Print Trays for Jenny


I don’t tend to do many commissions these days, and I tend to politely decline when people ask. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, I’ve just too many ideas of my own for my little head to process most of the time. But this one was a bit special…

I’ve always love printer’s trays. When I was little, my Mum had an amazing shop in Eye (Suffolk) called ‘Talents’. It sold crafts and pictures, and one half was full of second hand treasures. She called it a junk shop at the time, but now it would be classed as Brocante, or Shabby Chic. Whatever it was, it was an Aladdin’s Cave of wonderful things. My sister and I were gifted a printers tray each from a job lot, in which we stowed a lifetimes collection of treasures: Flint arrow heads, fossils, shells, gem stones, skeleton leaves, broken china pieces… Many years on, I found an especially nice one with brass fixings in an antique shop (Mum sold them for £5. Prices have increased since then!). I thought it would be a lovely way to organise my busy head full of pictures, so I filled it with tiny studies of trees. By the time Jenny saw it at Heart Gallery it was sold, but she begged me to do one for her as her late husband had been a type setter. It’s only taken 5 years! But these are what I created:

Jenny gave me the trays. Particularly lovely little ones from Covent Garden Market. I started filling the spaces with treated papers, and one or two pieces of marbled book end paper. I decided that type and typographic ornament should be the theme, given who it was being made for. I love old letters…

There was lots of chopping and changing with letters that worked, and letters that didn’t. Every letter appears once. Some go in more than once because they’re especially nice to draw, or because they are significant to Jenny:

Almost finished. Just a couple of letters and a Ginko leaf to add…

A beautiful piece of framing from Abacus! Box framed; I think they look like Icons!

Jenny was keen to keep the lovely handle on one of the trays, so they have lots of room to breath:

And today I got some beautiful flowers, so I know that she is pleased.

Thank you Jenny for trusting me with this. I loved making them.

6 thoughts on “Print Trays for Jenny

  1. As ALWAYS “young” “talented” “inspirational” artist extraordinare, you’ve knocked it out of the park. ???

  2. Stunning like everything you do. Looking forward to hopefully meeting you at open studios on July.

  3. These are beautiful! I was at Covent Garden yesterday and saw the boxes and hundreds of old beautiful typesetting letters on the stalls, love them! ?

  4. Hi Kate,
    Do you have a date for your next exhibition in Ripley , and the title yet.
    Can’t wait.
    Thanks Carol

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