Behind the scenes: linocut illustrations

In issue one of Ernest, we explore the heritage of a timeless emblem of winter wear – the Aran sweater – born out of necessity, tradition and the fierce independence on the Aran islands, "three stepping stones out of Europe," as Seamus Heaney once called them..

To tell the stories behind the local lanolin-rich báinín wool, fishing heritage and 'handwriting' of each family weave, we called on linocut artist Jade They:

"My process begins with researching the subject and its origins, focusing on the atmosphere the article is trying to capture. I then make working roughs using hand drawn elements, which I refine as I go. I cut the final image out of lino and print it. Sometimes I'll make a few minor changes in Photoshop, but I try to keep to the original print as much as possible – it's the imperfections that make the image unique. Having an element of the uncontrollable is what makes printmaking interesting. It's something that you couldn't recreate on a computer."