20:20 Print Exchange 2014

Faye Brown printing her 20:20 edition

Faye Brown printing her 20:20 edition

Fifteen artists working at Medway Fine Printmakers signed up for the 20:20 print exchange this year, and have produced a wonderful range of prints to represent the studio. Each participant in the project produces a 20cm x 20cm edition of 25 using any print technique. Ours included etching, drypoint, photopolymer, screen print and thermofax. We sent them all off to Hot Bed Press in Salford, who have the mammoth task of shuffling everything (14,625 prints from more that 40 workshops last year!) and sending them back out.

We’ll each receive a box set of prints from random 20:20 printmakers, and our studio will be paired with another one so that we get a full set of their prints. International studios are taking part this year, as well as those across the UK and Ireland. It’s a great thing to be involved in and we salute Hot Bed Press for organising it. There will be some prints on sale from the exchange – to raise money for our studio. We’re planning a print fair on December 13th at INTRA and will have our 20:20 prints on show and for sale.

Our artists this year are:
Fay Hardstaff, Faye Brown, Ian Shelley, Jane Furst, Jane Pitt, Jane Prangnell, Julie Turner, Julija Baranova, Kasia Parker, Kevin Younger, Marco Cali, Megan Seymour-Jones, Natalie Piper, Polly Alpin, and Xtina Lamb.

Prints for 20:20 by artists at Medway Fine Printmakers

Collagraph – experiments in texture

Last weekend’s collagraph course with Kristiina Sandoe was a big hit with the four people taking part. So much so that they were planning a third day together even before they finished. We thought we would share some photographs from the course to show what they got up to, experimenting with textural materials from kitchen cupboards, saved from the bin, gathered from the garden and diverted from DIY supplies!

Each person made several plates by gluing materials to a thick card base, trying out textures and building images. They learnt how to prepare plates, ink them up and run them through the etching press with dampened paper. The range of marks is astonishing, and the print studio rang with comments such as “ooo how lovely” and “wow look at that!”, because this is a printmaking method that really encourages you to play. Kristiina is a great tutor, very knowledgable and encouraging. We’re very happy to have her with us.

Half price Autumn workshops

Liz Miller – photopolymer etching

This Autumn, Medway Fine Printmakers have an exhibition ‘Beyond Boundaries‘ at Rochester Art Gallery, featuring the work of Xtina Lamb, Adam Piper and our first artist in residence – Liz Miller. To compliment the show we have a programme of printmaking workshops, and Medway Council are generously supporting us to offer a selection of them at half the normal price.

As well as regular all ages favourite ‘Print Your Own…’, a two-hour Autumn-themed relief printing workshop for children and our popular two day introduction to screen printing for adults, we’re excited to include a new course where you can learn how to create and print photopolymer etching plates with Liz Miller.

The full programme of Autumn 2014 workshops is featured on our courses page, but the following ones at half price can be booked with the links below.

Print Your Own…

Children printing cushions with thermofax screensTue 26 Aug 2014, noon – 5pm
Ages 7+ £2.50 – £4
Five sessions of mini screen printing with Xtina Lamb. Choose from over 50 designs including mermaids, ships, robots, flowers, spirals, hearts, birds etc. and print them on a flag or small bag (£2.50), or tote bag, t-shirt or cushion cover (£4.00). Each workshop takes 30-45 mins, sessions start on the hour.
Book online
Please choose a price and session time
(times without a link are sold out):
£2.50   Noon  / 1pm / 2pm / 3pm / 4pm
£4.00   Noon / 1pm / 2pm / 3pm / 4pm

Photo Stencil Screen Printing

Screen printing on a fabric table Sat 30 & Sun 31 Aug 2014, 11am – 5pm
Adults £55
Create silkscreen stencils using your own artwork in this two day course with Xtina Lamb. Reclaim a screen, coat it with photo-sensitive emulsion, prepare your artwork, create the stencil and print onto paper or textiles. Practice printing your screen and combine with further techniques, adding background colours, paper stencils, blending etc., to create layered prints.

