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Meet the Maker: Katrina Mayo of Dekko Press

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Hello! I’m a printmaker living in Brighton. I came to printmaking relatively late as I trained and worked in the Health Service for 20 years before taking a break to do an Art Foundation which I enjoyed so much that I went on to do a Printmaking Degree and later an MA in Sequential Design and Illustration at the University of Brighton. In 2016 I left my job, set up Dekko Press and focused full time on screen printing and designing greeting cards. 


Describe your printmaking process.

I usually start by either sketching ideas and shapes in a notebook or collaging cut out paper shapes. I find Photoshop is great for then experimenting further with the design and colours before creating the layers for my screen images

I expose my screens using a halogen lamp suspended from an old clothes-hanging frame. It took me ages to get my distance and timings right which led to an awful lot of mistakes and screen cleaning. It's all quite low tech, I print using a hand built vacuum screen bed, use a drying rack designed for school classrooms and wash my screens out in the bath.


How and where did you learn to print?

I first got interested in printing when I was doing my foundation at City College, Brighton – I loved the experimentation that different processes offered and the thrill of never quite knowing what you were going to get when you pulled back the etching blanket or laid down another colour on a print. I went on to study Fine Art Printmaking at the University of Brighton – which was an amazing experience. I just loved being able to work in the print room there with the incredible old presses and the space and time to experiment and try different techniques.

Why printmaking?

I love the process; the creative possibilities, the equipment, the inks, the papers and the ability to produce multiples of an image. I feel a real buzz whenever I walk into a printmaking studio; they are such wonderful places to be.


Where do you work?

I work from home, we recently moved and I’m really lucky to now have a room to use as a studio. I miss the social and creative side of working in a communal studio with other printmakers but at the moment working from home helps financially and gives me the flexibility of being able to print at any time of day or night.


Describe a typical day in your studio.

I try and make a list each evening of what I need to get done the following day and then spend the day ticking my way through it! There’s usually a combination of admin, orders, designing and printing while trying not to get distracted by emails and housework…


How long have you been printmaking?

About 14 years.

What inspires you?

Colour interactions and simplicity and clarity in design inspire me. A lot of the artists and designers whose work I admire were producing work in the mid twentieth century such as Max Huber, Alvin Lustig, Patrick Heron, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Barbara Hepworth.


What is your favourite printmaking product?

My hand built vacuum screen bed! It was created from an old drawing board, some plywood and glue, with our vacuum cleaner providing the suction –There are some great online blogs and videos which I followed for instructions and amazingly, given my lack of woodwork skills it works really well! 

 

What have you made that you are most proud of?

One of the first screen prints I made when I started Dekko Press was Misplaced which was accepted as part of the Small Print International exhibition. It’s a small, simple print but having it in the exhibition gave me the confidence to keep printing and start showing my work.


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

I often take part in art and print fairs and will next be at the Art Junky at the Phoenix Brighton on the 24th and 25th March. For the May Artists Open Houses in Brighton I will be showing work at 13 Maldon Road. Online I have work on my website www.dekkopress.com and sell via my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DekkoPress


What will we be seeing from you next?

More prints are on their way and I am expanding my range of greeting cards


Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

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!


Find more from Dekko Press:

Website www.dekkopress.com

Etsy Shop www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DekkoPress

Instagram @dekkopress