Meet the Maker: Paul Davis

I’m really a linocut hobbiest, artist and enthusiast. I enjoy spending my spare time carving into a piece of lino as my creative outlet. When I started
I had lots of questions, and I wanted to share my knowledge and experience to help and encourage others. I decided to setup Draw Cut Ink Press, my website, to document my journey and to act as an online resource to encourage others to pick up the tools
and start linocutting and printing.

I started off my career as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer before working with my business partner to setup a digital agency which makes up
my day job. As the agency has grown I found myself further away from the creative coal face and so wanted a past-time that scratched my creative itch.
I love every part of the linocutting and printing art form, from the process of planning and carving the piece to inking up my latest block and peeling
back the paper for the first time to reveal how the lino print turned out.

Describe your process.

I always begin with a pencil and an idea. I have lots and lots of ideas all the time so I keep a notebook on me where I can jot down any new creative sparks
of inspiration and slowly try to work through them all.

I like to draw directly onto a piece of lino, and once I’ve sketched my initial plan out I’ll then begin to add areas of light and dark with a black brush
pen. This really helps get the composition ready and allows me to map it out before I start carving away the negative space.

I use a set of Pfeil carving tools to cut away the lino and add areas of shading. I really enjoy experimenting with the variety of marks you can create by combining different techniques
and U shaped or V shaped tools. I think that this is the part of the process I enjoy the most. I find it really relaxing, it’s almost a type of therapy
and hours can just evaporate!

Once the process of cutting away the lino is complete, I’m pretty much ready to get printing. If I’m doing a multiple colour block then the process is
a little bit more complicated, as you have to map out the areas where you want to add some extra colour and create a registration template (I’ve written an article about that on my blog).

I have a book press at home, but I like to use an etching press most of the time when I’m printing. Using oil based relief printing inks and a Japanese
roller I’ll ink up the lino. Then I’ll crank it through the etching press and hey presto, the job is done and I’m straight back to my notebook to see
what the next print will be from my list.

How and where did you learn lino printing?

I just started doing it really, which means I made loads of mistakes! This was why I wanted to setup Draw Cut Ink Press,
in order to document what I’d learnt and to make it accessible and free to anybody else who is interested. The only training I’ve done was with Nick
Morely (aka LinocutBoy) at Resort Studios in Margate. My wife got me a weekend colour workshop
where I learned loads from Nick, who is a top print artist and really nice bloke.

Do you practice any other forms of printmaking?

I’ve done some screen printing before, and I’d like to try wood block printing one day but at the moment I’m really just focused on lino printing.

Where do you print?

I have a membership for Bainbridge Studios in Elephant and Castle in London. The studio is primarily setup for screen printers, but they’ve also got a
little back room with two etching presses that seem to mostly collect dust. I’m very pleased to dust them down and run my blocks through them, I think
they are fantastic.

Describe a typical day when you are printmaking?

I have two typical types of day really. Drawing and carving at home, or printing in the studio. I’ll usually stick some music on (I’d always recommend
The Rolling Stones) and just bury myself into what ever part of the process I’m at. When I’m carving the lino I tend to work in the evenings or for
a few hours at the weekend. When I’m printing I’ll book a four hour slot on the etching press at the studio and try to work through as quickly as I
can, especially if I’m doing a multi-block print.

How long have you been printmaking?

I’ve been printing for just over a year now, and I’m sure that I’ll be printing for many years to come. I hope!

What inspires you?

Lots of things, I have a really eclectic taste when it comes to things that I find inspiring. The first block print that really inspired me was an Ex-Libris
print a friend bought on a visit to Prague. I loved the graphic quality of it, and I’ve since found loads of these that get my creative juices flowing.
I love popular culture, from great musicians to cult movies as well as the just the world around me, from the city I live in to nature and big landscapes.

