Hayley teaches linocut printmaking in Norfolk and creates linocut prints inspired by the natural world, history and folklore. She runs Stellabox Designs full-time from her small studio here in Norwich.
What is it about your making skill that makes you enjoy it so much?
Linocut printmaking is a very mindful craft. You have the smell of the ink, the physicality of pulling a print, the touch of the lino and the paper. The whole process of creating a linocut print is very methodical and I guess that fits with my brain and creative style. I love that you can create whatever you like with linocut; if you can imagine it, you can make a print of it.
What does it mean to you personally and the way you live your life?
So much of my life revolves around linocut printmaking! It’s my livelihood as well as the way I unwind and where I put my creative energy. Everything I see becomes a linocut print in my brain and I greatly enjoy the fact that over five years later I’m still learning new things about the medium and how to push my craft further.
What has been your greatest making achievement?
I’m lucky enough to have taught many folks how to make linocut prints over the past year and it never gets old to see the amazement on my workshop participant’s faces when they pull their first print! I get so much joy personally from seeing how proud people are with their creations and the surprise that they’ve made it themselves.
What is your favourite piece of equipment and why?
My favourite piece of equipment is the humble wooden spoon. It’s a baking spoon, the kind many people will have in their own kitchens, and to me it’s a great symbol of how accessible the medium is. You don’t need to spend lots of money and have lots of equipment to make a linocut print; just rubbing the back of your paper with the spoon can produce just as good a print as with a printing press.
What is your favourite making website or blog and why?
It may seem a little unusual, but I’m a big fan of the printmaking community on Instagram. Social media is a big part of my day so I fill my feed with my linocut printmaking peers from around the world. It’s a brilliant way to connect with like-minded creatives and to see some of the best printmakers around.
Why do you like being part of the Festival?
The festival is a wonderful way for me to meet and interact with people I may not get the chance to in my everyday life. I love to celebrate Norwich and Norfolk in my linocut prints and this is a great way for me to show my own designs while hopefully inspiring new linocut printmakers to have a go.
What is your advice to a complete beginner who wants to have a go at your craft?
Keep failing and trying again until you get there. I’m a self-taught printmaker and I learned by watching online tutorials and trying over and over again until I understood the technique and methods involved. You’ll get there!