Chances are, you’ll have seen printmaker/designer Kate Heiss’s work somewhere – her distinctive linocut depictions of flora and fauna have been applied to a wealth of cards, stationery, tableware – even jigsaws! But for the strongest connection with the artist, there’s nothing like a physical print.
(Pictured above: ‘Garden In Bloom’)

This technique is perfect for capturing the unpredictable beauty of rural and coastal wildlife – a theme that runs through everything she creates. While she lives with her family in a North Hertfordshire village, the Norfolk coast influences a lot of her work, too, as she’s a regular visitor.

It’s in these pieces, with no two quite the same, that you can really see evidence of the creative hands at work. “I really enjoy the slow mindful nature of cutting lino,” Kate says; “I find it very therapeutic. And the element of surprise when you put the print through the press – you don’t really know what you have created until you pull it through. The first reveal is always exhilarating.”  

lino, cut by Kate before printing
the early stages of a kate heiss print
Left: A sheet of lino, hand carved by Kate before printing begins; right: The subsequent stages of applying colour
“Flowers and wildlife are a huge inspiration for my work and I find the rural landscapes of East Anglia really magical,” she says. “I love living in the countryside and being surrounded by fields and meadows, with an allotment to tend next to our house and garden” she says. “I feel very lucky to be able to immerse myself in nature every day.”
“I take inspiration from nature and my surrounding countryside, constantly photographing and sketching flowers, trees, birds and insects throughout the year. I’ll often compose a print after a walk when I have foraged things from the wayside or spotted a bird or insect.”
the later stages of a Kate Heiss print
The final details take shape

It comes as no surprise to find that alongside vintage postcards and illustrations Kate is influenced by the pioneers of the 20th-century lino print, Edward Bawden and Marthe Armitage. She also mentions Raoul Dufy, but also enjoys taking inspiration from the latest works of contemporary artists and printmakers via Instagram: “In particular I love the work of Clare Curtis, Printer Johnson, Lucy Tiffney and Studio Coverdale.

Kate’s distinctive style is so timeless that her prints complement a multitude of walls and collections, from classic through Mid-Century to contemporary – she even created textiles before setting up her own print studio. “I get a real buzz when a customer sends me a photo of my print hanging in their home,” she says, “or when I see one of my designs on a product.”

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