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My Creative Process

My Inspiration

I am inspired by nature, whether that is my local landscape, wildlife, holidays, anything that will give me that spark of an idea for my next project.

I particularly love the beauty of my local landscape, the chalk streams of the River Test are so clear, they attract an abundance of wildlife to the area. I love the shapes and curves of the rolling hills and sweeping lines in the landscape. It is a fluid style that I like to recreate in my work.

Bere Mill Bridge, an inspiring little brick bridge over the river test.

This little bridge was the inspiration behind the river crossing scene in Richard Adams novel Watership Down this also features in my Bere Mill Bridge print.

Tools of the Trade

I use traditional hessian backed linoleum, which is a soft and perfect for carving and I'm also trying out Japanese vinyl, which is more durable.

I prefer using Caligo Safe wash inks that contain vegetable oils with high-quality pigments, which provide excellent lightfastness. This means that the colors will not fade over time, even when exposed to sunlight.

I use a mix of Swiss-made Pfeil gouges, Micro palm tools and Japanese woodcarving tools.

My work is printed on high quality paper, including Zerkall, Somerset, Hereford 145gsm and Canson natural white 200gsm. These papers are acid-free and archival quality, which means they will last for many years.

I use an A3 Woodzilla lever press, which is a heavy-duty press that ensures that my prints are well-printed and detailed. I also use a small ball bearing barren and sometimes the back of a spoon!

shows several inks rolled out onto glass, ready for printing
shows the linocut tools I use for carving.
My Woodzilla A3 lever press.

Techniques

My sketches and photos serve as the basis for my designs, which I then develop into the final piece. I then refine them by hand or digitally for multi-color designs.

Once I am happy with the design, I transfer it to a piece of linoleum using carbon paper. I then use a sharpie to draw in any faint lines.

Using my carving tools, I cut away any areas that I do not want to print, leaving only my design.

Once the carving is complete, I roll ink onto the surface of the linoleum. I then place a sheet of paper on top and apply pressure using my lever press.I usually do several test prints to make sure that I am happy with the result before I print on good quality paper.

Due to the nature of the printing process, there may be slight differences in some of my prints. This is because each print is handmade and unique. However, this also means that each print is distinctive and one-of-a-kind!

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