Zine & Comics reviews for Variant

GRAFIK magazine 143 August 2006 Angharad Lewis

Mark Pawson is many things before he is a craftsperson, but he's prepared to
add it to an extensive list of job descriptions that, by its very length, identifies him
as unidentifiable. Pawson's website is a portal into a world of products including
books, magazines, badges, T-shirts and postcards designed and printed by him.
It's also where he sells toys, art books and comics by others, and, as he puts it
"other essential ephemera" . It's an online shrine to the art of collecting. Each
lovingly created Pawson printed item comes discreetly adorned with the moniker
"Handprinted in my living room", or is individually signed and numbered. By
contrast to this emphasis on the handmade process he uses, the graphic language
of Pawson's work mimics the gaudy world of mass-production. It's a tension
that characterises Pawson's work as much more than a simple commercial

How do you describe your work?
An indescribable hybrid of artist's books, zines, multiples, mail art, fashion
accessories, installations, events, collecting, retailing, distribution and networking.

What type of objects/work do you create?
Books, badges, prints, postcards, stickers, collages, enamel plaques, Perspex signs,
T-shirts and other essential ephemera.

How much of your work is handmade?
Fifty percent.

How do you select your materials?
From the Viking Direct catalogue.

What technical processes do you use?
Printing methods; photocopy, rubberstamp, laserprint, inkjet, digital stencil print,
Print Gocco and Gameboy camera printer.

Would you call yourself a craftsperson?
No. But I'll add it to the list: how does artist/designer /self-publisher/bookseller/
badge-maker/lecturer/curator/image junkie/photocopier fetishist/International Postal
Art Superstar/Free Stuff party organiser/Safari Supper coordinator/DJ/craftsperson

Do you collaborate with other individuals or groups in your work?
Only with Very Special friends; Tatty Devine and John Dilnot.

What's your fantasy project?
Wooden Viking Factory/Workshop and/or my own museum/shop and/or curating
an exhibition of customised Kit-Cat Klocks. Oh, and can I have one of those 3D
modelling machines the they were talking about on Radio 4 the other day as well

What are you working on at the moment?
My Favourite Shirt badge set, made of (washed and ironed) fabric from shirts that
I've loved and worn out.

Which of you past projects most embodies the spirit of your work and why?
The No New Work archive storage box, because it is:-
Practical; the ideal size for your collection of Pawson products.
Affordable; a signed numbered limited edition multiple available in a choice of three
colours for just 7.95.
Conceptual; I like the idea of selling empty cardboard boxes.
Historical; assuring my place in museum cabinets and on library shelves.