Thomas Mayo talks about his ART print


How long did this print take you to design and make?

The print took about a day to make an initial design, which was then altered as I planned each layer to laser cut, making adjustments along the way. Printing was stretched out across a week to allow each layer of colour to dry completely before the next colour was printed.

What sort of inks do you use?

The inks I use are usually oil-based, commonly used in litho and letterpress printing, including the metallics.

How long have you been printing?

I guess I’ve been printing for about seven years now, on and off. I started way back in my second year at uni where I studied graphic design.

Where did you learn to letterpress?

I learned to print during the few years I spent at The Whittington Press in Gloucestershire. I started out experimenting with wood type, making band posters and gradually progressed to printing artist’s books.

What is the largest print you have ever made?

The largest print I’ve ever made is unfortunately only 700 x 500 mm – the max size of the presses at Whittington. I’ve always wanted to print something really huge though...

What else are you working on at the moment?

I’m working mostly on commercial jobs at the moment, along with preparing for my residency at this year’s Pick Me Up design festival at Somerset House with the newly formed print house Peso Press.

Do you have more than one press? If so how many and what one did you use to print this?

I have a few presses: three proofing presses (Korrex, FAG, Grafix) and a Heidelberg platen press. There’s also a rather large screen-printing bed too… I used the FAG and the Korrex to create the print.

Do you buy art? If so what was the last thing you bought?

I don’t really buy art, mainly because I can’t afford to. I like to buy posters, mainly letterpress, because they’re usually more accessible and it’s great to support fellow printmakers.

Donate to the Big Steam Print to own an edition of Thomas's beautiful print – see the gallery below. This reward is available as part of an exclusive behind-the-scenes experience: a unique opportunity to have a peek at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft's archive print collection with the director or curator, followed by a delicious high tea with award-winning sparkling wine made in Ditchling.

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