This week on Meet the printmaker, we meet Rachel Collier-Wilson from Creative With Line, a fellow Norwich printmaker, who creates wonderful lino prints with her signature sketchy lines.
How long have you been printmaking? Do you have formal training or are you self-taught? I have continued my printmaking practice since graduating from Central St Martins in 1990 with a BA (Hons) Fine Art Printmaking and Photomedia. oK - sometimes fairly erratically but it's something I always came back to.
What inspires your prints? Do you have a set creative process, for example, sketching an idea and developing it over time or do ideas usually appear pretty whole when they come to you?
I draw all the time and always have my sketchbook with me. I love to draw form nature and I regularly attend life drawing sessions. My decision to take my images to a print is fairly instinctive and not necessarily planned.
Do you have a printing press or do you print by hand? Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
I have a desktop printing press which will print intaglio and relief, at a stretch up to A3. But I also have a trusty wooden spoon. I enjoy both methods, if I'm doing a longer run the press is better, but some blocks just print better by hand.
What part of the printmaking process do you enjoy the most? Is it the carving or the designing or the actual printing?
I love the whole craft of the process, the inspiration, the mindful carving and the first pull of the print.
The last few weeks you’ve been creating a lot of gothic and Halloween inspired prints, do you find your creative output varies a lot with the seasons?
To some extent yes, however I'm a big fan of drawing crows which are my fall back subject matter if I'm in need of inspiration. I love the day of the dead imagery and went on a pilgrimage to see Frida Kahlo's house in November 2018, so amazing. Closer to home, I've recently been trying to bring in imagery from interior design, adding wallpaper/tile inspired elements to my drawings and prints. In particular looking at the Arts and Craft movement and the work of William Morris. This is something I'm wanting to develop. Possibly influenced by lockdown and spending so much time in the home! I particularly like the idea of using images associated with 'home making' and 'a woman's place' challenging this and taking my 'craft' into art galleries.
Where do you hope to see your business in five years time? What are your plans for 2021?
I'm particularly keen to exhibit more in 2021 and have a series of work bubbling under which addresses gender identity, a subject I've often made personal work around previously, being fairly gender non-conforming.
But there will definitely be crows and work which has a suggested narrative inspired by the natural world. I can only be myself and fully embrace that my art is eclectic in nature - needing to draw, or print, or paint, depending on how I'm feeling! The common factor being my sketchy erratic line.
Quick-fire question round...
Favourite printing tool?
Pfeil lino cutting tools