I grew up in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, where vast amounts of natural resources are harvested on an industrial scale for the global market. The landscape and the communities who inhabit it have changed immensely in my lifetime, and in making my art I would like to respect materials, people in the production supply chain and where things come from. I think it is important to use a balance of environmentally conscious and quality materials to combat throw-away culture. I prioritise UK and EU suppliers and manufacturers to reduce the amount of shipping involved in an item reaching me.
Unless specified otherwise, prints are on Somerset printmaking paper, made by St Cuthberts Mill in the UK. The paper is traditionally mould made, archival and acid-free. This paper is not made from wood pulp, rather cotton rag. See here for more information: http://www.stcuthbertsmill.com/how-we-make-paper/. Newsprint is used during the etching process and is recycled into packaging where possible.
Printing blocks & plates
Lino is largely natural, recyclable, and biodegradable (linseed oil, ground cork and limestone, wood flour, rosin and jute). Wood blocks are a mix of birch ply, Shina ply and found wood. Baltic birch is from northern Europe where it grows in managed forests and replenishes quickly. Shina ply is from northern Japan where it is harvested sustainably. Some prints are made from salvaged or found wood, which lends images great character and texture. Etchings are pulled from drypoint plastic and copper. All printing blocks are kept in my studio archive and occasionally sold as pieces of art in their own right or reconstructed into studio equipment and handmade tools.
My soft sculpture, printed fabrics and sewn work are intended as unique art pieces, not mass-produced product lines. As such this avoids all sorts of issues with manufacturing compliance, so I can mix recycled, salvaged and new materials together. Off cuts are incorporated into stuffing, which makes my sewing process zero waste. I work with natural fabrics like calico, cotton, hemp, linen and pongee silk. Where a fabric is purchased new, organic is prioritised.
Only essential packaging is used in order to protect artwork during shipping. Paper and board envelopes can be re-used where possible and are fully recyclable. You will find an inner sleeve and/or card protecting your print from friction, bending and moisture. This might be repurposed paper, newsprint, glassine, polybags or pieces of cardboard. Larger artwork is packed in repurposed boxes and card. I do not buy new packaging for inner sleeves or boxes.
Ink & studio consumables
A mix of traditional linseed oil and Cranfield Caligo Safe Wash inks are used, mostly made in the UK. I use recycled rags, soap, water and Zest-It citrus cleaner in my studio. Zest-It is also made in the UK and is biodegradable and non-toxic. If you come visit the studio you can enjoy a safe and solvent-free experience.