Meet the Maker: Kiran Ravilious

Hello! My name is Kiran and I’m a pattern designer based in Leicester.

Describe your printmaking process.

My designs start off as lino prints. I carve each design on Japanese vinyl and print them on fabric.

How and where did you learn to print?

I was born and raised in Singapore where I did my degree in graphic design, however, I also spent a year trying out all sorts of different techniques at
art college and lino printing and sculpture interested me the most.

Why printmaking?

Coming from an Asian background, and growing up with block printed cushions scattered all over the house, I wanted to create something with a similar feel
– rough yet delicate and lino printing seemed the best option and also because I didn’t need any fancy equipment to start off with.

Where do you work?

I work from my studio in Leicester. It’s actually an old screen printing factory. The screen printers still work from there but I have my own space. It’s
a great environment to work in with not only all the light that streams through it but also all the smells from the printer’s inks we all use!

Describe a typical day in your studio.

No two days are ever the same. Quiet days, noisy days, calm days and chaotic days. My day usually starts off with me going into the studio and thinking
“argh, what a mess” but it’s organised chaos and I know where everything is – even if it infuriates my assistant! Most days, I spend sending orders
to my stockists. Then there are days where I get to sit and doodle, carve and print. It’s fun working on new designs and thinking of new products.
I think that’s the bit I like best.

How long have you been printmaking?

Just over 10 years!

What inspires you?

Nature but also wanting to archive something in my life that I can be proud of inspires me to work as hard as I possibly can!

What is your favourite printmaking product?

I especially love Japanese bamboo barens!
So simple but so useful.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

My Jungle foliage cushion. It was a nightmare to print with the block being quite large and getting an even print but it’s one of my favourites.

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

On my website and I also have stockists who sell my work. Many of them are independent retailers so please support them! (stockist list on my website).

What will we be seeing from you next?

I’ve got some new designs and also my long overdue new website.

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

Never give up!


Here’s the link to my webshop:




How to Mix Pigment and Binder to Screen Print onto Fabric

Making your own inks for screen printing onto fabric is an economical way to get a wide range of colours exactly to your specifications. The mixed
inks will leave the fabric soft and washable. Here’s how to mix them:

Start with Fabric Screen Printing Binder.
This is a colourless screen printing medium and will form the base of our ink. Use a clean spoon to decant some of the binder into a pot. 

Next, add the Pigment Colour. These Pigment Colours are very strong like food colouring so only are only used a drop at a time. Be careful – they will stain!

Start with one drop (this is Turquoise Pigment) and mix into the binder. 

Add more drops until you are happy with the colour. The colour below is mixed with two small drops of pigment. 

If you add too much pigment and want to make the colour lighter, do not add more binder. It will take a lot of binder to dilute the colour and you may
end up mixing too much. Instead, begin with a fresh pot of colourless binder – a smaller amount this time. 


Add in dollops of your first colour and mix into the binder until you are happy with the new paler shade.


You can also use combinations of Pigment Colours to mix a wide spectrum of colours. To mix a green we start with one drop of Yellow Pigment into a pot
of binder. It is easier to start with the palest colour first.

When the Yellow Pigment has been mixed in, add a tiny drop of Turquoise.

Mix to create your green ink. You can add more Turquoise Pigment if necessary. 

Don’t forget to label your inks! It can be tricky to decipher acrylic inks from fabric inks once they are mixed. It can also be helpful to label how
the colours were mixed in case you would like to mix them again!

The inks can now be used to print onto fabric. Once the prints are dry, iron them on a hot setting until the fabric feels hot to the touch. Now the prints
will be washable!

To mix your own inks you will need:


Meet the Maker: Alexandra Buckle

I’ve always been creative and I’ve dabbled in lots of techniques in the past. When I graduated from a Design: Crafts degree in 2004 I was making and selling silver jewellery and I also painted.

I happened across the reduction lino technique in 2010 and I’ve not really looked back. I’ve been a full-time professional printmaker now for seven years.
I work from my home studio in Bicester and live with my husband Ben, who is a game developer and also working at home, and our dog Dora. We enjoy taking
Dora for nice walks to get ourselves out of the house. I often find inspiration for my prints from places we walk regularly.

Describe your printmaking process.

I love reduction lino. This relief printing method relies on logic and methodical working. It is a multi-layered printmaking method involving cutting and
printing several layers of colour from just one block in order to build up an image. Mistakes cannot easily be rectified and the block is destroyed
in the process. Hopefully, at the end of the process, you have something lovely printed on the paper to show for your efforts!

How and where did you learn to print?

I did a workshop in the technique at an art school in Buckingham where I was doing weekly painting classes. I had done one colour lino printing before
but never saw much potential with it, the idea of printing several layers of colour fascinated me, so I had to give it a try.

I fell in love with the method straight away and practised it more at home. I have since tried other printmaking methods such as drypoint and collagraph
but I still love lino the best.

Why printmaking?

