Etching & Drypoint Classes

We’ve lined up some new workshops around the intaglio techniques used at Medway Fine Printmakers. A five hour / two morning drypoint class with Liz Kelleher begins in June, and in July we have a two-day introduction to etching with Heather Haythornthwaite where you can use non-toxic metal salt solutions to bite metal plates (instead of more hazardous traditional acids), working with hard and soft grounds to etch and print zinc plates.

Jane Furst incising a drypoint plate

Jane Furst incising a drypoint plate

If you have experience of intaglio printing, but could use some help improving your technique, come along to Jane Furst’s sessions held on the last Wednesday of each month 1-4pm, and other Wednesdays by request. Jane can give one-to-one advice, demonstrate techniques, and will have her collection of etching tools on hand for use in these sessions. Price is £10 (£8 concessions) on top of the open access session fee.

In July we will be joined by artist in residence Liz Miller, who will be working on her ‘Classics on Vinyl’ series combining music and visual art in a photopolymer etching project investigating repetitive patterns in music. Liz will be running a special weekend photopolymer etching workshop for us in September, to accompany our group exhibition at Rochester Art Gallery. The course will be subsidised by Medway Arts Team and will cost £60 for the two days.

Peta Bridle: Acrylic drypoint

Peta Bridle’s highly detailed drawings of cityscapes, shops, landscapes, and people have been delighting us at the print studio ever since she joined us at Boundary Wharf. She uses a diamond tipped tool to draw freely on acetate plates, for an intaglio technique called drypoint. Her work documents places or ways of life that seem out of time or maybe about to be lost.

Wapping stairs

Wapping stairs

The surface of the plate is scratched with a sharp point in order to incise grooves, but also to raise a burr. The burrs make the edges of the marks a little softer than hard ground etched plates, and they hold some extra ink above the grooved lines.

Inking up the plates takes some time, especially when you have such detailed work. Peta wipes off the ink in areas she needs to be lighter, balancing this with plenty of ink to print in the incised marks. Then she runs it through the etching press with soaked water that can squeeze into the grooves of the plate. Acetate plates are quite fragile, so they won’t withstand a print run like etched plates, but they don’t require biting with acid or metal salt solutions, so the results can be quite immediate.

Peta-lifting-print

Peta printing an acetate plate on our Rochat etching press

Liverpool Street Station

Donovan Bros Paper Bag Shop

Donovan Bros Paper Bag Shop

Des Junk Shop

Medway Open Studios 2014 at INTRA

Front of INTRA decorated with bunting during Medway Open Studios

We are very happy to be involved in the Medway Open Studios event again this July. We will be opening our doors over both of the event’s weekend dates plus late on the Friday evening for a bit of a social gathering. On show will be work made at Medway Fine Printmakers, free demos of the processes we work with, tours of the print studio and Unravel & Unwind (our craft drop-in neighbours), drop in activities for all ages including the ever popular ‘Print Your Own…’ bag, flag, cushion or t-shirt, plus a workshop where you can print on slabs of jelly!
Updates here and on our Facebook page as we have them.

Medway Open Studio times at INTRA for July 2014:
Sat 12 , Sun 13 11am – 6pm,
Fri 18 4pm – 9pm,
Sat 19 11am – 6pm, Sun 20 11am – 6pm
Directions to INTRA

Print Activities for All Ages:

During open studios we’ll be running some activities open to all ages. If you bring along children under 10 years old you will need to give them help and close supervision. Please make sure you choose an activity that they have the attention span for 🙂 Adults love these fun printing sessions as much as children, so don’t be shy – it’s for you to join in too.

Thermofax Screen Printing 

Making thermofax screensSat 12 July 2014, 1pm – 3pm (2 hour workshop), £15
A special speedy version of artist Xtina Lamb’s easy, lightweight thermofax screen printing workshop. Draw your own A6 (postcard sized) design or bring one along, expose it onto screen mesh, put it onto a frame, and away you go – printing onto paper or fabric with your own design. Even better – you get to take the screen home and carry on.
Book the 1pm workshop
(£15 + £1 online booking fee, call 01634 753299 to pay by phone or visit us to pay in cash)

Print Your Own… 

Children printing cushions with thermofax screensSun 13 or Sun 20 July 2014, Noon – 4pm (30mins – 1hour), £5 to £8 
Our ever-popular workshop where you can custom print an item of your choosing: flags or mini tote bags for £5, shopping bags, t-shirts or cushions for £8, and bunting for £1.50 per triangle. Over 50 thermofax screen designs plus the alphabet to choose from, with illustrations from mermaids, ships and compass roses, to swirls, stars and hearts, or robots, animals, lucky symbols and more.
No need to book – just drop in.

Jelly Printing

Printing with a slab of gelatineSat 19 July 2014, noon – 2pm and 3pm – 5pm (2 hour workshop), £10
Use a slab of firm gelatine and collected wild flowers, ferns and other materials to make wonderful prints on paper with artist Dianne Reeves.
Book the noon workshop
Book the 3pm workshop
(£10 + £1 online booking fee, call 01634 753299 to pay by phone or visit us to pay in cash)