Mike Tingle joined the Devon guild of craftsmen in 1997 as a printmaker. His main printmaking method is fine line etching but he also experimented with embossing heavy papers through an etching press. These embossings made of white paper and shadows depict simplified sign figures in frieze-like form; such as ""Neo-classic day out."" The sculptural low relief character of embossing lead him to work with punched and painted copper, and cut and painted aluminium.

A line of wit and humour runs through all his work, and the Nonsense of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll has become a main focus.

"I discovered the Nonsense Icon while sitting outside the Eliot Alms in St. Germans enjoying a pint of beer. I was reading a newspaper article about the medieval stave church paintings from Norway, with a photograph of a vaulted arched ceiling depicting an enthroned Christ with Apostles. I asked myself why, as a non-believer, do I like such things. The answer was to do with Myth, and the structure of the vaulted ceiling which made it look like (in the photo) a small object. I then (with the help of the beer) made an imaginative connection with a small wooden panel with cut out painted metal images I'd recently made for the Devon Guild of Craftsmen's summer show. It was of the Cheshire Cat with a dodo standing on top of the panel. I thought, I've made a Nonsense Icon without realising it. The word icon lead to the idea of hinged doors attached to the panel front, and this in turn lead to the use of text in conjunction with revealed images. I had found my ideal form."

Mike's work is always on show at the Devon Guild, and he has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on many occasions.


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