I am a printmaker based in Headingley employing the medium of lino block printing.
My work is always developed from my own drawn or photographic observations around themes usually, but not exclusively, generated in Yorkshire. I tend to use a ‘reduction’ process that employs up to thirteen different colour printing stages but only one printing block. Printing is undertaken using an ‘Imperial’ letterpress, hand press or by burnishing.
I get great pleasure from the ’primitive immediacy’ of the medium that, in essence, has changed little from the earliest forms of printmaking. I enjoy the intellectual exercise of manipulating the original image appropriately in an attempt to fully exploit the potential of the medium. I also take pleasure in the materials and ‘craft technique’ of the process that, at its best, is serendipitous – and also knowing that any slip or error could undermine the work of weeks.
I keep the size of my editions limited to a maximum of ten prints. This allows me time to experiment during in the printing process itself.
The underlying theme of my work at present is ‘water’ – in all its various moods and manifestations.
I am a member of the Dewsbury Arts Group and the West Yorkshire Print Workshop and my work is currently on exhibition at the Sunnybank Mill Gallery, Ramsgill Gallery, Batley Art Gallery and the Leeds Craft and Design Gallery.
An illustrated explanation of the printing processes I use can be found on my web site, www.mikesmithprints.co.uk