Suffolk Lines: An Interview with Rachel Sodey

Rachel Sodey is a Suffolk based artist and printmaker who responds directly to the landscape around her. Rachel walks the Suffolk countryside with her dog Bo and draws inspiration from the flat land lines, the changing light, and the mood and feelings of the seasons. We are delighted to introduce a selection of her prints, created using a variety of textural printmaking techniques. In this interview with Rachel we get a little insight into her work and find out more about her process.

How long have you been printing for? When did you start out?

My first real experience of printing was at The Norwich School of Art where I studied a degree in fine art textiles. My favourite workshop was the print room and I definitely spent most of my time in there. The technicians were absolutely amazing and taught me so much. At Norwich I mostly worked with screen printing and free-hand embroidery. It was only when I started teaching at West Suffolk College that I rediscovered my love for printing through teaching it. I have the freedom to teach all aspects of printmaking and this is what drives my own work forward.

What is it about the Suffolk landscape that inspires you?

I am definitely obsessed with the flat fields of Suffolk and the clear horizons. Even from a young age I have had favourite fields and just cannot stop photographing the perspective lines.

A lot of your prints take an unusual circular form; how did that come about?

This was by accident really. I had written a project for my students and set the parameter that they all had to produce art work within a circular form. In one particular lesson in the print room, I demonstrated to the students how to create an intaglio plate on a circular piece of drypoint cardboard. When I put it through the press I was really happy with the outcome. This 10-minute demonstration inspired a whole new series of work. Most of my prints evolve from little experiments.

Tell us about the process creating your prints and how you create your plates

I mostly work on drypoint cardboard and make marks onto the plate by using a craft knife. I also have the choice to peel away layers of the cardboard which will hold the colour of the ink (just like the engraved lines) when I print it. The shiny surface of the plate also allows me to create mono prints as well. I am able to choose how much ink to leave on or wipe of the surface, this makes the printing process very exciting as I am never quite sure how each print will turn out.

You talk about the inking process being part of the experimental nature of the printing. How does the process of printing influence the end result?

There is so much to consider when printing a plate. I use the scrim to wipe the ink off the plate once it has been pushed into the engraved lines that I have made. The scrim then also becomes a tool to add movement to my prints – it is a painterly approach really. Although I have a certain amount of control that influences the end result, there are other factors at play such as how damp the paper is and the pressure the press is set to. I am just never quite sure how effective a print will be until I peel the paper away from the inked up plate.

You mention walking, where is your favourite place to walk?

My favourite place to walk is getting lost in the fields in the village where I live in Suffolk. After about 10 minutes of walking I am able to let the dog off the lead and I am just surrounded by fields. Lately on my walks I have been seeing a heron in one certain field which is completely amazing.

Have you found lockdown influencing or changing your work in any way?

Teaching online during lockdown has definitely been challenging so this has left me with less time than normal to get out in my studio. I think lockdown has made me appreciate the ability of being able to escape in my printmaking more.

Whats your favourite takeaway (food)?

Well normally I would definitely say my favourite takeway is a good old vegi curry, but I must say that lockdown has made me crave for a big fat juicy halloumi burger with fries.

Thank you Rachel.

To view more of Rachel Sodey’s work visit her Artist’s Page on ofcabbagesandkings.co.uk.

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A Ray of Sunshine

It’s been bitterly cold on the London streets outside Of Cabbages and Kings. We have had snow, ice, and freezing winds and were chilled to the bones. So to remedy that we have brought together a collection of gift ideas to chase away the frosty weather. Think of this as a visual mug of hot chocolate. Grab a blanket, get cosy and read on.

Sunbathing by Marcelina Amelia – £250.00

We may be longing for those summer holidays so let Marcelina Amelia take you there with this screen print. She describes this print as a cure for seasonal affective disorder, and came up with the idea lying on a beach being bathed in the sun. The warmth of peachy circle in the middle inviting you to dive right in. This print will definitely see you through the winter months until summer comes back around.  

Chilli Peppers Of The World Tea Towel by Stuart Gardiner – £12.00

Why not warm up from the inside with one of nature’s hottest foods? The spicy chilli pepper! Illustrated with an array of facts about popular chillies from around the world the towel includes a taste guide, Scoville heat unit, and ripening colour. Since Columbus brought chilli peppers back to Europe five hundred odd years ago, we’ve been obsessed with these flavourful pods of heat; it’s no surprise that they’re one of the most influential spices in world cuisine.

Fire In The Belly by Tom Berry – £45.00

Is that too many chillis in the belly or the fire of life burning inside this character? With striking painterly detail, Tom Berry has built up a combination of blues, yellows and oranges to represent the fire of one’s life force burning strongly within us warm blooded humans. An inspirational print to encourage ambition.

