By Kate Miller
Meet the Maker - Kate Miller
What do you do?
I make prints, mainly using linocut but also collage, monoprint, drypoint etching and woodblock. I am inspired by what I see around me when I’m out and about on my walks, so this is mainly plants and gardens, or rockpools and beaches, or the beautiful landscapes and landmarks of the North East.
How did you get started?
A long time ago, whilst living in London and working full time, I did a printmaking evening class. We made abstract monoprints and I was instantly hooked, and have done countless courses since then, although I don't have any professional printmaking qualifications – I guess I’m self-taught to an extent and have developed my own style of working, using collaged bits of prints, layering up my work to add complexity and texture.
Is this your full time job?
No, I also teach art to children and I work for a photographer, cataloguing his images of art, cultural sites and architecture for a picture library. I’ve been self-employed for around 20 years and really like the contrast of the things I do – the teaching gets me out and about and having fun with the children, the cataloguing uses my brain and the printmaking is a creative outlet.
Where do you create?
I’m really lucky to have a studio at home, which is an extension we built several years ago on the side of our house. Before then, I was working at the kitchen table with small children toddling around, which was chaos! Working from home meant that during lockdown, I could continue with my art work and spend even more time than usual in the studio. I love the flexibility of home working as I can drop in and out of things as the mood takes me.
Tea or coffee?
Now, this is impossible! I absolutely can’t do without either. I hate to sit on the fence, but as this is such an important issue, I have to be truthful – I can’t start the day without Yorkshire tea, and I love my one cup of strong, black Americano mid-morning. Then tea again in the afternoon, and maybe a herbal in the evening. Every day. Without fail.
Where is your favourite local place?
As a family, our favourite place is the beach at Seaham, because we go there to collect sea glass – I have 2 daughters and they have both always collected sea glass and have lots of glass jars full lined up on their windowsills. I also love walking on the moors in Teesdale and the North Pennines, on a wild windy day.