Plywood lithography takes the basic principles of lithography and applies them to a prepared plywood surface. Traditional lithographic drawing materials are used to draw and paint onto the plywood surface. The drawing is then processed using gum arabic, and the block is inked up and printed using the etching press. Because of the coarser nature of wood in comparison to stone or metal plate, fine detail cannot always be retained, so this process would suit those who have a more experimental approach to image-making, embracing and working with the natural properties of the wood.
This course will explore the creative possibilities of this unique printmaking process. The grain of the wood will often show up in the background of prints, and becomes stronger with each subsequent print – ‘filling in’ until white becomes black and the block is no longer useable.Kate will guide you through this fascinating technique with a hands-on, experimental approach, providing examples, instruction and advice throughout. The aim of the course is to gain a good understanding of the process and to create a small run of prints from your own plywood block, and to give you the confidence to carry on using the technique in your own practice. This course would suit those with a little previous experience of lithography, relief printing or intaglio, however this is not essential and beginners are also welcome.
The Art Academy’s printmaking studio is a low-toxic environment with dedicated facilities for professional hands-on learning. Students benefit from the diversity of attendees, taught by internationally renowned printmaker artists at a central location, offering a unique educational experience in London. There is a maximum of eight to ten students per course. The Art Academy supplies all materials, including Awagami Editioning paper. We advise that you book early to avoid disappointment.
This course is suitable for all levels. Students can move at their own pace depending on their experience, with as much support from the Tutor as they wish.
Choose a Beginners course if you are looking for a broad introduction to the medium you are studying. Students spend time learning the very basics of the taught medium, for example, how to mix colours, use different tools, set up an easel. Our Beginner courses are suitable for students with no prior experience, they tend to follow a more structured path than our other courses, ensuring each student receives the guidance they need from the tutor.
Choose a Beginner + course if you are looking to hone your skills, focus on a specific subject area and build your confidence. These courses are suitable for those with some basic skills in and knowledge of the taught medium, but still follow a structured path with guidance from the tutor.
Our Intermediate courses are suitable for students who have considerable prior knowledge of the taught medium or have completed a Beginners/Beginners + course with the Art Academy.
These courses tend to be less structured and instead are tailored to the classes’ needs and the direction they want to advance in. Choose an Intermediate course if you are looking to improve your skills and have more critical discussions around the work you produce.
Choose our Advanced courses if you have considerable knowledge in the taught medium. You are expected to be able to work independently and have critical discussions around your work.
Our Advanced courses include our Masterclasses.
All attendees must be aged 18 or over.
What should I bring?
All materials will be provided, including 2 x plywood blocks around 22.5 x 15cm in size, and 1 x smaller block as a tester. Please do not bring your own – the pressure on the printing presses needs to be set according to the thickness of the blocks, so it is much easier if everyone uses the same stuff!
Optional – If you work best from source material then feel free to bring sketchbooks, drawings, photographs, etc, with you. However, this is not essential, and you can just make marks, experiment and let the process guide you.
Useful to bring:
· Notebook, (handouts will be provided but you might wish to take extra notes)
· Phone / camera (many people find it useful to take process photographs to jog memory, but please be respectful of others who many not want to be in them)
· Pens/pencils, ruler, apron,
· A sturdy pair of rubber gloves which are large enough to get on and off easily, with your name written on clearly. (This helps us to keep disposable glove usage to a minimum and at the same time avoid sharing personal protective equipment).
· Your own watercolours and brushes if you have them.
Useful reference material
Artists who use plywood lithography in their work:
Kathryn Desforges is an artist and printmaker based in Yorkshire. She works with print, drawing and collage to make work which explores narrative and conceptual representations of place. Employing a broad range of traditional print processes including etching, woodcut and lithography, both on their own or in combination, enables her a unique visual language with which to explore different elements of this multi-faceted theme.
Alongside regularly exhibiting her work, she has undertaken artist residencies at Intaglio Printmaker, UK, Mi-LAB, Japan, and a Post-Graduate Lithography Fellowship at Leicester Print Workshop. She currently works from her home studio in West Yorkshire, teaches printmaking classes at various UK venues, and is part-time Studio Co-ordinator at West Yorkshire Print Workshop.
Access to a common room and kitchen is limited while distancing measures are in place. It can be used by up to 12 people (from the same class) at scheduled break times only. The kitchen can be used by 1 person at a time for hand washing and waste disposal facilities only.
Students are currently not able to use the kitchen to prepare hot drinks and/or food. Students are able to use the coffee machine, where free hot water, and paid-for hot drinks are available. The payment is contactless.
Mugs are not available for use, and students are strongly encouraged to bring their own reusable mugs if they wish to use the coffee machine.
There is a wealth of supermarkets, shops and cafes in the area as well as the world famous Borough Food Market just moments from our Mermaid Court location.
We are always striving to improve our facilities but due Mermaid Court being an old building we have limited disability access. Should you have any access requirements please speak to a member of the Academy team before booking the course.
You will need to have paid in full before the first session of your class. Your place is not guaranteed until we have received full payment. Please book early in order to guarantee your place on the course.
If you purchased a pack online this will be given to you on the first session of your course upon your arrival. Packs can be purchased on our Materials Page or on the individual course page when you make your booking.
Please don’t wear your best clothes as there is always a chance you will get messy. If possible bring an apron or overalls.
All artwork MUST be taken home at the end of the course or it will be disposed of. Paintings that need to dry should be collected within a week. For clay sculptures that need hollowing and firing, you will receive a separate email when they can be collected.
Please ensure that your mobile phone is switched off or is on silent during the class.
Health and Safety Guidelines will be provided to you at the beginning of your class.
Sometimes our photographer will pop in to get some images of our classes in progress. We will typically inform you beforehand if photography is taking place during your class; if you do not want to be photographed please let the photographer know!
To find out more about what’s going on at the Academy follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. If you’d like to share images of your course, your progress or your finished work we’d love to see them! Please bear in mind you must have the permission of tutors, other students and models to photograph them.