Meet the Maker: hello DODO

This month we are meeting the fabulous duo behind hello DODO! We love their work and are so thrilled to be able to chat to them about it:

Hello! We are Ali & Jam AKA hello DODO, playful printmakers and designers from sunny Brighton. We met at university over 10 years ago (eeek) where Jam studied Graphic Design with Typography and Ali studied Design Photography.

How and where did you learn to screen print?

Jam had done a tiny bit of screen printing at uni whereas as I had done zero, but the process fascinated and made sense to me as an analogue photographer. We decided to teach ourselves to screen print from home, which was very VERY challenging. We probably made every mistake in the book! Our first silkscreen supplier sold us some really shoddy kit too, which didn’t help! In hindsight we should have done a screen printing crash course but now we can say that we’re self taught and can be proud of that!!

Why screen printing?

Screen printing just made sense for us, we wanted to create bold and colourful graphics that could span paper and textile and we wanted to use a traditional, hands on method.

Where do you work?

All of our printing is done from home on our homemade press which is called Preston. We have literally (!) only just upgraded to having a room which is a joint office and printing studio, until now it’s been kitchen worktop all the way!

Describe a typical day in your studio.

A typical day (when not working for clients) would be coffee and toast whilst replying to emails at about 9am, then on to packing orders and getting those to the post office (luckily just round the corner!) Then it’s usually screen printing, either for orders to go out the next day or creating stock for upcoming markets. Quick lunch whilst back on the emails, online shop maintenance and updating social media. Then back to the squeegee, probably accompanied with a cuppa tea! Evenings are usually a mix of social media and listing new products online.

How long have you been printmaking? How long has hello DODO been going?

hello DODO has just turned 4! It’s strange because it’s hard to remember a time when our lives didn’t revolve around it. We started printmaking about a year before that.

What inspires you?

With every hello DODO design we try to create something that’ll make people smile, so fun is our main inspiration! Animals, bright colours and amazing/terrible puns also feature heavily in our work as well as the seaside, all things which make us happy.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

We’re VERY attached to our squeegee and can’t imagine ever replacing it!! Other than that we’re big fans of Speedball inks, the colours are fantastic.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

It’s a bit of an oldie now but our ‘I Love a Nice Lion on a Sunday’ screen print is still as popular today as when we first launched it and at markets gets everyone chuckling, young and old! From a scribble in a sketchbook when we were on holiday to our most well known and loved design, we’re pretty proud of it! It’s also a relief that so many people share our ridiculous sense of humour! Other than that, we make a pretty awesome vegetable curry.

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

You can find our work online in our Etsy shops and in a bunch of independent shops around the country. At Christmas you’ll find us at lots of fairs in Brighton and London, the Brighton Etsy Market, Renegade, BUST, Crafty Fox to name just a few!

What will we be seeing from hello DODO next?

Ok, as you asked you’ve got the exclusive, awesome and adorable babywear is about to drop!

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

It’s obvious advice that everyone repeats, but if you’re struggling to get something right try, try, try again. Then maybe have a cup of tea and try again. When you eventually nail it nothing beats that feeling! Also never waste ink and always wash your screens out thoroughly!

Now that you love hello DODO as much as we do we know you’ll want to take a look at their website!

Gelli Printed Decoupage Stool

The best thing about printing with Gelli Plates is how fast it is to create a bundle of fantastic textures and designs! But what do you then do with all these lovely prints? Here’s a project that is a great way to use all your gelli prints to create something lasting.

Here’s how we made our Gelli Printed Decoupage Stool:

We are using our 8×10″ Gelli Plate but for a project like this you could use any size or shape. Squeeze a little acrylic paint onto your plate.

Roll out your paint onto the plate. You want an even thin layer. Too much paint will be squelchy and produce messy prints.

Create different textures on your plate by pressing, scraping and drawing into the paint (be careful not to use anything sharp that will damage the surface).Try using bubble wrap to get polka dots:

Peel off the bubble wrap to reveal your texture.

We’re using Logan Paper to print on –  a translucent deli paper that’s loved for Gelli printing and perfect for decoupage as it is beautiful when layered. Place your Logan paper over your plate and rub with the flat of your hand.

Peel off your paper to reveal your print!

You can take a second print from the plate to remove any excess paint. You can get some really lovely and unexpected prints this way. I used the leftover paint to print on the unprinted strip of paper on the side.

Place your paper to one side to dry.

Add more paint to your plate (without having to clean it first!) and roll it out again ready for the next texture. Try corrugated cardboard:

Add a few blobs of paint in another colour and roll it out.

This time we’re using some sequin waste and a scraper to make marks.

Experiment with blending colours on your plate!

When you have a pile of prints with a variety of patterns, clean your plate. You can use a baby wipe or a damp cloth to remove any excess paint. Store your plate back in its case with its protective plastic covers.

Here our stool ready for its makeover.

We applied a quick undercoat of white paint.

Gather together all of your prints.

We cut ours up into strips but you could choose any shape.

Put a little Mod Podge on a foam brush.

Apply it to a section of your surface.

Take a piece of print and stick it down. Use your hand to flatten out any wrinkles and the foam brush to push down the corners.

Keep adding areas of Mod Podge and layering up prints. Most of the prints will be translucent and you will be able to see partially through to the layers underneath to create new colours and patterns. We used only red and blue paint so we could make purple when overlaying prints.

When you are finished layering and are happy with how to looks add a final thin layer of Mod Podge over the top as a sealant. Make sure to go round all the edges to tuck any loose bits round. I had to patch a few bits on the side where I had left gaps.

To have a go yourself you will need: