Cockapoo Crush

Dogs Today magazine spotlighted the Cockapoo in their “Dog Crush” feature this month…

Dogs Today Feb 2015

…and, I’m happy to say, also featured my hand lettered Cockapoo “Dog Tag” print…

The Enlightened Hound in Dogs Today

There were lots of interesting Cockapoo facts for prospective owners…

The most popular names are Ruby, Teddy, Alfie & Archie (I know a couple of those!)

The most common description of them in the magazine’s survey was “daft as a brush, but lovable” … although I think this might be an rose-tinted underestimation – as a cross between 2 pretty smart working dogs, cockapoos also have a reputation for being rather clever, particularly when it comes to pesky achievements like opening doors (which apparently 1 in 5 are able to do!)

Interestingly over 45% of owners had experienced prejudice over their choice of dog!

“Live and let live” is what I say.

Vintage Plan Chest

I was very happy to find this vintage plan chest for a slightly early birthday present on ebay. It is made by a company called Sellex and I was keen to find out a bit more about them but an internet search proved fruitless. The only Sellex I can find is a Spanish furniture company, founded in 1977, that makes rather nice modern furniture. I am pretty sure my plan chest predates them… its made of solid oak (top, drawer fronts and main structure) and oak veneer (panels) and ply (drawer bottoms, back panel). Interestingly, ply was invented in the 1850s and was used in modern furniture production from the 1920s onwards. My plan chest still has its original brass cup handles and label holders.

vintage plan chest

I bought it from a retired geologist who used it to store geological charts and maps. After a thorough cleaning and waxing, I am using it to store printmaking papers and some bits of ephemera and maps.

plan chest drawers

It has bought some well needed order to my studio!

vintage plan chest

Definitely a contender for a best birthday present ever!

Greyhound and Dachshund: New Dog Tag Prints

If you are not familiar with my “Dog Tag” series of prints, these hand lettered prints tell a quirky potted history of a particular breed of dog in the design of a dog tag. They are individually hand printed on my traditional etching press, with hand mixed oil-based inks, then each one is signed by me.

The Greyhound and Dachshund are two of the most requested breeds that people have asked me for at fairs and shows this year, so here they are (just in time for Christmas!)… they join the other 11 breeds in the series.

Dachshund Print

Despite their cute and comical appearance, Dachshunds are incredibly brave little hunting dogs that were bred to chase and flush out badgers.

Often significantly larger and heavier than a dachshund, badgers are a fierce and formidable opponent, yet the tenacious dachshund with its indomitable spirit is a fearless and efficient hunter. Their long, low body is perfect for getting into the dens of rabbit, fox, wild boar, badgers and other burrow dwelling animals that have gone to ground.

The origin of the dachshund is still debated as there are etchings and statues of similar long, low dogs dating back thousands of years, however 16th century German hunters were responsible for selecting and cross breeding dogs to create the dachshund we are familiar with today. The name Dachshund literally means “Badger Dog” in German.

Known affectionately as Sausage Dog, Hot Dog, Doxie, Dashie and Weiner, these adorable and amusing companions are a favourite the world over.

Greyhound Print

At least 4000 years old, the Greyhound is arguably the oldest purebred canine. Combining speed, grace and exceptional hunting ability with loyal and devoted companionship, the greyhound has been used in the sport of coursing (the pursuit of prey by sight instead of scent) since ancient times. It can reach speeds of between 40 and 45mph.

There is plenty of amusing greyhound behaviour terminology to learn. These big-hearted hunters like to alternate between the “Zoomies” (galloping with abandon on winged feet) and the “Snoozies” (lounging and dozing in comfort and warmth). Many delight in hoarding food and toys in their beds where they may practice “Roaching” (rolling onto their back and spreading their legs at odd angles in all directions, like a dead cockroach) and they may also enjoy a spot of “Roo-ing” (singing or howling).

detail of dachshund print detail of greyhound print dachshund print unframed greyhound print unframed  framed dachshund print framed greyhound print

hand mixed ink rolling out ink for printing pulling a print etching press

For more details and to buy (£40 plus shipping, worldwide) please visit The Enlightened Hound’s website

