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Meet the Maker: Kerry Day

Thursday, September 07, 2017

I’m a full time printmaker living in Bristol. Originally from London; I trained as a ceramicist at Bath Spa University and I completed an MA in Multi Disciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England in 2011. I predominantly work with Lino using the reduction method. I also teach Lino Printing and Block Printing onto Fabric at the Bristol Folk House.


Describe your printmaking process.

I use a mixture of reduction lino print and mono print (using the rollers like paint brushes) to produce variable edition prints. I start by drawing directly onto the lino with pencil, rubbing out and redrawing until I’m happy. Then I will carve away the first bit, which is normally the background. Then I will stick my Lino down onto some board and making a registration frame around it. This assures the lino remains in the same place for each print. For some of the layers I will only ink up sections of the block with multiple colours and do this for a number of layers to build up texture and tone. Because you need to print the entire edition with the reduction method I usually print 20 or less and it can take several weeks to complete. I use oil based inks on Japon Simili 100 gsm paper. 


How and where did you learn to print?

During my Ceramic degree there were opportunities to try different supporting subjects which printmaking was one, but it wasn’t very inspiring. During a time of illness I did attend some evening classes to keep from going insane. A printmaking course which covered all methods was where I got into printmaking. I joined Spike Print Studio and was mainly etching and screen printing. It was here that I was seeing what other printmakers were doing with Lino that I just began trying it. It wasn’t until after my MA that I began using Lino as my preferred printing medium and I haven’t looked back since.


Why printmaking?

I find it can be a calming thing to do. It’s very methodical, the carving of the Lino, to the building up of each layer and the repetitiveness of the inking up/printing process which I find very pleasing.


Where do you work?

I have a studio space in Hamilton House, Bristol. It’s a multi use community centre in the heart of the city. Home to over 200 creative and community lead businesses it is a great and inspiring place to work. However I don’t know how long I will have this space as the building is currently under threat of redevelopment, which is worrying and stressful.


Describe a typical day in your studio.

I don’t really have a typical day. It really depends on what time of year it is or if I have any events to prepare for. So apart from the designing and making of my linocuts, I may have classes to prepare for, admin for exhibitions/events and posting off sales from my online outlets.


How long have you been printmaking?

For about 15 years, but I would say it’s only been the past couple of years that I have been completely happy with the work I’m producing.


What inspires you?

Plants, some would say I have too many. I would say you can never have enough. I have loads all over my studio and home. I’m drawn to their architectural shapes and contours. It’s the wide range of leaf colour and pattern in these cacti, succulents and leafy plants which allow me to develop layers of texture and tone within my linocuts.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

I really like using traditional lino, the battleship grey stuff. I much prefer it over the easy cut and soft cut vinyls. This might make me sound weird but I like the smell of traditional Lino and I personally find it nicer to carve into and to work with, it does what I want it to do.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I’m pretty pleased with how my Haworthia Fasciata Lino Print came out. At the time it was my largest Lino I’d attempted at A2 (I’m currently working on an A1 block). The initial cut took several hours and took 3 months to complete.


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

I currently have an exhibition on at the Prema Arts Centre in Uley, Gloucestershire until 21st October 2017.

My next event will be Made by Hand: The Contemporary Craft Fair at City Hall, Cardiff, 3rd to 5th November 2017.

I also have selected prints on show and for sale at the Craft Centre Leeds, The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. I also sell online at Rise Art, Wychwood Art Gallery and through my Folksy online shop.

What will we be seeing from you next? 

I’m currently working on a series of still lifes which include my love of plants with stripy mugs. I’m hoping to have them ready for Made by Hand in November. 

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

I use oil based inks you and use vegetable oil to clean up with instead of white spirit. You don’t need much, and it’s much kinder to the Lino. To degrease I have a water spray with added washing up liquid and this does the job. Oil is also good if you’re having trouble getting ink off your skin, rub in then wash as normal. 

Keep up to date with Kerry Day's work on her website, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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