Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm stacked at Jack Lowe Studio

Just some of the paper stacked in the studio awaiting its turn...


  3 Responses to “My Very Own Olympic Event”

  1. A great way to celebrate your 100th blog post. Well done Jack.

  2. Thank you so much, Richard. Glad you enjoyed it… JL

  3. Wow really happy for you and Rachael, looks like a great commission.

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