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.