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Bakelite Telephone

Bakelite Telephone

By Steven Hubbard


Limited edition print

Four block lino print on Japanese Kozu Shi paper

Image size: H: 30.5 cm x W: 30cm


Unframed: £325

Framed: £395



This is an old 1930s 300 series GPO telephone, designed by Ericsson and in general use in the UK by the 1940s.


Unusually for Steven, he printed this with three lino blocks and then added a fourth block with which he printed four greys by the reduction method, meaning no turning back as the block is reduced for each new colour.


The result is a strking, graphic work with huge vintage appeal.


    All Steven's prints start out as drawings and oil paintings. He uses traditional lino and handmade wood and steel cutting tools. Instead of a press, he opts for a roller and, sometimes, a spoon or a stone baren. This allows him to control and vary pressure and to modify colour density across the surface.


    We are featuring, mainly, prints based on his paintings of everyday objects, such as oil cans, tools and telephones – he calls them 'things with character, practical things'.


    His beautiful and precise technique is deliberately reminiscent of the Grovesnor School, lending it a vintage, inter-War-years charm and nostalgia. It also makes full use of colour show-through and thin Japanese papers, where you can change the appearance of the entire work by adding a backing colour when framing.


    “The trick, if there is one, is that because I was a painter and watercolourist I know about colour. My prints are done in washes, in effect, because they are very transparent inks. Layers of printed colour make different combinations, working in a similar way to watercolour.”


    Steven grew up in London and has been painting and printing since he was a child, winning a Puffin Club prize for a lino print book cover design. In 1989 he was shortlisted as 'best painter under 35' by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.


    His prints have been exhibited by the Royal Academy of Arts, the Society of Wood Engravers and the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. His work is often used for illustrations and greetings cards and is held in public and private collections in both Europe and America.