For me, reduction lino simplified the process of painting an image as it encourages you to select fewer colours and consider shape, form, line and negative
spaces. It suits my methodical brain and married together and satisfied both my painting and crafting urges.

Where do you work?

In our previous house, I was printing on the dining room table. Fortunately, in 2012 my husband and I were able to move to a larger house and I then had
enough space to create a home studio for myself to enable me to develop my work further. Initially the room was set up for painting, jewellery making
and printing, but eventually the printmaking took over the other disciplines. I have enough space to work comfortably and most importantly, to leave
everything out. I also have room to offer private lino tuition for up to two people at a time.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

I’m not sure I ever have a typical day… One week seems to vary from the next. I don’t seem to have much of a routine! I do find that by the time I have
got the ‘other’ jobs complete I often end up printing in the evening.

Most days do start slowly with plenty of coffee…

How long have you been printmaking?

I did my initial reduction lino workshop around nine years ago. I was very fortunate in 2011 and 2012 to have my early linocuts selected for the Royal
Academy Summer Exhibition. Encouraged by this success and the favourable response my work was getting, I began to concentrate solely on the printing.
I do still paint and want to do more, but I don’t really miss the jewellery making.

What inspires you?

I love changes in weather and season on the landscape. Most of my works feature scenes that are quite local to me. Woodland pieces were my first love,
but I also enjoy scenes with water and reflections. Flowers also feature occasionally.

With all subject matter, I look for interesting colour combinations and contrasting light that will create a dramatic effect.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

I love making use of simple items. I raid the kitchen a lot – I find silicon spatulas essential for mixing colours; I use glass placemats to roll my ink
onto, and wooden spoons are great for burnishing smaller works.

It would be unfair not to mention my press,
it’s made by Abig and enables
me to create my larger work at home. Is that my favourite product…? I’m not sure it is – perhaps my durathene brayers are my favourite items or my
Pfiel cutters

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I recently completed a large linocut of the Southbank in London, titled ‘Southbank Puddles’. It’s a scene I have tackled a few times already but not at
this scale. The printed area of this large piece measures 60x40cm.

I enjoyed cutting the straight lines of the paving mixed with the less structured areas of the puddles and reflected trees. I’m pleased I managed to capture
the look of the water on the pavement.

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

I sell a lot online, but also do lots of exhibitions, open studio events and have work in galleries. I’m based in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire mainly.

I am a founder member of the Buckinghamshire Craft Guild, which consists of around thirty craftspeople from the county who share the responsibility of
manning a permanent shop space in Stoke Mandeville.

I also sell with Claydon Gallery in Bucks and Wychwood Art in Oxfordshire.

I currently have pieces in a fabulous exhibition in Cumbria called The Great print Exhibition, this runs until February 2019. Some on my small works feature
in the Red Dot Art mini print exhibition which is touring several locations into 2019.

I will be taking part in two open studio events this year, Oxfordshire Artweeks in May and Bucks Art Weeks in June.

What will we be seeing from you next?

I am planning a few more colourful woodland scenes and also want to add to my Lake District series. I like to push the boundaries of what is possible with
lino with every print I do (which makes life a little hard for myself at times) but I never want to feel that I am not progressing, improving or challenging

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

Don’t listen to other people’s advice!

I spent a lot of time when I was fresh out of university trying to take other people’s business advice, later realising they didn’t necessarily have that
much insight. Try things for yourself, find out if it works for you, if it doesn’t try something else.

Be particularly wary of anyone telling you ‘you should create more of this’ or that or the other… If you enjoy creating it, carry on, if people enjoy
buying it, even better.

And please feel free to disregard my advice… what do I know? Just because it worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.

For information about events, lino workshops, work for sale, or to sign up to my mailing list, visit

I also sell on Artfinder

Follow me on

Making a Fabric Printing Pad

Having a fabric printing pad makes a huge difference when you’re printing at home or in the studio. When screen printing or block printing onto fabrics,
it helps to have slight padding underneath your printing surface to ensure you get an even print. You can also pin out fabric to the pad. We use these
in the studio to print lengths of fabric, t-shirts and tote bags. They’re also fantastic to use when printing with Thermofax Screens. They’re really
easy to make. Here’s how:

You’ll need a piece of board – MDF works very well. These can be made in any size you like but we like to be able to fit our A2 screens on ours. Cut a
rectangle out of a blanket. Make sure it is large enough to wrap around the edges of the board to the back. Army surplus blankets work very well
or you can often find these in charity shops.

Smooth our the blanket on a table and place the board in the centre. Start by wrapping the top of the blanket over an edge of the board. Staple it in place.
Pull the bottom of the blanket tightly and staple. Repeat this on the left and right sides, tugging slightly on the blanket before you staple each
time – we don’t want any wrinkles in the surface. 

Continue to staple the blanket all the way around the board. 

To staple the corners, fold the excess fabric over and pull tightly. This doesn’t have to be too neat on the back but we want to make sure we get a flat
surface on the front. Trim away any excess bulk if necessary. 