SOLD OUT  – Please contact us if you would like to go on a reserve list.

Autumn Printing Workshop for Children

children printing with simple foam relief blocksSun 28th Sept 2014, 2pm – 4pm
Ages 7+ £5
Make Autumn themed prints from your own drawn designs using an easy relief printing method in this two-hour workshop with Xtina Lamb.

SOLD OUT – Please contact us if you would like to go on a reserve list.

Photopolymer Etching / Solar Plate

solar plate being washed out after exposureSat 6 & Sun 7th Sept 2014, 11am – 5pm
Adults £60
Create an etching plate from your own artwork using a non-toxic photographic process, then print it using a lovely vintage etching press. A two day course with Liz Miller, with the option to also try out polymer relief plates. Detailed instruction on preparing transparencies for the best results, exposing and washing out the plates, inking up and wiping your plate, and working with different papers.

SOLD OUT – Please contact us if you would like to go on a reserve list or hear about future dates for this course.

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)

 

 

 

 

 

Get Creative Medway – open day

Coloured vinyl stickers in stars and other shapesOn Thursday, February 6th we’ll be opening the doors at INTRA from 10am – 7pm, to discuss the forthcoming Get Creative Medway map.

The project has been funded by Ideas Test and will result in a free paper map that showcases arts and community venues throughout the Medway Towns, and an online version too.

You’ll be able to see where you can take creative courses and workshops, access arts facilities and equipment, hire spaces for club meetings, and take part in creative activities during festivals and events. We’ll also be listing people who run creative activities (for people of all abilities) in various local venues.

So far we have located activities including: arts & crafts, printmaking, sculpture, creative writing, recording studios, dressmaking, icon painting, watercolour painting, drama, dance, orchestras, photography, quilting, floral art, digital media, bookbinding, ceramics, film making, jewellery design, costume design, life drawing, felt making and more.

During the open day we will show the work in progress on the map, and invite passers-by to take part in a vinyl sticker cutting activity to decorate one of INTRA’s shop windows. We’ll be asking what creative activities they would most like to do and reflecting this in the stickers.

If you are interested in the map, have suggestions for venues to include, run workshops yourself, or just fancy cutting out some stickers – pop in and see us on Thursday.

INTRA, 337 – 341 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1DA
We are between Rochester Station and Chatham High Street, two doors away from the Ship pub, near Cycle King bicycle shop.

Day of the Dead at Boundary Wharf

In Mexico, November 1st and 2nd are traditionally spent honouring lost loved ones with the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) celebrations. Colourful decorations are strung about the streets and shrines with marigold flowers, candles, memorabilia and sugar skulls are built to commemorate those who have died. Coming the day after Halloween, there’s a bit of a cross over with jack-o-lantern imagery, spooky masks and skulls, but this is a celebration focused on gatherings of family and friends rather than mischief and trick or treat.

So for Family Arts week, we’ve decided to bring Day of the Dead to Boundary Wharf, and you can try out some of the beautiful crafts seen across Mexico. Everyone can get involved, making, printing, decorating, painting, shopping, looking, remembering and taking part in the celebrations. The activities run from 1pm to 7pm both days, with a party afterwards to relax admire everyone’s creations on the Friday night. Saturday night coincides with the big fireworks display on the Great Lines at 7.30pm.

papel picado - mexican paper cut banners hanging in the sunPapel Picado
Paper cut banners are traditionally made from tissue paper in Mexico. We’ve noticed how much plastic bags feel like tissue paper once cut into squares, so we’ll be recycling these into patterned banners to fill the courtyard with fluttering colour. They’re fun and quick to make. Free