Mini Orange Necklace by Wolf and Moon – £28.00

You can’t get sunnier than an orange! This Mini Orange Necklace sings of the essence of a Mediterranean summer. The bright little fruit is made with recycled orange and gold mirror acrylic leaves, and hang on a silky gold plated snake chain.

Moroccan Haze by Caitlin Parks – £90.00

Sunny Morocco is depicted in this warming screen print by Caitlin Parks. The hazy desert heat and light of a rocky landscape is offset by arched shapes of buildings and the outlines of palms, while overlapping layers of orange and yellow bring the sunshine inside.

Botanical Peaches by Melissa Donne – £20.00

Nothing beats a juicy peach on a hot day! These summer fruits have been depicted in warming pinks and oranges in this risograph by Melissa Donne. Inspired by traditional botanical illustration, Melissa first sketches and then develops her prints digitally before printing.

Venus Ring  by Roderick Vere – £125.00

Did you know that Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system? Roderick Vere’s Planetary Collection takes its inspiration from the planets. This Venus Ring is crafted by hand and finished with a satin sheen. A 22ct gold plating covers the dome and completes this striking fully hallmarked piece of jewellery.

Sunrise by Gavin Dobson – £140.00

A hot sun rises in this evocative screen print by Gavin Dobson. The magical scene uses the classic printing colours of cyan, yellow, magenta and black to expresses the beauty of sunrise in an abstracted landscape.

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The Art of Love – Inspiring Prints for Valentine’s Day

They say a picture speaks a thousands words, so why not let that picture speak a thousand words of love? With this post we bring together some of the most heart warming prints at Of Cabbages and Kings.

Love Is Finding Home In Another by Anastasia Beltyukova – £50.00

Two lovers embrace with a kiss – ‘Home’ is with someone you love. This couldn’t be better represented than in Anastasia Beltyukova’s risograph print Love Is Finding Home In Another. The print is from a series titled ‘I Am Home’ and was created for an exhibition exploring the theme of home and identity and the parallels between them.

Artist: Anastasia Beltyukova
Medium: Risograph print
Size: 340mm x 460mm
Edition: Signed limited edition of 25

A Year And A Day by Freya Cumming – £280.00

“O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are! What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Sail away with your loved one. This hand printed, limited edition silkscreen print by Freya Cumming, A Year And A Day, takes its inspiration from the famous Edward Lear poem, The Owl and the Pussycat. This nonsense poem starring an unlikely coupling and their romantic adventure, it is often recited at weddings. Freya has hand finished this print with gold and silver leaf to add an extra layer of magic.

To read more about artist Freya Cumming see our Q&A on the OC&K Blog.

Artist: Freya Cumming
Medium: Screen print with gold and silver leaf
Size: 460mm x 460mm
Edition: Signed limited edition of 34

Poles Apart But Very Much In Love by Sarah Beaton – £60.00

Distance is no barrier to love. You may be far away, but your kindred spirit is always close. Poles Apart But Very Much In Love is a limited edition giclée print taken from one of Sarah Beaton’s original watercolours. Inspired by her childhood in Scotland: scaling mountains, exploring forests and living by the sea, Sarah’s abstract brush strokes create a landscape, evoking a sense of place in which she adds a solitary figures to create a narrative. 

Artist: Sarah Beaton
Medium: Giclée print
Size: 406mm x 305mm (12″ x 16″) including mount
Edition: Signed limited edition of 50

Guardians Of The Heart by Johnathan Reiner – £75.00

Two figures guard the heart and keep the flames of passion burning. Guardians Of The Heart is a bold two colour screen print by Johnathan Reiner. A strong and poetic design in red and blue. As long as the guardians remain the life force burns inside them.

Artist: Johnathan Reiner
Medium: 2 colour hand pulled screen print
Size: 297mm x 420mm (A3)
Edition: Signed limited edition of 100

Singing In The Rain by Factory Press – £85.00

Liz Loveless of Factory Press creates beautifully illustrative and expressive prints in a variety of mediums. Two tap dancing shoes are surrounded by a whole host of collaged elements. Umbrellas, raindrops, lamp posts and even musical notes fly around them, bringing to mind the famous Gene Kelley film Singing In The Rain.

To read about our tour of Factory Press visit the OC&K Blog.

Artist: Liz Loveless / Factory Press
Medium: Screen print and collage
Size: 500mm x 700mm

Pink Matter by Marcelina Amelia – £250.00

Two bodies lie as if they are sunbathing with arms around each other and a snake draped over their shoulders. This striking screen print by Marcelina combines her distinctive drawing style with the intensity of bright neon colours. Their backs to us the figures display peachy bums. Knickers or tan lines? Their pink skin hotly glows.

For an insight into Marcelina Amelia’s process see our interview with her on the OC&K Blog.

Artist: Marcelina Amelia
Medium: Screen print with copper foil
Size: 500mm x 700mm
Edition: Signed limited edition of 35

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