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Meet the Maker: Jenny Sibthorp

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hello! My name is Jenny Sibthorp and I’m a textile designer based in the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. I work predominantly with screen printed linen and leather, although some of my designs are now reproduced onto stationery and culinary ware too.

 

Describe your printmaking process.

 

Screen printing. All of my designs start off hand drawn and the repeat and design is tweaked until I’m happy with the result.

 

How and where did you learn to print?

 

I’m largely self taught. I screen printed at school a few times, then had a very long break, before taking a basic screen printing evening course at Arts University Bournemouth. I relied heavily on YouTube and a lot of books to get me going, and as always the best way to learn I find, is trial and error!


 

Why printmaking?

 

I’ve always loved pattern and colour. It was whilst taking evening upholstery classes in London that I realised I wanted to try and find a way to work with my hands for a living and printing seemed like a natural progression of that. Screen printing appealed as it was so transformative, so quick, and so incredibly satisfying.

 

Where do you work?

 

I’m lucky enough to have my own studio on a farm near where I live. It’s very basic having once been part of a milking shed but I love it. I’ve built the tables, the shelves, there’s a bat and a constant draught. It’s a constant work in progress but having a back door that opens onto a field of lambs in the summer makes it pretty hard to beat.


 

Describe a typical day in your studio.

 

My daily routine varies according to the season. In Winter I’ll work at home in the mornings until the frost has thawed and it’s a workable temperature. Come summer it's early starts and late nights as it gets very hot in the middle of the day! It’s a heady mix of emails, admin and if I’m lucky some printing. I usually have a long printing list to keep my stock levels up, and I’ll tweak this according to wholesale orders etc. Packing orders and a post office run usually features too. As do plentiful supplies of coffee and BBC Radio 6 Music & Desert Island Discs.


 

How long have you been printmaking?

 

Officially, I’d say about 4 years now.


 

What inspires you?

 

The outside world: flora, fauna and nature more generally. I’m quite literal in my designing process at the moment.

 

What is your favourite printmaking product?

 

I love a good Speedball Fabric Screen Printing Ink. I find they mix really well and give great coverage.


 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

 

That’s a hard question. I guess upholstering my first ever chair using my own fabric was a pretty huge moment.


 

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

 

I sell on my own website, etsy, notonthehighstreet, share a local shop with fellow creatives in Wareham and regularly turn up at markets in Bridport, London and beyond. But I’m also very lucky to have acquired some pretty cool stockists over the past few years across the UK and a few in Europe now too. Last year my biggest stockist was Anthropologie EU which was particularly exciting and this year I’m absolutely thrilled that I’ve just finished off a large order for the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford. I can’t wait to go visit.


 

What will we be seeing from you next?

 

A new collection is long overdue and I really want to develop my skills in paper for limited edition prints too.


 

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

 

Make mistakes, lots of them, both as a learning method and also because sometimes the things that didn’t come out as I planned end up being much much better than I could have ever imagined!

To see more of Jenny's wonderful work, visit her website or follow on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.