Teaching

I teach both linocut and Japanese woodblock. My classes are small and friendly and ensure that everyone goes home with a print, a smile and a comprehensive fact sheet and supplier list. Book onto a class through my events and workshops page or mail me. I’m available for classes in my studio or will teach at suitable venues on request.

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Young children make great printmakers, though I keep things safe by using polystyrene and biros rather than my usual sharp gouges. In a schools environment I can tabletop print with children using a device that allows them to line up and print multilayered prints by hand.

This drop in session encouraged children to try their hand at printing during a festival in their local park.

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Printmaking is an excellent way of teaching children all sorts of skills: planning, dexterity, mathematics, design, cooperation etc. Teaching children is also a great way for me not to get too comfortable: the questions they come up with...

Proud printmaker with her botanical print created using a polystyrene block.

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Penn School is a special needs school for students with communication difficulties. I was lucky enough to work with a small group of teenagers at Penn creating linocuts as part of their GCSE projects. The students were adventurous and diligent, cutting and printing lino with all the demands of using sharp tools and making accurately lined up prints.

Paige registers her lino block for printing.

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The frame Paige is using allows her to print layers of colour accurately. It’s a bespoke device made by my husband for my Albion Press. However it can be used on a table top for hand rubbed lino cut printing and I use these devices for teaching adults linocut without a press.

Paige peeling off her final print.

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Almost every class I teach throws up a ‘natural’. All the students at Penn were good, but Matthew had an immediate grasp of linocut and loved the technique. His bold self portrait was entirely his own work: I was just the technician. Sometimes a little support and encouragement is all that’s needed.

Matthew is hanging up his self portrait to dry.

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My adult learners vary from absolute beginners who have no experience of printing through to expert printmakers looking to pick up a new technique. These ladies are accomplished printmakers and members of MK Printmakers (www.mkprintmakers.co.uk), but Japanese woodblock was a whole new experience for them.

Learning the basics of cutting and printing.

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My workshops are always small, the most I can teach at any one time is twelve and usually my classes are half that. I like to be able to give plenty of one to one advice and also value the chat and exchange of ideas that happens in a relaxed setting. The courses are demanding: there’s a lot to learn, but there’s a lot of support along the way.

Getting a feel for using Japanese ply.

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I like students to feel that a class is a combination of valuable learning experience and indulgent treat. I’ve never forgotten walking into the studio in Japan and finding my print kit laid out like presents on Christmas morning.  I always try to make sure there’s a lovely array of tools and papers waiting when students arrive. Admittedly the kit has to come back at the end of the session, but I do sell print kits...

The many bits and pieces that make up a Japanese printing kit, a hoover for the wood chips is also advisable.