Medway Print Festival 20 (Lockdown)

For Medway Print Festival 20, we’ve created a series of video tutorials and conversations with printmakers, to make up part of the ‘Lockdown Edition’ of this annual printmaking festival. We’ll be releasing them on this page through the festival (6th – 21st June 2020) and hope you enjoy them! Many thanks to Medway Council’s Arts Development Team for commissioning us to make these videos.

We’ll be sharing three video printmaking tutorials, mostly using things commonly found at home, and focusing on tweaks of techniques that usually require a press: etching, lithography and relief printing. In these tutorials Xtina Lamb has fun showing you how to use make-shift equipment, and get great results with surprising materials.
> Video tutorials

In three ‘in conversation‘ videos, Xtina discusses techniques with printmakers who use particular methods, getting their personal takes on linocut (Nick Morley), screen printing (Rachel Moore and Francesca Baur), and mono-printing and collagraph (Kristiina Sandoe).
> In Conversation videos

Please share the Medway Print Festival website and activities, and use the hashtag #mpf20lockdown. We’d love it if you could post photos of any prints that you’ve made during the festival.


Video Tutorials

All tutorials are free to watch, and suitable for adults, and supervised children aged 8+. Although most of the materials and equipment required are things commonly found at home, you will need to obtain printmaking ink for these methods. Please see the ‘What you will need’ lists with each tutorial.

Drypoint Etching

Create drypoint prints using a tetrapak carton for your etching plate and and a pasta machine as a press, in this lo-fi lockdown version of a centuries-old printmaking method. Great for people who like drawing with clear, hard lines.
You need a lot of pressure to print an etching plate successfully, and a pasta machine can do a surprisingly good job. If you don’t have one, ask your friends if they have a neglected pasta machine, we bet there’s one lurking at the back of a cupboard near you. 

What you’ll need:

  • Pasta machine
  • Empty tetrapak carton
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery needle / awl / compass point / safety pin etc.
  • Water tray
  • Thick paper (smooth cartridge is good)
  • Blotting paper (or more thick paper)
  • Etching ink, Charbonnel Aqua Wash or Caligo Safe Wash are good
  • Muslin or loose weave cloth
  • T-shirt material or a piece of wool blanket / felt
  • Cereal packet cardboard / greyboard
  • Tissue paper
  • Cotton buds (optional)
  • Latex or plastic gloves (optional)

Kitchen Lithography

Using tin foil and cola, Xtina shows you how to create lithographs in your kitchen with a miraculous fast and easy technique. This non-toxic, home-friendly version of lithography was developed by Émilie Aizier (alias Émilion) as a response to the toxic chemicals, special equipment and long learning process required for stone lithography. Great for people who like drawing with soft sketchy lines.

What you will need:

  • Cheap cola
  • Extra strong tin foil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Old newspaper or magazine
  • Kitchen roll
  • Scissors
  • Smooth paper (120gsm or heavier)
  • T-shirt material rags, or sponges
  • Small rubber roller
  • Water dish
  • Chinagraph pencil / litho crayon
  • Soft brush
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sheet of plastic x 2, or laminated card
  • Masking tape
  • Washing up bowl
  • Small tub or bowl
  • Oil based litho / relief ink (e.g. this one from Intaglio Printmaker)
  • Tissue – wrap wet prints and place under a heavy book to dry flat
  • Zest-it brush cleaner (optional)

Lo-Relief Prints

This is a relief printing method where you cut away a surface and print the remaining raised part – like linocut, but using thin, laminated packaging materials such as cereal boxes. Xtina loves making this type of print, regardless of lockdown, and shows you how to do it, armed with a spoon. Great for people who like creating silhouettes.

What you will need:

  • Cereal packets or other laminated card packaging
  • Smooth, thin paper
  • Wooden spoon
  • Scrap paper
  • Newspaper or a magazine
  • Scissors or a craft knife
  • Pencil
  • Relief / block printing ink (oil based but water wash-up kinds are good, e.g. Caligo Safe Wash)
  • Rubber roller
  • Plastic card or tile etc.
  • Cloths / rags
  • Sponge roller (optional)
  • Acrylic paint (optional)
  • Printing medium (optional)


In Conversation

Xtina invited other printmakers to meet on Zoom or in their back garden and chat with her about the methods they use and love.

Relief Printing – with Nick Morley

Our regular linocut tutor Nick Morley joins Xtina on Zoom from his attic, to talk about how he came to be called linocutboy, what appeals to him about the linocut technique, why he chooses the themes he does for his work, writing a book on the subject and running ‘Hello Print Studio’ at Resort in Margate.

Screen Printing – with Rachel Moore and Francesca Baur

Rachel from I Printed That, and Francesca from Fable and Base join Xtina on Zoom to discuss individual takes on screen printing, and how we all love teaching this printmaking technique in different ways.

Monoprinting & Collagraph – with Kristiina Sandoe

Xtina joins Kristiina in her garden, to discuss the mastery of textures through Gelli printing and collagraph techniques.
Video: to be released Sun 21 June


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