Hello! My name is Anna and I want to be an artist

Anyone who has gone-it-alone will fully appreciate the multitude of emotions (and sobbing) involved in setting up your own business and whilst excitement mostly wins, it is an amazingly steep learning curve. I left London to move back to the North East in 2012 and haven’t looked back since. I love the outdoors and dream of building my own house so that one day I can keep bees and goats, if I can fit a printing press into that future then my happiness level will fly off the chart! To go with the stress of setting up my own business I am also currently suffering with Endometriosis. This played a big part in my decision to leave a more ‘traditional’ job as a librarian and work for myself. Anyone who knows the condition will appreciate the chronic pain and fatigue that goes with it on a daily basis so it definitely contributes to making things a little less easy. That said, I am not one to let these things get in my way and so I am powering through and making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. I am headed for surgery in July and by September I should be in a lot less pain and have a lot more energy. I really can’t wait!

I specialise in Printmaking and work with monoprint, linocut, screenprint, fabrics, papers and embossing but I am constantly trying new things and looking for new ways of working. My favourite collaboration is currently with Ashfall Leathers, screenprinting on the beautiful handmade leather products, from owner, Robert Ford. I have a background in ceramics and sculpture and really enjoy producing work on a bigger scale. As much as I love print in all its forms, it always feels like a starting point to be something 3D. I’m going to need a warehouse before long, if I want to keep everything I make!

I’m currently based in Allendale which is in Northumberland (the wilds of the north) I am very lucky to have been accepted onto the exclusive scholarship scheme at The Allendale Forge Studios. This allows me to have a creative studio space, business support and mentoring for one year for free while I get things off the ground. This opportunity has already allowed me to network and experiment with so many different ideas and to meet so many exciting people that I hardly know where to set my focus.

I am now steaming ahead involving myself in as many projects as possible by printing my little socks off and networking. I am currently taking part in the 2014 Art Tour which runs throughout June, I am also a member at Northern Print in the Ouseburn Valley and volunteer there with the Inky Prints club. I have also taken part in workshops run by Durham Creatives most recently being part of the Craft Tour and also taking part in summer workshops run in conjunction with the Baltic and Sage.

If you would like to follow my slightly haphazard journey towards self-sustaining creative happiness then I can be found on the usual range of social media sites listed below.



Caseprint on Instagram



Greetings cards

Printing with Collagraph plates is really fun and easy and you can get some wonderful effects using wallpapers, found objects, leaves, grasses and flowers, fabrics, wools…….The possibilities are endless! These are just a couple of examples of plates I made last year and they are often as lovely as the final printed images. The cards are now happily drying in my studio and will be available online shortly!

Jake and Emma

This was my first foray for me into the wonderful world of dry point. There are different permutations to the process but I have worked with plastic and a metal point to scratch into the surface. I like to work on plastic rather than something like copper because then I can work from an image I have already created. The image for this piece was done as a blind contour drawing that I could then manipulate further on the plastic. To create more texture (eg on the shirt) I have used sand paper of varying grades and this manipulates the surface of the plastic to hold the ink.

“wax on, wax off”

Inking up and printing is quite a long process of scraping the ink onto the surface and making sure it is safely ensconced in the grooves and burrs that you have made. Then you start to rub back using a piece of scrim (basically a lint free cloth). I also found that to get really clean areas its good to use just some normal tissue or toilet roll to polish the surface back up and make sure there is no ink left in areas you want to highlight. I found that overall it is a process that is trial and error and I have included a couple of images of the different versions I have done. I have managed to use the plate up to ten times and then I needed to work back into it again. The pressure of putting the plate through a press flattens out the burrs that hold the ink and these need to be ‘roughed up’ again before you could keep printing with it.

I don’t really like working to get the exact same image again and again so tend to work in series rather than editions. This is a nice example of how one image can be varied just through the process of inking up.