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28th January 2017

Q&A: Picking printmaker Alex Booker's brain

Alex Booker is many things when it comes to Zetteler — from being the person who helps move box after box from old office to new office, to being the guy who made sure every frame in the studio is hung straight — but the one we want to introduce you to today is Alex Booker, print artist and founder of Booker Print House.
Internationally exhibited, talented beyond words, with the steady hand and patience to match, Alex is an artist whose beloved craft requires physical force and delicate precision in equal measure. Having spent over a decade studying and working in printmaking, Alex has refined his preferred styles, techniques and chosen materials and has injected his vehement fascination with ships and the sea into his work. 

We could talk to you for hours about his work (we’ve been lucky enough to do a woodcut print workshop at his studio, and we spend a lot of time drooling over his prints) but it’s probably better if we let him say it in his own words. 
Hi Alex, for those who don’t know already, tell us a little about you!
I’m an artist printmaker that specialises in woodcut printing. 

How did you fall in love with woodcut printing?
Ten years ago I completed a Masters in Printmaking at Camberwell, since then I’ve been exploring the ancient craft of the woodcut tradition. 

Where are you based?
I work in my third floor Limehouse studio. 
What do you love about your craft?
I love the drawing, cutting and inking that comes with relief printing. Every block and every print is different to the last, that uniqueness is fascinating and allows endless scope for experimentation. 

Which materials do you like to work with?
I’ve used birch plywood, and new woods I’m currently exploring are side-grain tulipwood and Japanese plywood. 

How do you get inspired? Where do your motifs and themes come from?
Collecting printed matter has always played a big part in sourcing imagery; old postcards, magazines, books and photography litter my studio. 
What have you worked on recently?
Recent projects include a series on historic women of the sea, Clerkenwell Design Week residency and a surreal landscape postcard series. 

What are you looking forward to in 2017?
The workshops and residency at Clerkenwell London for Clerkenwell Design Week is of huge importance for me. As far as major London exhibitions go, the later works of the master Katsushika Hokusai at the British Museum in May is an exciting prospect. 
Who inspires you?
Seetal Solanki is a pioneering force with her exploration of future materials. Camille Wallala is a super star pattern maker and my friend and former studio resident Richard Galloway of Timber House Press is a wonderful linocut printmaker; he makes intricate prints of epic scenes. The best sculptor I know is Daniel Scott, his masterful skill is terrifying and visiting his studio in Cornwall is magic. 

How did you get to know team Zetteler?
I met Sabine two years and thankfully she never left. The Zetteler team are all absolute winners and I’m bloody lucky to know them all. 

Follow Alex on Twitter and Instagram.

Studio 3
De Beauvoir Block
92 De Beauvoir Road
N1 4EN

+44 (0)20 3735 5855