About : Cactus And Spoon Prints - Artist and Illustrator based in Penzance, Cornwall
I owe it all to the spoon.
Ever since first being shown how to do lino printing by my dad for a GCSE textiles project I was hooked. This interest grew on my travels in India, Nepal and parts of Africa where I was hugely inspired by many of the artwork and prints I saw- I especially liked how they kept a beautiful naivety to the designs as well as the use of pattern.
I often start out with a rough idea of what I want my print to look like, which I will sketch out on the lino block, however a lot of the patterns and finer details occur to me when I'm carving it. I love that moment when you first print something and don't know quite how it will turn out, and how each print will come out slightly different with its own little quirks or imperfections. Another thing I love about lino is the texture you can get, and from looking at my prints its probably obvious that I try and avoid having huge white spaces, as I like to take advantage of the lines and details which you can achieve with lino. The original prints showed on these cards are printed entirely by hand, using a big wooden spoon to press the print (hence the name), a fair bit of arm power and my kitchen table. Although this method can get a bit tiring and is a lot less consistent than using a proper printing press, without sounding too pretentious I think it adds that extra something to each bag. More importantly you get the satisfaction of knowing your purchase has contributed to the development of my one unusually strong arm...
Previously this was purely a hobby for me, however after making some printed tote bags as christmas presents, and getting reports that people had been asking where they were from, I thought I'd give selling some of my prints a go, on the off chance other real life people might like them enough to spend some real life money on them.