I think that if I had to express one thing that ties all my work together it is a sense of narrative and story telling, I like all my prints to look and
feel like a snap shot of an unfolding story.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

That’s a tricky question to answer, but I think my set of Pfeil carving tools are my absolute favourites. I can’t live without them now. When I started lino cutting I had a naff carving
tool with a blunt cutting edge and cheap plastic handle. It was so bad I almost packed it in before I’d had a chance to start, but then I decided to
invest some pennies into my first Pfeil tools and it was a completely different experience, I loved it!

What have you made that you are most proud of?

Another tough question, I think that as a creative person you always look at the flaws in what you’ve done because you’re too close to the pieces you create.
I’ve done a few pieces that I like, but I only start really liking them about two months after they’re printed and have sat under a pile on my desk
for a while.

I think some of my recent work is what I like the most, which have been based on characters from films I grew up with. I loved the old movies that merged
stop motion animation with live action, and so my latest piece of the mythological Greek character Talos that came to life in Jason and the Argonauts
is currently my favourite.

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

Primarily on my website or my Instagram feed at the moment. I have plans to eventually start selling my work via my website and to maybe try and exhibit in a few small galleries in London
if I have the opportunity.

A few people contact me through social media so I’ve made a couple of sales, but for me lino printing is primarily a hobby. The dream is to one day setup
my own studio and surround myself with other artists all day – to create a bit of a lino cutting and printing community where we can support one another
and setup classes, workshops and exhibitions open to people interested in the art form.

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I’m doing a series around my stop-motion animation childhood hero Ray Harryhausen and the characters that he created. I want to try and get around
ten pieces in the series, so I’ve got a way to go yet!! The latest piece hot off the press is of Talos, a giant bronze statue that comes to life in
Jason and The Argonauts, but as I write this I’m looking for skeleton warrior references (as you do??) from the same movie…

Do you have any advice for other printmakers, designers and creatives?

I’d say just get on with it really, you can start lino-printing at home with relatively few tools and you don’t need loads of space. The most important
thing is to just be open to experimentation and the odd failure along the road. Mistakes are the best way to learn and I’ve certainly learnt the most
by making a few clangers along the way. Art is really 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, so be prepared to roll your sleeves up and sweat it out.
It’ll definitely be worth it in the end.

The only other advise would be to look at what other people are doing if you don’t know where to start. There are loads of inspiring people doing amazing
work out there, and I’m sure that one of them will be able to inspire you to get printing too… and obviously i’d say to go and have a look at for lots of helpful articles and tips!

You can see more of Paul Davis’s work on his website, on Twitter or Instagram! 

Perfect Fabric Prints with Indian Wooden Blocks

Indian Blocks come in a wide variety
of designs perfect for printing onto fabric and paper. It can be a bit tricky to achieve an even, bold print on fabric so here’s our method of printing
with these blocks!

Handprinted Fabric Paints are perfect for printing these blocks onto fabric. We’ve scooped out a little of a variety of colours onto an Inking Tray: Mushy Pea, Kiwi, Yellow, Sea Green, Forest, Cloudy Blue and Royal Blue.

Loading up the blocks with a sponge is a good way of getting even coverage on the design. Dipping the block in paint would  result in a blobby, messy
print. We’re using Paint Applicator Sponges.

Place your fabric on top of a Foam Printing Pad.
This gives the right amount of padding underneath the block to ensure that the whole of the design prints evenly on the fabric. You don’t need to press
hard to achieve a good print.

You can blend different colours with the sponge onto the block to print varying shades.

Layer up your design by loading up another block with paint and printing over the top.

These block designs are Starburst and Starburst Circle.

Some Indian Blocks are designed to be repeated, like this Circle Square block.

Printing using the
Applicator Sponges
and Foam Printing Pad
 helps you to achieve an even pattern when printing in repeat.

Again you can blend the colours on the block with the sponge to print changing colours.

Even blocks with flatter printing areas like this Triangle will print evenly on the printing pad.

