I’m new to printmaking – which class should I book and will I be OK in the class?
You will be very welcome as a beginner. My classes are usually a mix of experience levels, and you are unlikely to be the only novice. With six students per class, I can offer a lot of one to one teaching as well as practical demonstrations at every stage. Making a print can mean a novel way of thinking so I invite plenty of questions and am happy to repeat and explain things as often as needed!
The Focus on Design course is ideal for novices as it covers all the fundamentals of designing, cutting and printing and you will make a one colour linocut as well as a colour reduction linocut. The Focus on Reduction course would also be suitable if you have a little experience and have at least cut and printed a single colour block. The Focus on Technique course is more suited to those who have some experience in linocut as it is a more technical course that relies on students already knowing the basics of colour printing. Please see the individual course descriptions for more detail.
Please also see the ‘Which Class is Right for Me’ page here
Do I need a printing press to be able to carry on printmaking at home?
No, I teach without a press and offer lots of hints and tips for hand printing. The printing jigs you’ll be using during the workshop are available for sale should you wish.
You may decide you need a printing press for printing lino if you intend to do large print runs or want to make large scale linocuts. Feel free to discuss this with me in class if you would like my advice on printing presses.
What if I don’t finish my print or if it’s too wet to take home?
Most people do finish their work in time, but not to worry if you don’t. I will provide you with a factsheet advising you a couple of simple ways to line up your print to continue it at home regardless of whether you have a press or not. It includes instructions for a simple homemade jig you can make up from card if needed.
I am happy to post work once it has dried where needed. I send prints out in a sturdy tube by second class post in the UK at no extra charge. If you would like a faster service or need the prints sending overseas, there will be a small charge.
What’s the weather like?
We are on the coast and while Kirkcudbright is in a warm corner of the gulf stream, the weather can be changeable. I recommend a couple of good warm layers and a waterproof just in case. The studio is south facing and can be warm on a sunny day so make sure you can unwrap as well as wrap up!
How much preparation should I do for the class?
Please assemble a few ideas for your print. Sketchbooks and photos are good to bring along. Please try to print out any photos as that will make referencing them much easier for you to see and for me to advise you. It is better not to work up a specific design beyond a rough idea as part of the class will involve making a design drawing that will suit the technique and is feasible in the time you have for cutting and printing during the class.
I’m not good at drawing, does that matter and will I have help with my design?
You will have one-to-one help with your design as well as learning about designing for print as a group. Please do not worry about drawing skills, most people underestimate their abilities! I will give lots of tips about drawing for print and for adapting a photo to work as a print. If you prefer not to make a figurative drawing both the printmaking methods that I teach work very well with abstract designs and patterns. Copying artwork for your own personal learning during a course is acceptable under copyright law and you are welcome to bring greetings cards or books for personal reference. I will also be providing plenty of reference books and print examples for you.
My husband/wife/partner is coming with me, are there any interesting things to do nearby?
Yes, there are plenty of interesting things to do locally and you will find some useful links here. We can’t accommodate visitors during class, but partners are very welcome to pop in at the beginning or end of the day to see your work.
I have my own cutting tools, is it OK to bring them to use?
Yes, you are most welcome to bring in your own cutting tools. There will be a sharpening tutorial at every class.
I have a disability, will I be OK?
Please contact me to discuss any disabilities or special requirements and I will do my best to accommodate you. Unfortunately there are steps to the venue front and back so we cannot accommodate a wheelchair.