Next, cover the board in a layer of thick cotton. White is preferable as it will provide a blank printing surface for printing projects. We like to use
our Heavyweight Cotton as it’s sturdy, crisp white
and smooth enough so doesn’t leave unwanted texture on any prints.

Staple the cotton in the same way as the blanket, pulling slightly to ensure a smooth finish. 

Staple the corners as flat as possible. The bulk here won’t matter too much as the board’s weight should hold it flat on a table.

The board can now be used for screen printing, thermofax printing, block printing and stamping!

To make your own Fabric Printing Pad you will need:


Meet the Maker 2018

It’s January and time to kick start our creative selves after the hustle and bustle of Christmas. We’ve had a brilliant year of Meet the Maker interviews
in 2018. Scroll down for a chance to remind yourself of who we’ve talked to this year and take a look at the advice they offered. 

Kathy Hutton

“For anyone just starting out, I’d say to be a little bit brave, start showing your work & put it out there. The creative community is incredibly supportive
and can offer so much advice and networking opportunities. Take things one small step at a time and keep believing in yourself”


Katrina Mayo

Experiment and don’t be put off if you don’t have all the equipment you think you need, someone, somewhere will have found another way
of doing things!”

Lou Tonkin

The same advice as I’d give for anything, work on what inspires you & do lots of it. Immerse yourself & enjoy it.”


“Work hard and be determined! Find other printmakers and support each other. It’s really helped me a lot to work collaboratively and get advice whenever
I get stuck. I love going to the mokuhanga conferences and listening to the experiences of other printmakers and seeing their work first-hand. Being
able to do what you love is such a privilege, enjoy it as much as you can!”

Amanda Colville

“Be creative, have fun and original. Don’t be afraid to experiment and to fail at things sometimes. That’s how we learn.”

Paul Cleden

My advice for creatives is to be patient and be true to who you are, even if the tide of work is landscape and animals and you are doing
figurative prints, I spent a number of years trying to be who I wasn’t and the work was not good.

Frans Wesselman

“Look for a proper job would be the sensible advice. But having said that, if you are prepared to take the rough with the smooth, it can be wonderful to
work to your own agenda, doing the thing you love doing best.”

Maria Doyle

“I have found social media to be a very helpful source of both inspiration and support. The printmaking community on Instagram is particularly friendly
and everyone I’ve ‘met’ is very happy to provide advice on techniques and materials.”

John Bloor

“I think my advice is hang in there! Problems can always be solved either by asking around or by having a little tuition. Looking back, my learning process
has been quite slow and incremental and I’ve solved one problem at a time. Be patient and keep on printing!”

Gail Brodholt

“My only advice really is to keep working. Try to do a little every day if possible and not be discouraged by rejection. So many talented printmakers don’t
get the recognition they deserve because they get put off by how hard it can be. I guess you need to develop a thick skin.”

Bailey Schmidt

“It’s the cliche one, but practice. I spent so much time scrolling through Instagram admiring other artists and wishing I had their talent, but didn’t
do anything about it. Once I finally got to work, I grew tremendously. I’m amazed at how much I’ve grown in just a year and I’m already at a place
where these artists I once admired are now my peers. Another thing I would suggest is to just put your art out there. It’s easy to doubt your own ability
when the internet is saturated with talented people, but you have to just go for it. People are really encouraging and involving yourself in a creative
community makes it easier to trust your own skills.”

Marian Haf

“Make time and go for it!”

Rob Barnes

“The best advice is never to stop working. If you want colours to be registered perfectly, talk to, or email a printmaker who really knows how to do this.
There is nothing worse than poorly registered lino blocks. Learn to sharpen your lino cutters yourself as they must be razor sharp to produce professional

Basil and Ford

Don’t undersell yourself. When we started we did so much for no money and people seem to take advantage and see a design service as something that can
be given away for free. Your time is your cost so ensure you get paid for your hard work. Also stick to your guns and create items that you love so
you remain passionate about what you do.

Ian Mowforth

“My advice would be to find a medium/s that you feel comfortable with. Try not to master too many techniques at once. All Printmaking processes take a
while to become fluent in. Also, buy the best materials that you can afford as they do make a huge difference to your learning experience.”




“Meet other makers, and take your work out into the world. Other makers can support you and inspire you, and meeting the people who love your work will
spur you on to make more and more. And on that front, never stop learning and experimenting. Take other random classes – everything you do will feed
back into your work.”


Turid Monteith


“Print what makes you happy!”


Katie Edwards


“My way of working came about in my final year of University, I think before then I’d tried too hard to create a style. When actually it should come naturally
by doing what you love, in my case combining photography and printmaking, my two passions. And enter competitions, they are great for getting noticed.”


Rob Luckins


“Don’t feel like you have to have access to expensive equipment in order to get started and if you’re unsure about a process, reach out to printmakers
and ask them questions. I would highly recommend attending courses and talks and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. It’s the best way to learn!”


Angie Mitchell


“Don’t be put off by what you sometimes perceive as failure, the more you explore and experiment the more the creative process blossoms.”