Why Printmaking Matters: Interview with The Rizzeria

For the love of print, The Rizzeria artists collectively celebrate all the possibilities that printmaking continues to offer even in the digital age.

Creativity 5 min read Aug 12, 2020

The Rizzeria is a collective of printmaking advocates, self-publishers and creative entrepreneurs who believe that art is for everyone and that making prints and printmaking tools available enables more people to appreciate this art form. Aside from providing for the public’s printmaking needs, The Rizzeria runs regular workshops in Sydney, from zine making to painting, book binding, screenprinting and more. Kitty Cardwell, one of the talented volunteers at The Rizzeria and the owner behind the business Mrs C and Me, chats with us today to share the goings-on within The Rizzeria and how contemporary printmaking became a part of her practice.

Can you tell us about The Rizzeria and how your collaboration with them started?

The Rizzeria is a not-for-profit collective of self-publishers and printmakers and we own a Risograph stencil press (Riso ME9350). We are run by volunteers who each give their time to help people with print sessions, as well as share their skills by teaching workshops in our fabulous Marrickville studio. We also have a shop there selling both Risograph and screen printed art, ceramics and textiles.

A couple of years ago I quit my corporate job and took a few months off to set up my business Mrs C and Me. I was also looking for some creative voluntary work and The Rizzeria ticked all the boxes.

What is it like working at The Rizzeria?

Rewarding and fun! We get to share our print skills by running workshops, as well as help people print, whilst working with like-minded artists and designers. It’s really cool to help people print for the first time and introduce them to what the Riso printer can do. I love seeing prints, zines or cards in shops or at zine fairs, and knowing that was printed at The Rizzeria.

Can you tell us a bit about your artistic background?

I studied textile design for 4 years at college but I ended up working in retail and then finance! I always kept it on as a hobby, and occasionally had a stall at local arts and craft markets. Whilst I was growing bored of my corporate role, I did a refresher screen print course and that just reignited my love of printing. Fast forward a few years and here I am!

What inspired you to become an artist and eventually start Mrs. C and Me?

I love creating things, either as gifts for friends or to sell. Even as a child I was always making things. My favourite Christmas present ever was a box full of cards, double-sided tape, pencils and a whole load of office stationery that I’m pretty sure came from my Dad’s work 😄 I wanted to do a job I really loved and felt passionate about, because it’s such a good feeling to really love what you do for a living.

What are the practices/skills that you teach at The Rizzeria? Can you tell us more about each?

I run workshops in Screen printing, Letterpress, Kids printing and Rubber stamp making. I really encourage people to try different ideas and to experiment. Even if it doesn’t always work out as they had planned, often the result is better than they intended.

I also teach the Learn to Risograph Print workshop where students will learn all they need to know when they come in to the studio at a later date and print their designs, with a volunteer on hand should they need help. We have some really skilled and awesome volunteers who also work as graphic designers and artists, and they are always happy to help and offer advice when people come in to print.

We also run workshops in ceramics, zine making, watercolour painting, travel sketching, book binding, colour theory, make a cardboard puppet, animation basics and making marbled paper.

What is your motivation in teaching the workshops?

I love sharing my knowledge and helping people learn, it’s so rewarding. At Rizzeria, we want to share our love of printing and inspire everyone to be creative.

What inspires your work, generally?

I just love patterns! I see them everywhere. Whilst some people may just see a swimming pool, for example, I see it as this huge canvas of patterns and colours and light.

What is your most treasured artwork?

I still have a couple of exercise books from primary school filled with drawings I did as a kid!

Why should someone learn printmaking techniques?

It’s a great skill to have, and can be used for so many different things. Not everyone who uses the Riso printer comes in to make art to sell. It’s also a great way to make unique wedding or party invitations, Christmas Cards or flyers. It’s cheaper and much more personalised than using a digital printer, plus our inks come in some awesome colours. The fluro pink and orange are our most popular.

What is your vision for printmaking art?

I would love it if consumers shied away from mass-produced prints and bought more handmade prints or even better, made their own. We have some awesome and affordable work in our shop, or you can gain the skills and confidence to make your own art at one of The Rizzeria’s workshops.

Do you or The Rizzeria have any upcoming events and plans lined up that you’d like to share?

We have heaps of workshops coming up for all ages and abilities - printing, sketching, ceramics, illustration, painting and more. Check out our website or our WeTeachMe page for more details. Or if you’re in Marrickville, pop into the studio to say Hi! We are located at Shop 2/359 Illawarra Road, Marrickville.

10% OFF on all workshops til July 19th! Use code therizzeria10 at checkout
The Rizzeria
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The Rizzeria