This month in the Café gallery we are pleased to be showing the works of two local artists, Richenda Court and Laurie King. We spoke to them to find out more about their work and what inspires them. All works on show along with a selection of unframed prints are available to buy in the Shop.

Tell us a little about yourselves, how did you get into printmaking?

Richenda: I first started printmaking on my degree course at Brighton Polytechnic many years ago making etchings. I instantly loved the technique and method making as well as the intricate effects that could be made. I never really looked back after this although I did have a parallel career in dance for the many years.

Laurie: I’ve always been excited about print making, from messy play with potato prints to the more involved process of screen printing.
I’m an illustrator, graphic designer and you may notice through my work also a cyclist. The mix of the three got me into lino printing and then later on screen printing, it’s lovely to explore the opportunities through these mediums.

What inspires you?

Richenda: I draw a lot…often figurative line drawings made from the subconscious. My most recent book of line drawings started last summer and developed into a story the direction of which was unknown each day. The imagery from this book has inspired new large work involving text, etching, lino and acrylic washes.

I’m also interested by stories in the media and those from my ancestors. The Sumi/ Japanese images were inspired by a book given to me by my late Uncle. It depicted tiny photos of everyday life which I tried to bring alive in my own way.

Laurie: Anything and everything captured through any means possible - photography, doodles, and clippings. I love the outdoors, so sticking my head in an OS map working out my next adventure is always a lovely place to be, well the next best place to actually being on one.

How do you create your works? What is the process?

Richenda: The processes I use are mainly linocut and etching. The etchings can take up to a year to make because they are studio based and technically challenging, everything has to be timed, judged and prepared.

Lino on the other hand can be quite direct. After the initial drawings are made the basic shape is drawn onto the lino and the cutting begins. All the pattern/cutting marks are improvised as I go.

Laurie: Screen printing is to force ink on to paper, fabric, windows etc through a prepared screen of fine silk material so as to create an image.

That's the dictionary definition. My process starts with a pencil, sketchbook and cup of tea. After creating an illustration I transfer these lines onto my big screens, for this I use emulsion, super strong light and another cup of tea.

The screen is ready to use, now it's time to mix the inks. Acrylic paint is mixed with silk screen medium and shazaam you've got ink. For my prints I use another secret ingredient to the mix to get the results just so.

Now it’s time to get printing. The paper positioned correctly, the ink ready to go and the screen attached tightly to the vacuum bed and lowered down layer one can be printed. Deep breath. Pull. Lift. Fantastic!

The screen can be used a number of times with the same image, most of my prints run through this process 5+ times to build up the final image. Screen printing is a beautiful process, it takes time and thought with every print having it’s unique quirks. Now it's time for another cup of tea.

What is your favourite Surrey pastime?

Richenda: My favourite pastime is probably walking in the Surrey landscape. I don’t have dogs but have active children! A couple of hours up Box Hill usually does the trick.

Laurie: Cycling through the beautiful countryside, running through the woods with the dog, foraging for mushrooms and den building with the family too.

Where have you shown your work before and what does it mean to be able to show in galleries like The Lightbox?

Richenda: I’ve shown my work in lots of galleries in Surrey, London, Devon, Newcastle and hopefully Germany next year. It means a lot to have the support of a gallery such as The Lightbox behind you. It’s such a well deigned space with friendly, efficient staff. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by The Ingram Collection and major shows.

Laurie: My works have been shown in various places throughout Surrey in galleries, at art fairs and of course cycle shops and cafes. The Lightbox is a really big deal to me, sharing the space with Richenda and Andy Warhol is something I wouldn’t have predicted would ever happen. I’m truly humbled.

What has been your favourite exhibition at The Lightbox?

Richenda: My favourite exhibition was the Leonardo da Vinci one…an unforgettable experience seeing one of his sketchbooks in a controlled atmosphere, glass case…Mesmerising to be that close to history and for it to have such meaning. After all this time, we are still writing and drawing in books trying to unravel our ideas.

Laurie: I really enjoyed the Alien Invasion exhibition. Brightly coloured graphics and the hands on nature made it a great visit for the family.

Laurie and Richenda’s work will be on display in the Café Gallery until 27 September 2015, all works on show will be available to buy in the Shop.

Support local galleries and artists with the #justacard campaign, find out more.

Find out more about Laurie King’s work in his website.
Find out more about Richenda Court’s work on here website.

Image credits: Detail of Amy © Richenda Court; Detail of Shadow IV © Richenda Court; Detail of Sumi © Richenda Court; Laurie King in his workshop © Laurie King; Yellow Jersey © Laurie King.