Meet the Maker - Jane Kendall (Striped Pebble)

Friday, August 01, 2014
After her success in Paper Scissors Stone last year, we are delighted to invite Jane Kendall to join us once more for 2014.  Jane is a lino print maker, her designs are intricate and nature inspired.  We caught up with her find out more on the processes behind each piece...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
My name is Jane Kendall, and I create lino cut prints.   I have a degree in Graphic Design, and then worked for many years as an artist painting mainly portraits in acrylics, but apart from a short workshop on block printing during my Art Foundation year I have not taken any courses on linocut technique and I’m a firm believer in learning through experimentation, I think that way I can create something unique and discover something new. It’s the nearest I’ll get to ever being a pioneer. (I grew up obsessed with Little House on the Prairie, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls.)
Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I am a Mum, so there is always a list of things to do. My day starts at the kitchen table with husband, two teenage daughters and a notepad.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
When Beth, my youngest, was four, I asked her if she would like to be an artist when she grew up. She said "I'm already an artist, I want to be a puppy". I think that says it all really. I always knew I was an artist. My career has evolved, occasionally veered crazily onto a different path, only to return with a sigh of relief. I have been a graphic designer; dressmaker; soft furnisher; framer; portrait painter; illustrator; and most recently print maker.

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
I love every aspect of lino cut print making, from the first twinkle of an idea in my head to the first finished print. No matter how many I do, there is always an element of surprise at the result.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Birds, trees, kids, sunshine, snow, dreams, holidays, memories, poetry, patterns, colours. I could go on.

Describe your studio or workspace?
I work in the kitchen/dining room/living room, wherever there is a corner free, though it all has to be tidied away when the kids come home and take over.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman who would it be?
Kaffe Fassett, I’ve been dazzled by his work since I was a child, I bet his studio is an Aladdin’s cave of stuff and colours.
How would you describe your creative process?
I always have a sketchbook handy, and ideas are usually scribbled down as words, there is as much writing in my sketchbook as there is drawing. The words become images that somehow scribble themselves into a design. I transfer my designs onto lino using white oil pastels, because I’m using up offcuts from my next door neighbours kitchen floor, which is a very dark brown. Then the cutting begins. I love the cutting, though I do have to have a packet of plasters handy. 
I print everything by hand using a couple of rollers and some paintbrushes, and I love to play with the colours as I go. I use all sorts of paper to print on, in fact I’ll print on absolutely anything just to see what happens, it is particularly satisfying to produce something beautiful on something that would have otherwise ended up in the recycling. I also love handmade papers, and use paper made from lokta, hemp and banana leaves. I don’t number my prints because I only produce a few at a time, and the next time I print a design I might change the papers or the colours, so they are never quite the same. The finished prints are pegged up to dry on strings that hang above the kitchen table like bunting.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I am an avid reader, and I have a small, square, bookmark my daughter made for me when she was small. I have felt lost without it on the few occasions I have mislaid it, and immense relief when it is found. I will weep if one day it goes missing for good.

What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
Some of the other things on my to do list.
Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
Can I have a drinkery? I nominate The Hare in Southville. We favour a pre-dinner drink at our wonderful local, so are found there early evening on a Friday or Saturday. It is everything a good local pub should be, a great choice of well kept beers, tasty nibbles, cosy and friendly. Fabulous. One warning, prepare your dinner in advance if you visit early like me, or you may have drunk one half too many to make the gravy. (There is also a great chippy, The Magnet, just down the road if you find yourself in such a situation.)

Where would you like to be in ten years?
Ten years ahead? No, sorry, I can’t look that far ahead, babes will have flown, nest will be bare. No, I’ll stick to the here and now thanks.

Thank you Jane, so lovely to find out more about you and your creative process.  You can find Jane's work in Paper Scissors Stone shop.

Paper Scissors Stone
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun:  11am - 5pm

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