Iron your prints when they’re dry to make your fabric washable with a lovely soft handle.

To print using this method you will need:



Meet the Maker: Lizzie Mabley

My name is Lizzie Mabley. I live and work near Stroud in the Cotswolds.I have a passion for pattern which I find in nature and my surroundings, I translate
this love to my lino and screen prints.

Can you describe your process?

All my designs start life in my sketch book. When I am happy with an idea I transfer it to lino and carve it out. Some of my designs stay as art prints,
but some I develop for printing on to textiles for cushions, tea towels napkins etc. If I intend to print a design on fabric I usually transfer it
to a silk screen – I find this much more efficient if I need to print larger quantities, it also gives a more ‘solid’ image than a lino print stamp.

While studying Textile Design and Surface Decoration at university I did a screen printing project and obviously used all the proper kit – exposing units,
drying cupboards and wash out booths. For ages I thought this was out of the question to do at home, but after a bit of research I found I could successfully
expose my screens at home using only the sun. Even on a relatively dull day there is enough U-V to expose an image on a screen coated in light sensitive

To transfer a lino print to a screen I first print my lino block on to acetate using an oil-based block printing ink, this will give the screen print the
look and texture of a lino print.

I then coat a screen with Speedball photo sensitive emulsion and let it dry in a dark cupboard. When it is dry I lay the printed acetate on to the screen, followed by a sheet of glass. This is then put on to
a board covered with a sheet of black paper. I then have to wait for a bright day as I expose the screen to sunlight for approximately 50-60 seconds
depending on the strength of the sun. This is enough to expose my image onto the screen. I then wash out the ‘un-exposed’ areas with a hose to reveal
the image.

How and where did you learn to print?

I did my degree in Textile Design and Surface Decoration at what used to be called Buckinghamshire College in High Wycombe.We worked in a massive textile
studio affectionately known as ‘The Red Shed’ – it was a big red tin building! Screen Printing and mixed media were my thing. I spent my time printing,
sewing, sticking and painting.

Later on I became absorbed in family life and although always making and creating did not call it ‘work’ for a long time.I needed a creative outlet so
decided on lino printing which I could easily do at home and fit in around my children.

Why Printing?

I really love repeat and pattern. I am very observant, as any visual artist is and look for pattern everywhere.It is amazing where you can find beauty,
just keep your eyes open. Print is the perfect medium for me, each print is the same – but not quite – as the last. I love printed pattern in home
furnishings so I am aiming to take my own work in that direction.

Where do you work?

I am lucky enough to rent a tiny studio at Victoria Works Studios in Chalford which is nestled in the Golden Valley near Stroud. It is an inspiring environment
in a beautiful place. This is only a recent development however, I moved there last September from the little Blue Shed in my garden at home – hence
the name of my business ‘My Blue Shed’! My new studio is certainly an up-grade on my damp old shed and I love it there, although I do miss the little
slice of the Cotswolds that is my garden. It is great for me to leave the house and go to work every day – it makes me more efficient and I appreciate
home all the more now.

Describe a typical day in your studio

After I have seen my children off to school I head off to the studio and arrive about 8.30am. Each day is different – although they all start with coffee,
then it might be carving a new lino block, working on a new design in my sketch book, screen printing a batch of tea towels or cushion covers and ironing
prints to fix them…

Then I tend to leave about 3, back in time for the children to re-appear.

How long have you been printmaking?

I began lino printing about 10 years ago. When my children were small it was an ideal hobby which fitted in with life. After a few commissions and stalls
at various fairs and markets this has gradually escalated into a little business. I moved on to screen printing about 3 years ago.

What inspires you?

I am strongly influenced by nature and gardens. I love plants and the shapes and colours that nature so cleverly puts together. I used to think I couldn’t
design anything without using flowers! As a mum at home with small children, trips to the allotment were frequent so I suppose I have been immersed
in this environment for so long that it always finds its way in to my work. I also find pattern in man-made objects and I like to photograph objects
like floor tiles, railings, gates and old street lamps while out and about.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

Having re-discovered screen printing I am a big fan of Speedball’s photo screen emulsion kit which works brilliantly with my ‘low-tech’ method.

