Meet the printmaker: Sophie Rae

Welcome to our "Meet the Printmaker" series, where we will catch up with each of the printmakers involved in The Print Shop and find out about their work, processes, inspirations and anything else they care to share! First up is the truly unique Sophie Rae...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work…
What sort of prints do you make?
I am a member of Drawn in Bristol and work as an Illustrator and printmaker. I create mono prints by sketching and hand cutting paper.

Are you solely a printmaker or do you work in any other creative fields?
I spend most of my time printmaking, but I do occasionally like to pick up a paint brush and I also enjoy face painting.

What is your earliest recollection of making a print and what made you to want to do more?
I started printmaking when I was at University doing my Illustration Degree. I then created a way of working which meant I didn’t specifically need to be in a printmaking studio or have access to a press. I’d done screen printing and really enjoyed the effects you could get from it. Then I found a similar way to work that I could do at home or just at my desk in my studio. My way of working also allowed me to create more subtle and graduating tones, creating more depth and atmosphere.


What inspires you and are there any themes or ideas that often run through your work?
I am inspired mostly by the natural wonders of this beautiful world, including tranquil locations I’ve been to on my travels or the animals that I’ve met along the way.

Palm Trees

Could you give us an insight into where you work – your studio/workspace and
where you print?
I have just joined the Drawn in Bristol Studio in Hamilton House so I’m creating all my work there.

The work of which other printmaker/s do you admire?
I love the work of Angie Lewin. She is also inspired by the walks she takes and the plant life she sees.

Printmaking is made up of lots of different processes, which aspect do you enjoy the most?
That’s what I love about my process. The variety keeps things exciting. There is sketching, then cutting, then mixing the colours, then applying the ink to the paper. My favourite parts are probably the sketching and mixing the colours and applying the ink.

Do you have a favourite tool or something you find invaluable when printing?
My special durathene roller from Lawrence and Son. It’s softness really allows me to get into small corners of stencils that I have cut, giving me the chance to put more detail in my work.


How would you like to develop your printmaking skills in the future?
I’m looking at combining my hand printed techniques with screen printing. For example creating tonal variations using my roller in contrast with the solid flat colour I can get with screen printing.

Monochrome or multi-coloured?
Definitely multi-coloured


Thanks Sophie, such wonderful, colourful and textural images! 

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(This post was originally posted on The Print Shop blog)

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