Another in our occasional series focussing on people who are using the workshop. This time we catch up with Sue Laws while she is busy printing work for her Foundation in Printmaking exhibition.
I gave up art after GCSE – a move which I have always regretted. After many years working in a variety of unsatisfactory, uncreative jobs, I have realised that I really do need some kind of a creative outlet. I have studied photography and silver smithing in recent years and I dabble with making cards and sewing for my friends and family. I have wanted to study printmaking for a long time. I did a couple of weekend courses at Red Hot Press several years ago and I have been wanting to come back and try more techniques so I took the plunge in September 2014 and joined the 30 week Foundation in Printmaking.
Trying out lots of different printing techniques on The Foundation in Printmaking has been challenging but it has given me a really good grounding and shown me which techniques I want to pursue further. As someone pretty new to printing, the 2 hours per week of open access time has enabled me to build up my confidence in using the workshop equipment and to work on my own. The 8 weeks of self-directed work at the end of the course has built on this by giving me a chance to practice my favourite techniques, and it has also really made me think about my work as I explore a theme and produce prints for the end of course show. I have been working with some lovely people who are very talented and this has really made me want to raise my game. Spending so many weeks with a group who are as interested in printmaking as I am has been really beneficial: Everyone has supported and helped each other and we have had a lot of fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Foundation course and think it has something to offer to beginners and more experienced printmakers alike.
At the moment I am working on pieces for the Foundation Course end of year show. My theme is architecture and I am producing screen prints of modernist buildings, using a limited colour palate which is appropriate to the period. I enjoy screen printing: I think that this is an easier technique in which to pick up the basics, and I feel like I am improving and learning to work relatively independently. Screen printing suits the kind of images that I am working on at the moment and I like the immediacy of the technique and the clean and bold prints that it can produce.
I am really looking forward to the Foundation in Printmaking end of year show in May. It’ll be a new experience for me and I am really excited to see my work up on the wall alongside the other Foundation students.
When the Foundation in Printmaking finishes in April I intend to use my membership to carry on using open access time. I hope that being a member will mean that I can stay in touch and work alongside some of the people I have met along the way this year. It will also mean that I remain updated with what is going on at Red Hot Press. I want to carry on printing and improve my knowledge and technique: I have so much to learn, not only about printing techniques, but also about the use of colour, about design and composition – I think it’s the start of a life’s work really! I would like to have another go at most of the techniques studied on the Foundation Course but in particular I am interested in screenprinting and linocut. I would also like to learn about screen printing on fabric.
You can see Sue’s prints at The Foundation in Printmaking End of Year Show. Private View Thursday 30th April 6.30 – 8.30pm. The Exhibition continues Saturday 2nd – Monday 4th May 12noon – 5pm