Preparing for an exhibition by Jo Price

It’s not long to go now before Scratching the Surface opens at the Art Café in Winchester and we’re in the final stages of getting the show together. Sarah and eleven workshop members will be showing etchings and drypoints and we’re delighted to have guest printmaker Ali Yanya exhibiting with us. We’ve been preparing for the exhibition for a few months now; since last September in fact, when Sarah first approached the gallery about a show.

There’s so much to organise with an exhibition like this; even coming up with a name takes a lot of time and thought! Meetings with the gallery owner, discussions about framing and pricing (factoring in gallery commission is always fun!), wording for information boards, writing press releases, deciding how much wine to have for the private view – all these things have to be considered and agreed. There’s the publicity too. We’re very lucky to have Irene in the group who designed a really eye-catching poster and email invite for us. Exhibiting in a gallery is rarely free so email invites are a cost-effective way of publicising the event.


Etching on zinc by Ali Yanya

Requires Improvement

Etching and spit bite by Jo Price

When the deadline is several months away, it’s easy to feel like there’s plenty of time to get the work done. Those months go all too quickly though so it’s important to plan all the different stages so that everything happens in good time and there are no last minute crises.

It’s also crucial to keep the momentum going for producing work for the exhibition. As most of those involved in the show are also members of Cowprint, our monthly meetings were ideal for this as not only were we able to keep the group up to date with all the arrangements, but more importantly, we all regularly shared work in progress for advice and feedback. We had two particular check-in points. At the November meeting, we all brought along proofs and ideas, and at the March meeting, final (or very nearly final prints) which enabled us to select work and get an idea of what the show would look like. This was quite a milestone in the process as there was a real sense of it all coming together. Everyone has worked so hard and produced some lovely prints.

The gallery has just had a new hanging system installed so we paid a visit last week to check it out and finalise arrangements for hanging with the owner. It’s always good to double check exactly what’s needed so things go as smoothly as possible on the day. So, we’re all set to hang the show on Tuesday ready for the opening and private view on Thursday 7 May from 7 – 9pm. See you there!

Scratching the Surface is on at the Art Cafe, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SA until Tuesday 16 June. Open weekdays 8am – 4pm, Saturdays 10am – 4pm.

The Chicken Murderer

Meet the Printmaker – Sue Laws

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

Three prints by Sue Laws

Three prints by Sue Laws


Ever wanted to try Screen printing – course coming soon!

We are one of the few places that you can learn photographic screen printing in Hampshire and of course we think we do it better than anyone else!

The aim of our weekend Screen Printing courses are to either give you a refresher in Screen Printing if you have done it before or as a progression on from our introductory one day courses.

Having said that on a weekend course we go through all the basics of making paper stencils to lay down your base colours then moving onto exposing a photographic screen for your final colour to pull your image together. So even if you are new to screen printing you will get a good grounding in this technique on this course.

Our aim is that you leave the course with a good understanding of the type of imagery that works well for screen printing, That you have practiced printing, working with colours and overlaying colours to make more colours! Oh and of course had an enjoyable, informative time and leave with an edition of sophisticated screen prints. And the urge to do more.

Have a look at these lovely images below all produced on screen printing courses by people new to the technique.

Screen Printing Weekend  28th  - 29th March at Red Hot Press 10am – 4:30pm course fee £120

Follow the link below to more information and to book.

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