Meet the Maker: Kerry DayPosted on 24th May 2021
Tell us about your business, what is it you do and how did you get into it?
I’m Kerry from Kerry Day Arts and I create original contemporary botanical Lino Prints, ceramic plant pots and metal sculptures all based around my love of my house plants, from architectural leafy plants, spiky cacti to juicy succulents.
I’m originally from London and I moved to Bath in 1994 to do a Ceramics degree at Bath Spa University College. When completed I decided to stay in the South West and eventually I moved to Bristol at the end of 1999 and have been here ever since.
I started my business back in 2006, and at that time I was mainly an oil painter doing figurative work. I enjoyed it at the time but after a while I lost interest and became more into printmaking. I first started doing etching, then screen printing before falling in love with lino printing.
I was still creating figurative work and then I had a bit of a creative block and just decided to do a lino print of one of my many houseplants. I absolutely love my plants. I have over 100 of them dotted about at home and in my studio. I found I preferred this subject more and felt my work felt more complete and I haven’t looked back.
How has lockdown affected you and how have you adapted?
I think, like many people, I was scared of how I was going to continue running my business. I not only create items I also teach lino printing classes and when the first lockdown happened that all stopped. Teaching makes up a big chunk of my income so I was worried at how I was going to survive.
After the initial panic, I began to focus on what I could do, and began looking at my online presence and thinking about how I can improve my online sales. I began by being more proactive on my social media platforms and tinkering about with my website. Luckily the online markets also really hit it off and I got involved and it has meant I have managed to survive this crazy year.
What is the piece of work you’re most proud of?
One of my favourite lino prints I’ve made and one that I am most proud of is my ‘Haworthia Fasciata’ lino print. To date it is my largest multi coloured print I’ve created using the reduction method and measures at 65 by 48 cm. The reduction method is a technique of creating multi layered colourful prints using just one piece of lino. It took around 3 months to complete and I now use sections of it on all my branding.
Can you talk us through your making process from start to finish? How does each of your pieces come to be?
My main work that I create are Lino Prints and I really love using the reduction method.
So what is a reduction lino print? Well it’s a way of creating multiple layers of colour by using just a piece of Lino.
I begin by planning my design and transferring it onto the Lino. The complete design is on the Lino and I fix the image using a permanent marker as the Lino needs to be cleaned after each colour is printed and I don’t want my design to disappear.
I then decide if I want any white areas (or any of the printing paper showing in the print) and carve this part away with my Lino cutting tool.
Then I print the first colour. I then decide which part of the design is to remain this colour and carve those areas away on the Lino. When the 1st layer is dry I print my next colour. Then once again I decide which is to remain that colour and carve those away on the lino ready for the next colour to be printed. I repeat these steps until the design is complete. Most of my lino prints are several layers. The most being The Botanical Collection print which has 17 layers.
What do you do to relax? Are there other crafts that you like to do?
I’ve just started getting into doing visible mending. A way of mending clothes with creative patches and embroidery. I only wish I had more items that need fixing.