Meet the Maker: Kat Lendacka
Describe your process.
It all starts as doodle, usually on loose pieces of paper! I have never been very good with sketch books! Quite often, rather than transferring the image onto a lino with a carbon paper, I draw straight onto the lino with pencil and then a biro. The process of carving with tools seems to take the images ‘somewhere else’… I trust my carving tools more than my pen! I started off and still design greeting cards which are all individually hand printed. As a family we often visit the beautiful Coton Manor Gardens in Northamptonshire, where rare breed of chicken and ducks and flamingos run around freely. Not surprisingly, those feature not only on the cards but also as an open and limited edition prints. Initially all my work was just one colour, black, occasionally with hand painted part (for example a cockerel’s red comb). In the last few months, I have moved into using colour and into printing on fabric using different layers of colour. As well as linocutting, I discovered rubber and its excellent qualities for original stationery and promotional material. Stamp making is turning out to be a helpful tool to keep every single aspect of my work purely hand printed.
How and where did you learn to print?
I was born and grew up in Litomerice, a rather picturesque small town approximately 40 miles north of Prague in the Czech Republic. My first ever try at linocutting was when I was about 13 years old with a retired art teacher and an academic painter, to whom I used to go for art lessons with several other youngsters. I wish I liked the man more! I might have done a lot more linocutting! Next time I had a go was while a first year student of Graphic Communications (Illustration) degree at Northampton University. This time, I fell in love! Linocut images appeared in many of my student graphic projects as well as in the final major project.
I love the process.. I love the suspense of what happens when you lift the paper! So often you feel disappointed but still redo the same image three or four times but still don’t get bored of it! I also feel a lot more confident and adept with my tools than with a pencil or a pen! By the way, the tools are Czech made and called Serak. The best Christmas present ever.
Where do you work?
At home in my studio! Which is also a dining room and generally the ‘making’ room…. There is a small old conservatory next to it that holds my lovely roller press. I do spend many hours sitting at the table. So does my whippet girl Spot, sleeping on a beanbag.
How long have you bee printmaking?
Full on, about 2 years.
What inspires you?
Everything! My children, my dog and my dogs doggy friends all playing, the countryside, Coton Manor Gardens, National Trust places, the morning walk, the
architecture, the seaside, Oxford, Pitt Rivers Museum, the giraffes and monkeys in a zoo…. I could go on!
What is your favourite printmaking product?
I like using water-based relief inks. Speedball fabric inks work really well. I love my new durathene roller. And my tools! Although, I would love to try Pheil tools as many printmakers are so smitten by them.
What have you made that you are most proud of?
Not really sure. I move on to new projects and tend to ‘forget’ or ‘get bored’ with the old ones a little. Lately, I was really happy with my 2 block colour fox. It is a bit different, more realistic. Normally I tend to stylize my animals a little.
Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?
I have several pieces of work in the Itch Gallery in Oakham, Made Gallery in Uppingham, Boo Gallery in Stowe Ashby and 15 Collingwood in Northampton, but
lately, I concentrate more on my online shop, both from my Website and Etsy Shop.
What will we be seeing from Kat Lendacka next?
I am starting very small print workshop in my home studio. ‘Introduction to Linocut’ and ‘Make your own stamp’ day or evening sessions. You can find more details on my Website.
Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?
I don’t think there was never such a good time to start linocutting! So much easier to find various materials See this [Handprinted] website. Also, there is a lot of information and community on social media for example Linocut Friends on Facebook.