For printing on fabric I love using Permaset Aqua Screen Printing Ink (it works well for block printing with lino too) when it is heat fixed with an iron it washes and wears really well.

For printing my lino blocks on paper I use Caligo Safe Wash Relief Ink. It is a natural oil based ink and gives a good crisp print even without a printing press. It smells
lovely (evocatively taking me straight back to art college) and as an added bonus it washes off equipment with warm soapy water.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I was so proud of myself when I found I could successfully expose my printing screens at home in a ‘low-tech’ way with a very limited budget and very little
space, it really was an exciting moment! I am very proud of the prints I have achieved using this process like my Dodo, Paisley, Bee and Mackerel to
name a few. I love the fact that my screen prints almost always begin life as a lino print, where all this began!

Where can we see your work?

Being a self-confessed technophobe my website, which has always been on my ‘to-do’ list is still under construction – soon to be rectified! But I do have
an online shop on Folksy and I’m getting pretty good at social media – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I usually post new work and work in progress straight away on these platforms.

Email me on

I also sell locally in shops in Stroud, Gloucestershire and of course I always welcome visitors to my studio.

I teach Lino printing workshops to beginners which is great fun, even people who think they can’t draw and believe themselves not to be artistic go away
with something lovely that they have created. It is immensely satisfying to pass on my craft to others.

What will we be seeing from you and your work next?

I am loving printing my designs on fabric, so I will definitely be heading in that direction and developing my range of cushions, tea towels and aprons.
I am also planning to make lampshades using my fabrics.It is my ambition to eventually get a bigger space and be able to print with larger screens
and longer lengths of fabric. I would love to design gift wrap and who knows maybe one day, wallpapers!

What advice would you give to other creatives and printmakers?

Have faith in what you are doing. Engage with other creatives on social media, it will boost your confidence and reassure you that you are going in the
right direction. Until I looked on facebook and twitter for other lino printers I thought I was alone in my obsession, but I was so wrong! There are
loads of us out there producing beautiful and inspiring work.

Above all, do what you love doing and don’t give up!

You can see more of Lizzie’s work in her Folksy shop or get in touch by email at

Photography by Britt Willoughby-Dyer and Lizzie Mabley.

Chichester Open Studios!

We are thrilled to be taking part in this year’s Chichester Open Studios Art Trail. 119
venues are opening their doors to 155 local artists exhibiting a wide range of work in and around the city of Chichester, West Sussex.

The two of us here have been working hard putting together a body of our own work to exhibit in the Handprinted Studio.
We’ve got examples of all of our favourite techniques: screen printing, linocut, woodcut, indigo shibori, batik, drypoint and cyanotype in framed prints
as well as in the form of lampshades, bags, tea towels, garments and sketch books!

We opened last weekend on the 30th April and will be exhibiting again this weekend on the 7th and 8th May.

Some of our new range of lampshades and garments, all hand printed and dyed by Shirley and Holly.

‘Branches’ – a linocut by Shirley

Screen printed sketch books with Shirley’s designs.

‘Flight’ – a two layer photographic screen print by Shirley

Our lovely Adana press tucked in the corner with four of Holly’s botanical drypoints and one of Shirley’s cyanotypes.

There are plenty of additional prints in the browser!

‘Venetian Door’ – a five layer reduction linocut by Holly

Screen printed tea towels featuring Holly’s ‘Polyprop’ and ‘Fern’ designs

Screen prints by Holly – ‘Botanical’ and ‘Hydrangea’

Please pop by and see us this weekend if you are in the local area! We are venue no. 59 on the map at Handprinted, 22 Arun Business Park, Shripney Road, Bognor Regis, PO22 9SX.