Art Hero: Neil Southerington
Neil Southerington, an established craftsman from Linton will exhibit at his first Golden Plains Arts Trail (North Trail) this year from the Linton Forge and Print Shop – an establishment that dates back to the 1800s.
“I like things of beauty and texture,” said Neil when asked about why art is special to him. His love of his work, which centres around traditional letterpress printing and paper-making, is obvious to anyone who has seen his creations, and especially to those who know him.
Neil works in various non-digital print mediums, including traditional letterpress, where he uses, what he refers to as ‘hand set type wood, lead and metal line blocks’ to create his creative pieces.
“I also make hand-made paper using cottons and various vegetable and plant fibres, either for printing or for just the beauty of what it is,” said Neil of his craft.
Neil is passionate about making beautiful, textured and artistic paper. He said, “I do not try to make hand-made paper that is equal to the best machine made paper – I rather aim to bring out the characteristics of the paper and use the letterpress to enhance that.”
Neil’s expertise in his craft is the result of many years of experience in various printing processes, book-binding, paper-making and more. He said, “Most of my life has been in the printing industry.” He started with a five-year Letterpress and Lithographic Printing apprenticeship, and has since established himself as a successful and respected craftsman.
Testament to his skills (and his clients’ faith in them), he has been commissioned to make wedding invitations and other prestigious pieces using hand-made paper or letterpress type. Neil sometimes combines other artists’ drawing into his pieces as well.
Neil is excited to participate in the 2018 Arts Trail. He said, “For my first foray into the Arts Trail, I thought I would make some paper and print on the days I’m there. I will also give visitors the opportunity to have a try themselves.”
“I look forward to people visiting and seeing the 1800s Forge, where they can learn about the traditional craft of paper-making and letterpress printing on antique presses.
“I think the Trail is a great thing for the Shire; it will bring people together,” finished Neil.
Neil will exhibit at the Golden Plains Arts Trail – North Trail (17-18 March) from the Linton Forge and Print Shop, 95-97 Sussex Street, Linton.