Personalised Dog Rubber Stamps

I really enjoyed my most recent collaboration with The English Stamp Company to create a range of personalized dog breed rubber stamps.

dog rubber stamps

The used my original pen and ink drawings of different dog breeds and they can be personalized with the name and breed of your canine companion.

dog breed rubber stamps

The English Stamp Company have been making rubber stamps for over 20 years. The stamps are beautifully made and mounted onto a traditional beechwood handle so they look great and are easy to use. They also stock a range of ink pads, blank tags and cards so you can get started straight away.

english stamp co

 

There are 12 breeds in the range so far, with more to come.

Dog Stamps

Dog Breed Stamps

Dog stampsscnauzer pug greyhound whippet stamps

They are available online from Not on the High Street

Old Printer’s Stone Workbench

A local printing business recently contacted me as they were closing down. They kindly wanted to know if I could use any of their left over paper and ink stash. When I went to have a look I spotted a wonderful old workbench and asked about it.

Antique printers stone workbench

They told me it was a Printer’s Stone used in the days of letterpress printing when metal type had to be laid out and set. The top is a completely flat surface which was needed to ensure that the type was set accurately. This workbench has solid iron top however historically a flat stone was used, hence the name – Printer’s Stone.

Fred Ullmer Printers Engineers

This was one of the original pieces that was bought for the printshop when it was set up in 1922. Although the wooden frame bears the scars of many years of use, the iron top is in great condition. It seems incredible that it is probably over 90 years old!

iron top printers workbench

Now I am excited to say that, after much scrubbing of 90+ years of printshop grime, waxing and polishing, it is has a new life as an island in my kitchen.

old drawer from printmakers workbench

The iron top will need oiling or waxing to keep it from developing rust spots.

The huge old drawer opens from both sides. I’m not sure what I will store in there yet but not anything edible!

I’m very happy to have this wonderful old piece of printmaking history in my house. I love it!

What Colour Means To Me: Uppercase Magazine Feature

If you haven’t discovered the wonderful Uppercase magazine yet then you are missing a treat!

It is a beautifully produced publication that delves into the quirky and and curious side of designing and making. Printed on thick matt paper, each issue is covetable and inspirational.

I was therefore extremely happy and excited to be featured in the most recent issue (no.22) which is all about colour.

Uppercase Magazine No.22

Debbie Kendall in Uppercase Magazine talking about Colour

Those are my “Tubes of Delight” pictured – yes those sticky, crumpled, messy tubes of printmakers ink – and underneath is a short piece about what  colour means to me as a printmaker.

Here are my ‘words of wisdom':

“My traditional oil based printmakers ink is sticky, thick and highly pigmented. I adore the process of hand mixing colours by eye using palette knives to fold the colours together, like mixing ingredients for a cake. I record my colour mixing adventures on strips of scrap paper which become my recipe cards.

For printmaking, the ink must be rolled out in a thin even layer. During this process the ink hisses and clicks as my heavy roller spreads it out on a glass slab.
Colour, to me, is intense, bold and exciting. I love the audacity and exuberance of the intensely pigmented inks which contrast with the other solid & technical paraphernalia of printmaking – an black iron press, turned wooden handled gouges.
In relief printing, colour is laid down in solid blocks. My job as a printmaker is to strive to tame the sticky, messy globs of ink into a flawless, even sheet of colour on the paper. In between the precise and painstaking process of producing a printing plate and the exacting and mechanical system of printing, the choosing and mixing of colour is a giddy and beguiling interlude.
But the printmaker in me still likes to look behind the free, creative and decorative side of colour to the science and methodology of mixing the perfect shade.”

Now in its 6th year and sold worldwide, Uppercase is designed and produced by the one woman powerhouse, Janine Vangool, in Calgary, Canada. It is playful, imaginative, collectable and eclectic and for me, it succeeds where other design magazines falter because it is accessible yet aspirational & inspirational yet never pretentious.

Go check it out at Uppercase.