Saturday 26 October 2013

Meet the printmaker: Pirrip Press

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work...
What sort of prints do you make?

Pirrip press was conceived by Georgie and myself last year. It is the joint culmination of our various creative enterprises. We work for clients on design, illustration and print work, with a particular focus on bespoke, hand printed stationery. We also design and produce work for ourselves, illustrations, posters, notebooks and other printed items, that we sell at markets, online and with a few independent retailers. We also illustrate, write, and self publish our own books. We try to produce one new publication a year, in limited editions of under 100 copies.
Our work is quite diverse, but we like colours, shapes, layers and words
and produce mainly silkscreen printed work, often limiting ourselves to
two or three colours.

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in other fields?

We both love printing, but yes, we also work in other fields. Georgie teaches on illustration courses at Cheltenham and Cardiff and also lectures on the MA
in Illustration at Falmouth University. I do bits and pieces of design work and illustration as a freelancer and like drawing, but spend most of my time doing Pirrip Press work.
What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you want to do more?

I think it was a butterfly print. At my Grandma and Granddad’s dining room
table. Where you make one half of the butterfly with Paint and then fold the
paper in half to squash (print!) the same pattern on the other side to make the
two identical wings of the butterfly. Not sure what print method that is!
They were brilliant and smudgy and bold though.
We were discussing print recently and both realised that one of our favourite
things is seeing lots of things all the same, all lined up.
Obviously printing an edition and seeing it drying on the rack is therefore
massively satisfying for us!

What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?

We are both storytellers, and know that things are nearly always better if
there's a story behind them, so we do plenty of research. We're also both quite keen on science and nature, there are lots of youngster's science books in our studio. They are a really good source of inspiration, and as the information they impart is usually in bite sized bits for children, they're easy for our non-scientific minds to comprehend!

Could you Give us an insight into where you work, your studio or workplace and
where you print?

We have a small studio at home, more of an office really.
This is where we do our design work and all the prep for our prints.
It's pretty full, big plan chest and two desks, and there are a few inspirational
prints hanging on the walls.
We have a whole run (20ish) of time life books with their different coloured
spines all lined up in rainbow order.
We print at spike island, where we are key holders. It's a brilliant studio and
we really enjoy working there. Everyone is friendly and helpful, and it's really
nice to chat to people about their work and what everyone is up to.

The work of which other printmakers do you admire?
We have a Sister Arrow print which is lovely and bright and hopeful, and we also have a big Johnny Hannah screen print waiting to be framed.
We like lots of old printmakers, both of us are Ravilious fans. And I really like the lithographs that Rosemary and Clifford Ellis made in the 50s onwards, mainly commercial work for transport for London and book covers for the new nature series, but it's really vibrant and beautiful.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy
the most?

The layering. Constructing the image in your mind and in black and white
and then the magic when you layer the colours and the new colours come
through in the overlaps.

Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
We have a good small wooden handled squeegee which is pretty old but a
firm favourite because it's light.

Can you share a little printing trick or secret with us?
Not sure it's a secret but the multiply filter in Photoshop / illustrator is
invaluable for checking what colours the different opacities of ink might
produce when it comes to print. And we like to twist our pile of paper before we start printing so it's easier to pick up the single sheets.

How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
We are always striving to print the best prints we can so we will always be
looking for better methods and tricks! I think we would both like to do a little
more unplanned printing, some experiments where we don't have a fixed
outcome in mind, as we really enjoy the playful printing when we do it,
and like the look of the test sheets where three jobs worth of random printing
is all layered up on top of one another.

Which printed publication do you most look forward to thumbing through?
The gentlewoman.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?

Variety is the spice of life.

Thank you for sharing your working process and inspirations, Alex and Georgie!

Pirrip Press will be at The Print Shop for the rest of Volume 3. 

The Print Shop
Unit 6
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus

Open Daily
Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm
Sun 11am - 5pm


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