Chris Sleath of Dynamo Works loves cycling, and he loves making brilliant screen prints on the theme of cycling. He took time out from both to tell us about his life and work.
Describe your studio/workspace At home, ecclectic and cramped, but I use open access studios in Manchester and Edinburgh which are very well equipped, spacious and light filled.
Before you begin a new design, you must… Plan ahead. Printmaking can be a very technical process. Mistakes can be made at every stage but happy accidents are welcome too and can form the inspiration for future work.
What inspires your work? In no particular order, Modernist art movement, folk art, cycle ephemera from the Fifties, circus culture, plastic toys and african tribal art.
You know a design is a success when… It sells!
The thing about being an independent designer/maker is… I create the time to play, make mistakes and generally mess about but underneath that is a very self disciplined streak. Working hard is part of the process.
What’s your favourite piece of design? A plastic jug I bought in India while working on mosaic restoration in the Nek Chand garden. Functional, sweet to the eye and cheap.
Aside from printing, I am pretty good at… Cake – the study and consumption of.
What music do you listen to while you design? At home just the radio on in a distant room but at the studio everyone gets to choose. It’s very democratic.
In another life, you would be… An anthropologist
What other designer/makers should we look out for? Dan Adams who sells at Shelf.
Describe the perfect weekend. October is my favourite month so… Getting out on the bikes, seeing shows at galleries, making practical stuff and selling the odd print or two.
Any claims to fame? I was a stage manager in a previous life so have met and got to know many interesting people.
Which blogs do you read? All Things Considered and various cycle sites.
What invention would change your life? A cycle light that doesn’t switch itself on in my bag. It is the 21st century after all.
Are you dancing? More like phoning the osteopath!
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