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Green Circle Print Shop

Revisiting the art of Kate Wolsey in her new printmaking venture.


Once in a while I get a chance to do an interview with someone, and then later on down the road we see that same person branch out and do something else just as awesome—sometimes in the same field, and other times doing something completely different. Today we're chatting with artist Kate Wolsey again, who has started up a brand new venture called Green Circle Print Shop, making cards and t-shirts with her fantastic designs on them. We catch up with Kate and chat about her new business, all with pictures of what she's been making lately. (All pictures courtesy of GCPS.)

Kate Wolsey
Green Circle Print Shop on Big Cartel

Gavin: Hey Kate, first off, how have you been since we last chatted, and how has your artwork been doing since the last interview?

I've been well, thanks for asking. It's been great. I think I've been doing a lot of fun projects. I believe when we did the last interview I was making mostly digital prints. I'm much more hands-on now.


What got you interested in doing screenprinting new works?

That's a common misconception. I'm actually not screenprinting. I'm block printing, which means I'm carving linoleum or wood blocks and making prints from those blocks. It's rewarding to spend hours carving a design, then send it through the press and to see the finished print or shirt.

How did you go about learning the ropes to the genre and figuring out how to print?

I signed up for a block printing class last summer and fell in love with the process. It's been a lot of trial and error. I think that's how you have to learn something like this. You have to experiment with the amount of ink you roll onto the block and the amount of pressure you use with the press. The fun thing is that every print is different (even if you try to make them all identical). Minor changes in the way you roll the ink or the material you print on can completely change the finished product. I think that's great, because it means every time you make something new, it's unique.


What made you decide to form a company, and where did the name come from?

I wasn't initially sure I wanted to form a company. I started out just wanting to make shirts for my loved ones, then people on social media were interested in purchasing them. The name has been in my head for a bit. I've always been drawn to the color green. Circles span my creative life. You can see circles in everything I've ever done, so it just felt right to include it here.

What's the process like for you in picking a design and getting it to print?

When I have a design in mind I first have to draw it on the linoleum or wood block. Then I carve out the design deciding what will be the positive and negative space. Next I roll the ink on the block. Then the block is placed on the shirt, or paper, or whatever I'm printing on and rolled through a press. The ink takes several days to dry, so I either have to roll it or hang it up.


Where do you find inspiration for these particular designs?

Oh, everywhere. I'm a collector of children's picture books, and I find a lot of inspiration from those artists and stories. I also get inspiration from daily life. I'll hear a phrase or see a great outfit and that can inspire new work.

What made you decide to open up a BigCartel store rather than go to a physical location?

As a very small company, it seemed easier to start online, with something already well established. Who knows, maybe in the future I will get a physical space, but for now, I'm enjoying the online market.


What was it like first starting up, and how have people been receiving your works?

I started right after Thanksgiving, so it was a bit chaotic. I was still trying to figure of the timing of the ink drying and shipping orders, but I believe I have a better handle on it. People have been really receptive. I've gotten a lot of great feedback. It's also been really fun to see people wearing my designs.

Are you planning to do any festivals or markets come summer?

It's [just] online for now. I may do some summer festivals, but I've done festivals for the past few summers, and it may be nice to take this summer off to make new things and rejoin festivals in the fall. This summer I want to focus on some short film projects.


Where do you hope to take the company over the next little while?

Right now I'm mostly making t-shirts. In the very near future, I will be adding art prints to the shop as well.

What can we expect from you and Green Circle Print Shop over the rest of the year?

That's a good question. I'm always interested to know that myself. Haha. I like to try new things all the time, for instance, I'll be taking a jewelry making class in a few weeks, so maybe that will be something I will be selling in the future.