I have always had a love of art, craft and generally wanting to create things. Learning traditional print methods has a special something about it – getting inky, messy and creating something that hasn’t been mass produced has a good feeling to it
From when I was little I used to do drawings on small squares of paper, stapling them together to make books. As time went on, I invested a lot of my pocket money in pens, pencils and sketch books. I tried my hand at jewellery making as soon as I found a place local to me that sold beads in the bucket load, and sold these at craft fairs. I had the bug for making and creating from an early age!
After completing my Degree, (none art related by the way!) I got interested in photography – I attended a “hobby” course at my local college, which lead to a City and Guilds course. Very interesting as at the time the darkroom was king, and I got to develop film and print photos with my own hands. Seeing your image appear as it floated around in a tray of chemicals is quite a magical thing!
Ultimately there was a shift from film based photography to digital, and all of a sudden everyone was a photographer – so I was searching for a way to use my photos in a different way. One day in the Craft and Design centre in Manchester I found a leaflet for Hot Bed Press – a print studio in Salford offering courses. The first two courses I booked onto were Photo-Screen Printing and Gum Arabic Printing and I haven’t looked back!
That was back in 2010 and since then I have carried on with the screen printing, and taken courses in other traditional print methods – Etching and Letterpress – the later has stuck with me as well, and November 2012 saw me trying out Lino-Cut printing as well.
The prints I create, in whichever format they are produced – are all based on my own illustrations – either a simple doodle – or a more detailed sketch. Until recently most prints have been done using Screen Printing – I have recently tried lino cutting – and have been pleased with the first results – so I think this will be a print method I stick with!