How I started hand printing at home- 20 years ago.

Back in the mists of time, when I was newly graduated from my illustration degree, living in one room in a shared house and wondering what on earth to do with myself, I started hand printing.

I had done some printing during my degree, in the very well equipped print department- though interestingly I’d ended up mono printing even then- I liked the spontaneous, gestural marks I could make.

But back in 2001, I was sitting at my table, with no equipment or tools or guidance and I decided to do what I had always loved doing- rolling paint out and playing.

I rolled out some oil paint onto some glass from a broken picture frame. And I took the paint from the glass onto some thin tissue paper by pressing onto the back of the paper with my hands. I still remember the delight of discovering the subtle marks and colour I got that first time. And so I kept going. The picture above is the first piece I made and is a mixture of mono print and marks made with a collograph plate made with cardboard and glue. It’s based on a Spanish garden in Alicante- where I had just come back from a holiday.

Those first pieces were only a few centimetres big, and I’ve since got a much bigger surface to print on (and bought a whole roll of tissue paper!) but my process is the same as it was then- making marks and textures by hand on thin paper and loving it!

If you’d like to join me online for a morning of ‘Playful Printmaking at Home’, I have two new dates for morning workshops- Sunday March 6th and Sunday April 3rd- both 10am-1pm British time, and both £35. Go to my workshop page or click below for loads more info and to book. You never know- it might spark 20 years of happy making in you too!

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