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Meet The Maker: Lorenzo Davitti

Meet The Maker: Lorenzo Davitti

Originally from Florence, Italy, I'm a printmaker and tutor now based in London for the past 10 years. I work mainly on abstract art, and I am especially interested in the possibilities that printmaking offers when experimenting with colour, shapes and textures.


Describe your printmaking process.

I typically begin my process with geometric shapes or a selected colour palette, which I enjoy manipulating and distorting through chance or digital methods. I love merging the precision and technical rigour of printmaking techniques with unexpected and spontaneous elements, to create images that conveys movement or emotion through the interplay of colours and shape.

 After designing an image, I spend some time thinking which printmaking technique I will use. I prioritize the process of creation over the outcome, often finding that much of my thinking unfolds during the act of plate making. Much of my creative exploration happens during the printing process itself. Each technique offers a unique interaction with inks, tools, and surfaces, and I'm keen on exploring a wide range of them in my practice.

‘How Light Became Dark’, 2022, Screen Print on Somerset paper, 56 x 76 cm


How and where did you learn to print?

I learned to print at the London College of Communication where I pursued an MA in Illustration and Visual Media. Following my graduation in 2015, I worked as a printmaker at Thumbprint Editions. This is a job where I have also learned an immense number of secrets and techniques. Editioning work for other artists is an important skill in our profession and it taught me to approach each work with fresh eyes and an open mind.


‘Amethyst’, 2019, Reduction Linocut on Washi paper, 42 x 53 cm


Why printmaking?

I have been addicted to printmaking since I tried linocut as a student. I love carving plates and I can get lost in the details. Time always goes by so fast when you have fun, and making plates is always great fun for me. I love how physical printmaking is at every stage: carving wood, etching metal, grinding stones…and then inking, wiping… It reminds me of the skilled artisans I admired while growing up in Italy. There’s a certain magic in transforming a piece of metal into a print on paper, a sense of wonder that still fascinates me even after years of practice.


‘Arpeggio’, 2021, Reduction linocut on Washi paper, 21 x 29.7 cm


Where do you work?

I make my work at the University for the Creative Arts’ printmaking workshop, where I work as a Tutor-Technician. It is a privilege to be able to use the facilities outside of my working hours. Additionally, I've set up a small press at home, a project that emerged during the lockdowns, when I started to print at home as every workshop was closed.


Describe a typical day in your studio.

When I am not teaching or supporting young printmakers, I usually spend a lot of time mixing inks. I am quite meticulous about colour selection and how colours interact when printed together. I enjoy alternating between different jobs and would often work on different pieces at the same time. One day I may hand-print a reduction woodcut, the day after I would work on an etching and focus only on plate making.


‘Nocturne I’, 2023, Reduction Woodcut on Washi paper, 43 x 52 cm


How long have you been printmaking?

I started in 2014, so that’s exactly 10 years! While I've always had a passion for learning, it's maybe been within the past 5 years that I've truly gained confidence in my skills.


‘Crepuscolo, 2019, Reduction woodcut on Washi paper, 42 x 53 cm


What inspires you?

Fleeting moments in time that leave a lasting impression. Very often these moments stem from nature or the urban environment, but they could also be sparked by music or the graceful movement of fabric. I always try to capture the essence of these moments in my prints through the use of colour and shape.

‘January’, 2021, Woodcut on Somerset paper, 40x50 cm


What is your favourite printmaking product?

I would say my Pfeil carving tools. I bought them over the years, one by one; as a recent graduate, I couldn’t afford to buy a full set, so I just chose the tools I needed the most first. They have been a game changer, and they make carving any material an absolute pleasure.


‘Carnivale’, 2023, Screen print on Somerset paper, 13 x 13 cm


What have you made that you are most proud of?

My winning entry to OnPaper Contest in 2022. It was a screen print titled ‘Vesper’, made of around 20 different layers of ink, some of them being colour blends. They all needed to be registered perfectly as the image was geometric in nature. It was my first ambitious screen print, and it was great fun to make it at Thames-Side Print studio, where I met amazing artists and fellow printmakers.


'Vesper’, 2022, Screen Print on Somerset paper, 30 x 40 cm


Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

My work will soon be exhibited at the West Yorkshire Printmaking Workshop, in Huddersfield, as part of the Flourish Award 2024, for which I have been shortlisted as a finalist (fingers crossed!). The exhibition will start on the 2nd of May, and will then go on tour at the Hot Bed Press in Salford and 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe.

You can see my work on Instagram and on my website. I also have an Etsy shop where I sell small prints. 

If you are in Berlin, you can see my work at Galleri Heike Ardnt, while for those based in the UK, my work is available also through Modern Art Buyer


‘Onda, 2023, Linocut on Somerset paper, 56 x 76 cm


What will we be seeing from you next?

You will see more colourful linocuts and screen prints, but recently I am experimenting more with etching and aquatint on steel, and I am very keen to see how my work can translate to monochromatic tones. I am also playing with linocuts to be printed on handmade books and sketchbooks, soon I will be sharing some of my bookbinding work, which is relatively a new avenue for me.


Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

Practice as much as you can. Be ambitious with your work, experimenting with different materials, sizes and techniques that you are not familiar with. Try to get in touch with other printmakers, in shared studios and particularly by applying to residencies. I learned a great deal of tricks and secrets from fellow printmakers and made new friends along the way. There's immense value in observing others' approaches and sharing insights, promoting both personal growth and camaraderie within the printmaking community.

‘February, 2021, Woodcut on Washi paper, 21 x 29.7 cm


Follow Lorenzo on Instagram.

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