We may have mentioned it a few times now… or maybe quite a lot. We’re having our boxes printed. The January box is going to be an all new printed box with lots of #Hygge and Sparkle! We’re very excited to have these boxes screen printed by the fabulous fourbeatwalk who are both local to us and extremely brilliant at what they do!
We caught up for a talk with Kate founder of fourbeatwalk to find out a bit more about her business, printing and how she feels about Hygge!
Kate started fourbeatwalk with her friend Matt in Nottingham. In recent years the city has been home to a thriving, growing independent arts and music scene. They started creating zines and badges, taking them to craft fairs and making them for people like Hello Thor — an independent record label who supported DIY makers and artists.
fourbeatwalk has grown into a unique, independent printing studio. They create prints using letterpress and screen printing, as well as book-making.
What do you enjoy the most about fourbeatwalk?
We asked Kate what she enjoyed the most about fourbeatwalk (other than printing HyggeBoxes!). “I really love how instant printing can be- I usually screen print from
stencils that I cut from paper. This can be very time consuming (and occasionally frustrating when it goes wrong!) but it means I can have an idea and print it that same day”. Kate prints in small batches of 30 making her designs limited editions.
As well as screen printing, Kate has been teaching herself how to letterpress in the studio using wood and lead type as well as lino cutting. “I am a big fan of keeping these old skills and processes going, and adding a bit of the materials history to my prints”. We were fortunate enough to attend one of Kate’s letterpress card making workshops just before Christmas and if you’re one of our early subscribers you may have received a handmade card from Kate’s studio!
fourbeatwalk also work with small individuals on their projects as well “I have also been really fortunate to help different people out with printing projects, such as people wanting to print their own wedding invites. Its always really fun, having them in the studio working on something really personal and learning how to print while they make it!”
What is your favourite printing process?
I go through phases with each printing process, where I get really into one way of making things, and have lots of ideas using it. Then I will catch a glance (over my crowded studio) at something that hasn’t been used for a while and I will feel sad that I have neglected it for too long, and so have a switch over to that one, and the cycle repeats! So rather than a favourite process, I have a favourite way of using the different print methods- keeping a lot of the methods very hands on and hand made.
There is a lot of pre-planning that you have to do before the printing can begin, and it is nice to have something physical to prepare with. I cut the stencils by hand and sometimes make them straight from the drawings I’ve been making — and by hand pulling all the screen prints, I can make adjustments and carry on playing with the design. When letterpress printing I still use the old type I have been collecting or something I’ve made myself, so there is something physical to layout, to play around with and sometimes that alone gives you ideas.
There are plenty of modern methods that I could incorporate, such as polymer plates that let you print any image, and I haven’t ruled out using them in my work, but — I currently like the extra work and time the old school methods take!
What does Hygge mean to you?
Before Hyggebox, I knew nothing about Hygge! I think the English equivalent of Hygge is the feeling after going on a long wintery walk and getting cold and a bit muddy, when you come home to sit by the fire with a cup of tea. you feel extra warm and happy to be inside.
I think this feeling can also be achieved by waking up when it is grey and rainy, and deciding that things you had to do that day are not as important as you maybe first thought, and you would probably be best off staying inside, finishing your book and making yourself a really great breakfast.
How do you cope with the winter months?
I hate getting cold and wet- but there is a lot about winter I really love- like wearing as much as possible: two jumpers and two pairs of socks and a sort of blanket scarf. I’m happiest when I am 90% knitted. The food in winter is the best. Cheese and potatoes and soups and toast. Anything that should probably only be eaten after crossing a frozen tundra, or uses cream as a central ingredient. This year, I invented Stilton fondue (well- a quick google search tells me I actually didn’t) a whole pot of double cream heated and then all the Stilton you have (and it should be quite a bit) added in. dip in roasted veg and bread and make strange gurgling noises of enjoyment.
After New Year, when we’ve packed away Christmas and want to have something to look forward to, I start thinking about my garden and what we are going to grow there. I only managed a few pea and courgette plants last year- but they were totally delicious, and survived the slug onslaught, which was much appreciated. Having things early in the year like Burns Night and Pancake Day can stop the start of the year feeling like the end of all the fun stuff to do.
If you would like to find out more about fourbeatwalk or commission them for some fantastic work check them out here or if you fancy buying something wonderful from their collections take a look at the shop
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Photo of Kate from fourbeatwalk — credit Julian Hughes