From her allotment-based studio in rural Hertfordshire, Kate Heiss produces bold and beautiful wall art using a range of techniques, from lino cutting to screen-printing. Hellebore (above) is our favourite, inspired by the little blackbird that pops by her studio everyday!
How did you get into printmaking?
I worked as a textile designer for many years in London before moving out to Hertfordshire with my young family. It felt like a natural progression from textile design to explore printing as an art form. The Curwen Print Study Centre was local and offering fabulous courses in printmaking, where I learnt techniques such as etching, linocut, screen-printing, drypoint and collagraphs. I was instantly gripped, I loved it!
What’s your workspace like?
My studio overlooks my allotment so I have the robins and blackbirds for company! I love to surround myself with colour and patterns. I have a huge pinboard above my desk, which is ever changing and evolving with snippets of inspiration. Most of the time I have washing lines pegged with prints from corner to corner of the room, too.
What inspires you?
Wild walks in the countryside, pebbles on the beach, old textiles and vintage nature books. My particular favorite is The Nature Lover’s Book by Enid Blyton. It’s a series of stories of nature walks through the seasons, beautifully written and illustrated, cataloguing the flora and fauna of each month.
Describe the making process.
After sketching out my ideas I intricately cut a lino tile with my design. I ink the tile, place my paper on it and wind it through my press. I love the anticipation of what will appear on the paper – it’s never quite what you expect!
What’s your favorite thing about the countryside?
I love to hear and see the geese flying in over the marshes in Norfolk.
Sum up your creative style in three words.
Dynamic, vibrant and illustrative.