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Meet the Maker: Maria Doyle

Thursday, June 28, 2018

I’m a printmaker based in Edinburgh. I took up linocut as a hobby two years ago but it has grown arms and legs and is now my mini business.


Describe your printmaking process.

I mostly create architectural prints of the places I have lived in or visited. In a way it’s my diary! I work from photos which I then flip on my laptop, sketch this reversed design onto battleship grey lino and then begin to carve. I like to fill in the block with black marker as I go, as this helps me get a better idea of the image as it forms, and also helps to show up any missed spots which should have been carved away.


I don’t own a press so I pull all my prints by hand. A metal spoon and elbow grease get the job done!


How and where did you learn to print?

My first (brief) exposure to printmaking was when I was about 13 and at secondary school. Our art teacher introduced us to patterns from Liberty and taught us how to make simplified versions using a polystyrene block. We drew on the block with ballpoint pens which compressed the polystyrene and then inked these up using poster paint. Sadly, I dropped art as a subject soon after and didn’t make any more prints until about two years ago. This time I had progressed to proper lino and the sharp chisels we were never allowed at school! Since then I’ve just been teaching myself, building upon the basics that Miss Young taught us.


Why printmaking?

I really enjoy the graphic quality of linocuts and the bold images you can create. The process itself is also very meditative. I started linocut during my final year of university and I found that sitting carving for an hour before bed was the perfect way to switch off and forget about my dissertation stress.


Where do you work?

I work from my bedroom! I’ve put up a makeshift drying line up across one of my walls and another across my living room. Quite often my flat is just a cloud of paper and half-dry prints…I have a very tolerant flatmate!


Describe a typical day in your studio.

I don’t really have a typical day. I usually just print as and when I have the time. Usually this is in the evenings after I finish work or at the weekend.


How long have you been printmaking?

Two years.


What inspires you?

I’m inspired by the city around me. I didn’t fully appreciate how beautiful Edinburgh is until I spent a year living abroad. When I came back, I was struck by the cobbles, the old buildings and winding streets, and knew I wanted to recreate these on paper.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

It’s a toss-up between my Pfeil chisels and Caligo Safewash ink. I’m a big fan of the Prussian Blue ink which has appeared in a lot of my recent prints.


What have you made that you are most proud of?

I’m proudest of my print of Well Street in my hometown of Moffat. This was my second multi-layered reduction print….but the first that was the correct way round! It’s a mistake we’ll all make at least once.


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

I post most of my work on Instagram (@maz.prints) and sell some on Etsy

What will we be seeing from you next?

I’m hoping to do some more pattern-based work on fabric. I made a hand printed skirt last year using Caligo Safewash ink and it came out really well so I’m hoping to design some new blocks and try my hand at making some cushion covers and bags.


Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

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.

See more of Maria's work on Instagram and Etsy!