5 Minutes with Kitty Cardwell, aka Mrs C and Me

Words Amy Willing
Images Kitty Cardwell

Find more of Kitty’s work on Instagram  @mrscandme, or visit The Rizzeria  @therizzeria.

Last month, we were excited to welcome volunteer-run printing outfit The Rizzeria to Joynton Avenue Creative Centre as one of our first resident organisations. Founded in 2008, The Rizzeria is run by a collective of printers, artists, zine-makers and designers, all with a passion for the lo-fi, low cost technique that is Risograph printing. 

As they get settled and start rolling out their program of workshops and events, we sat down with volunteer and artist Kitty Cardwell to find out what’s coming up and why you should give printmaking a try.

Hi Kitty! What is it that you do at the Rizzeria?

The Rizzeria is completely run by volunteers who each come with their own skills as well as a collective love of Risograph Printing. I help people print up their designs and I also run the intro to Risograph workshop.

How did you get involved?

When I left my corporate job I took a few months off to set up my own business and it was during this time I came across the Rizzeria. They were looking for volunteers and I had plenty of time on my hands plus a massive desire to get back into printmaking.

What exactly is Risograph printing and how does it work?

I like to describe it as a cross between screen printing and digital printing. The machine holds two ink drums at a time, and each drum has a sheet of really thin stencil paper wrapped around it – we call this a master.

An image is sent digitally to the printer; the printer burns the image onto the stencil paper/master, which is then wrapped around the ink drum and we are ready to print. We usually have 12 ink colours in stock, and by layering inks you can create extra colours. Check out the Rizzeria website for more info and inspiration.

Tools at the ready for Kitty’s Screen Printing for Teens workshop

What’s so great about Risograph printing?

It’s a great way of achieving a high quality print without it costing a lot. The ink colours that we have are really bright and vibrant – fluoro pink and orange are my personal favourites! Each print is individual and has a really handcrafted look. It’s perfect for zines, posters, stickers, booklets and graphic prints.

Besides volunteering at the Rizzeria, you also run your own business, Mrs C and Me. What inspired you to make the jump and start working full time as an artist? 

I had studied screen printing at college when I was younger but didn’t want to pursue it as a career at the time. I started to get very bored of my corporate job a few years back and I missed being creative so I took a few months off then launched Mrs C and Me. I also work part time in a very non-corporate role which is the perfect balance for me at the moment.

Screen printing on paper – the end results

What do you wish more people knew about printmaking?

Everyone can do it! I teach different types of printmaking workshops but no experience is required for any of them. Just a desire to learn and have fun with like-minded people.

What are you most looking forward to as The Rizzeria gets settled in?

I’m so excited to be running a bunch of workshops at Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, it really is an awesome space to be in.

I would definitely recommend hopping on to 107.org.au to check out the upcoming workshops and events from myself and other creatives.

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