Pooki People - An Artist spotlight with Mollie Pearce

September 15, 2023

Tell us some more about yourself, your work and your printmaking

Hello! I'm Mollie Pearce. You can easily find me on Instagram. under the handle @molliepearceart.
Currently, I am based in Chippenham, Wiltshire. At the moment, I am working from my home after
graduating from University this July.

My artistic style leans towards figurative, with a focus on coastal themes. These themes include not
only the coastline itself but also the different architecture that surrounds it. This may include beach
huts, buildings or even boats. Currently, my main focus is on the Jurassic Coastline. Locations like
Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Swanage, and Weymouth serve as a main source of inspiration.

I mainly practise the reduction method in lino printing for my work. I enjoy layering the colours and
experimenting to build up the picture. Some of my recent works have used up to ten layers, which
has allowed me to create intricate and detailed images.

My journey into printing began during my first year at university. Before this, I had very limited
printing experience and usually stuck to painting. However, after seeing the facilities and being
inducted into the different presses, I started to love the processes and the possibilities that
printmaking allowed me. By the end of my second year, I had built my skills with the reduction
method, confidently using multiple layers and creating work I was really happy with..

As I progressed into the third year, my ambition grew with my prints. I was able to experiment with
more detailed images and use even more layers. Learning more about how to layer the different
colours and inks. I was also becoming more confident to scale up my prints, going as large as I could. I
even printed an image that was 5ft long and 3ft high using the reduction method! You can find my
whole process of this print on my Instagram.

To view more of my portfolio and to purchase my work, my website is www.molliepearce.co.uk. This
is also where I post updates about me and my work!

Where does the magic happen?

I've been fortunate to enjoy large studio spaces throughout my degree, providing me with the
perfect setting to explore my practice. This studio was shared among my other course mates, which
allowed a social atmosphere, something I found important to me to stay motivated. Together, we did
weekly critiques and exchanged ideas, which boosted our work and kept us going. You can see the
studios in my video, which I took on the day I moved out!

With my recent graduation this July, I've had to move out of this studio and I am starting to make my
own space within my home. While this is a big change and I am still adjusting , I'm excited to see the
possibilities this new space offers me. Having a separate space to make work is so important to me
and my practice. It allows me to really focus and not get distracted. While my space is an empty
room with a table right now, I hope to start making it a really creative space for me to work soon.

I addition to my studio, I take regular trips down to the coast and immerse myself in the landscapes,
with my camera. These trips allow me to observe and capture the constant changing scenery of the
coast. I especially love visiting the harbours and coves to see the different boats that have come to
the shore, such as Lulworth cove. After spending some time taking photos, I return home to work
from them for my prints. I have attached some of my favourite photos to show you! including some I
hope to work from soon!

Lulworth Cove

Explain to us the journey to a finished print.

My journey usually starts with a trip to the coast to see what new things or places I can find. I
especially love going to Lulworth Cove to see what boats are there that day. I then do a mini
photoshoot to get some reference photos for the print. I like to play in Photoshop with my images
before printing them, to get an idea of the colour palette I want to use and the types of shapes I
might include. I then transfer these ideas onto the block to start carving each layer. To transfer my
images, I tend to use carbon paper for the first few layers, as I find this quick and easy.

Although I start with a reference image, sometimes I like to switch up the colours a lot when printing.
I also like to experiment with the textures when carving. I have started to find a specific style within
my work that I enjoy, which I use a lot for sand, grass, or the sea. It allows me to get depth in my
work within the different layers. By the time I have done roughly three layers, I know if I should stop
there or keep it going. Sometimes I plan for a print to have 8 layers and I only end up doing 6, or the
other way around, doing 6 when I was meant to do 4. When I get halfway through a print, I like to
stray away more from my references and I tend to wing it a lot to see what I like best!

What are you currently working on?

I will be heading up to London soon to be a part of the Royal Marine Societies exhibit at the Mall
Gallery! You are able to view one of my prints between the 21st of September and the 30th
September. Alongside me will be a huge range of marine themed work and it is sure to be a lovely
Exhibit for a day out. You can find more information on this on my Instagram

I will be posting regular updates about the
event. You can also find information on the Mall gallery website

Print wise, I am currently working on a range of prints which look at different areas of Dorset such as
The Lost Village of Tyneham, Durdle Door and Lulworth cove. I will be updating about these regularly
and I am excited to start showing them to everyone. These prints are also helping me transition to
my home studio, slowly getting me settled

How did your Pooki Press change your Printmaking?

My Pooki press was crucial in my printmaking journey. When I first started printing in my first year, it
was cut very short due to the pandemic lockdown. I was at home for my first year, using very
makeshift methods to create my prints. This included using spoons as a baren, using books to try and
weigh it down, and hand burnishing everything, despite working on large batches. I found that I was
not enjoying the process as much as I once did with these methods, as I was not achieving the
desired finish that I knew I could get when using a press. I was aware that my prints could be
significantly better.

Returning to uni after these lockdowns did not grant us complete workshop and studio freedom. It
was challenging to access the facilities, and there was still a lot of anxiety among the students. At the
start of my second year, I purchased my first A4 press from Pooki, and finally, I was able to achieve
the results I wanted. I started to enjoy the process much more again, and I noticed substantial
improvements in my skills and the quality of my work. My prints became much more consistent, and
I was genuinely pleased with their appearance.

Having my own piece of equipment, the press, has proven really useful. I no longer have to rely on
external resources, and I can work whenever I want, which included a lot of late nights while
studying! This is especially crucial to me now, as I no longer have access to the facilities I am used to.
The press has allowed me to continue my work without any worries.

Do you have any tips for other Printmakers? What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

My advice to printmakers is to embrace the unpredictable side of printmaking and enjoy the freedom
it offers when experimenting. The process enables you to explore various styles, textures, and
colours, opening up so many possibilities.

My other advice is to just chat and talk to everyone you meet. You can learn something new from anyone and it is a huge motivation to surround yourself with other printmakers, being more social has helped me so much.

Another tip for working with multiblock layers is to utilise Ternes Burton registration tabs. These tabs
work wonders and ensure perfectly aligned prints every time!

Do you have a Favourite Print that you have made?

One of my favourite works is my print titled "Lulworth's Hut." It depicts one of the fishermen's huts
in Lulworth Cove, showing the building and the stack of crab buckets that sit outside. This was the
first print in which I was truly ambitious, attempting to use eight layers! It was also the print where I
started to experiment more with texture, discovering techniques that suited well with my style.

It also earned me the title of Young Artist of 2023 from the Bath Society of Artists during their annual

"Lulworth's Hut" 8 Layer Reduction Print and winner of Young Artist of 2023 from the Bath Society of Artists

Where can people learn more about you, engage with you and find
your work?

Instagram is the best way to connect with me and stay updated on my latest activities. I regularly
share images and videos of my new artwork and upcoming projects. Feel free to reach out and chat
with me there! My username is @molliepearceart. I'm quite active on social media, so I'll typically
respond quickly.

You can also get in touch with me through my website, www.molliepearce.co.uk, where you'll find a
contact form. I'll do my best to respond as soon as I can. Additionally, my website is the place to
explore and purchase my artworks. To find other items for sale, such as greeting cards and postcards
of my work, I update my etsy frequently.

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