What’s your background?
I’ve become a Yorkshire artist after over 30 years here, but my voice reveals me as a southerner who studied architecture and moved to Leeds in 1982, for a year to work in animation. I then failed to go home.
Explain what you do in 100 words.
Working from drawings and photographs I draw onto a copper plate with a sharp needle. The metal plate which is protected by a thin layer of wax, except where I have scratched it, is plunged into a ferric chloride which eats away at the bare metal producing fine lines. I ink up the plate, pushing the ink into the grooves and cleaning the surface. Damp paper is put on top of the plate which is pulled through an etching press, (think washing mangle) and the image is printed. An etching is like a fingerprint – the lines come from beneath the surface.
What five words best describe your work?
Detailed, monochrome, warm, nature-loving
What are you working on at the moment?
A follow-up to my best seller, Murmuration – another look at the ways in which starlings gather and roost.
Which three artists inspire you?
Samuel Palmer, Eric Ravilious, Paula Rego
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Don’t follow advice.
Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire?
Singling out one place would be iniquitous.
Tell us something we don’t know.
You can tell an etcher by the state of their nails – disgusting – or cut very short.