Shrine with photo of a man and paper cut banners

Shrines
Mexican shrines often include photos or mementos of the person being commemorated, candles, marigolds and other flowers, food offerings, decorated sugar skulls (we’ll have some of these to sell), paper cut and tin decorations, beads, ribbons and anything colourful. They’ll be made throughout the two days and we’ll light them all up as it gets dark. There will be lots of things to create them with, we’ll supply glittery things, card, glues, wax and LED candles, glow sticks, old jewellery etc., but bring along any photographs and memorabilia, beads, flowers, jam jars for candles, fruit/vegetables or anything else that you might like to use or add to the shrines.
Donations for materials.

papel picado skull design for a tote bagGocco printed tote bags
Print a papel picado (paper cut) skull design onto a dinky mini tote or a shopping bag in a choice of colour combinations. You’ll be using Gocco / thermofax screens, an easy screen printing method using lightweight plastic frames and a simple squeegee similar to a credit card.
£3.50 (mini), £5 (large)

Screen printed skeletons
Screen print a big mexican style skeleton onto card, cut it out and join the bones together to make a dancing puppet, (see image below). £4

painted clay skull beadsJewellery
Craft and paint little skull beads from clay, or draw colourful designs onto clear plastic and shrink them down to a fraction of the size with a heat tool. Add to earring parts, hang them from recycled chains, stick them to badges to make a brooch, string them on bracelets or use them to make little figurines as an element of a shrine.
£3 – £5

painted tin decorations in the shap of skulls, hearts, stars etc.Tin ornaments
Cut out a shape from a recycled printing plate. Make shaped dents in the tin with various tools, then paint the tin in bright colours. £3

We’ll also be lighting up the courtyard in the evening with lanterns, customising spooky masks with stickers, making silhouette pictures and you can contribute to a zine that will become a souvenir of the event.

On sale will be hand made sugar skulls and Day of the Dead crafts.

No need to book – just drop in. There are activities for all ages but some using sharp or heavy tools are for adults only. Young children need to be supervised for all activities.

Friday 1st Nov 2013, 1pm – 10pm (activities until 7pm – then a party!)
Saturday 2nd Nov 2013, 1pm – 7pm (maybe watch fireworks on the Great Lines afterwards!)

Check the Visit page for information on how to find us.

Invite your friends to come too via our Facebook event page.

Dancing screen printed skeleton puppet

Dancing screen printed skeleton puppet

Jane Furst: intaglio techniques

We’re lucky to have been joined by Jane Furst, a printmaker who specialises in intaglio techniques and creates beautiful prints that draw inspiration from deep sea creatures. Jane has been helping us during Wednesday Club, assisting users with drypoint work. She kindly took us through her techniques recently, showing plates, prints and her lovely notebooks, documenting the methods she uses and details of processes applied to specific plates.

Jane Furst – mezzotint print, plate and notebook

Mezzotint plates take weeks to work, first roughening the copper plate with a rocker that makes tiny impressions to create the beautiful soft blacks and halftones. The rocker is moved over the plate in a precise pattern, and Jane documents where she has got to with the process in her notebooks. Once the plate has achieved a velvety black print, it can be burnished to bring it back to lighter tones and white.

Jane Furst - Mamie Machine

Jane showed us examples of her photo etching plates. These come coated in a photo-sensitive resist. Once exposed to UV light, the resist hardens. A transparency with solid black and white artwork is placed on the plate before exposure to the UV light, so that areas of the resist remain soft and can be washed away with a special solution after exposure. Once prepared the plate is etched in acid, with the metal only affected in the areas where the resist was removed. Very detailed work can be created with this method.

Jane Furst - photo etching print, transparency and plate

Jane Furst – photo etching print, transparency and plate

Jane also works with aquatint and hard and soft ground etching methods. She has combined these to great effect with drypoint for her series of prints based on microscopic marine life forms ‘animal and plant’. Taking inspiration from nineteenth century biologist Ernst Haeckel, but also using metaphor. Jane places the thin aluminium drypoint plates on top of the etching plates and runs them through the etching press together, using a technique she has developed herself.

Jane Furst - Treasures of the Deep, drypoint and etching

Jane Furst – Treasures of the Deep, drypoint and etching