Richard Shimell

Artist biography

Richard lives in a wooded Dartmoor valley and is drawn to landscapes and complexity, and trees in particular. He makes intricately detailed, handmade prints, mostly made by carving pieces of vinyl flooring to leave the image in relief.

This material suits because it is harder than lino, so allows for finer details. He obtains the vinyl as off-cuts from flooring shops, so likes to think he is recycling something which would otherwise be dumped.

He learned to print at the Dartington Printmaking Workshop, which he joined with no artistic training or background in 2010. He also has a studio with a press at his home near Ashburton, where he make prints and handmade books.

He draws directly on to the vinyl in soft pencil before carving around every mark to leave it standing. Each plate takes weeks to carve. He uses lino- or wood-cutting tools, and sometimes also wood engraving tools. He usually makes one or two other plates to go with the tree plate - these are used to make a background sky or landscape.

He prints each plate in the same position on heavy printmaking paper to build up the image. Such fine detail requires very careful printing to get good results.