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It’s hard to keep track of time isn’t it? Last week we lost our ancient cat and the demise of a pet always triggers reflections on the past. I’m thinking back to when I first started running courses from the little calf shed on my parents farm in the Tamar Valley all those years ago when my twin sons were only 6 years old. Since then we’ve lost two bull terriers, one white tortoiseshell cat, one British blue, one ginger cat and now, Thelma the tortoiseshell tabby. I to-ed and fro-ed from home to workshop for 19 years or more, 6 miles there and 6 miles back through the Devon lanes, starting with one evening class a week, then two, and then almost every other weekend as well.

The pets are a measure of time and memory, each representing a span of both family and working life. My sons left for university and gap years around the time that I moved back to work at home. The last two cats, of course, suddenly assumed more importance after this and became legendary at the new workshop here which has been going now for nearly six years. The ginger cat always joined us for lunch in the summer, skulking under the picnic table looking for scraps and arching her back for attention while we ate. The self-perpetuating Thelma only appeared during the Thursday night class to curl into an inky workshop cushion and purr squeakily all evening beside her favourite student.


So now, I’m working at home in this superb space built single-handedly by my husband, and equipped with wonderful facilities.  It’s a rare privilege to be able to share such a resource with so many other printmakers from all walks of life.   I run three weekly classes and I open the workshop twice a week for untutored access; the longer courses run alongside throughout the year. The workshop will likely see the arrival of a new kitten soon which will signpost another episode in the history of Tamar Print Workshop, and be the measure of all the creative pursuit that goes on here – new beginnings, wonderment, surprise, playfulness, exploration,  fearlessness, relaxation, serendipity, warmth,  excitement, humour, stealth (even), and, if the kitten turns out to be anything like Thelma with her demands on our attention – perseverance!




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Some of you will be used to my rather wacky analogies by now and I know that not everyone loves cats – but I’m sure you get my drift.  Under most circumstances the old cat was expelled from the workshop during classes, as will be the new one!  So don’t let any reservations about cat analogies prevent you from reading on……


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Weekly classes

My weekly classes take place on Thursday mornings and evenings, and Friday mornings. There is a waiting list for both mornings but there are still one or two spaces left on the Thursday evenings during the Summer term.



May, June and August Courses

Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May,
Friday 18th to Sunday 20th June,
Monday 8th to Friday 12th August

These courses and workshops provide opportunities for beginners to learn anew and the more experienced to refresh skills. Those of you who’d like to follow through your ongoing projects and works in progress are also very welcome as always. I work with each of you within the context of your own needs and in the medium of your choice. Absolutely everyone is welcome regardless of experience.

July Course, 16th – 20th July


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This session starts on Saturday and finishes on Wednesday. You can book for five days or you can come on the days of your choice depending on your circumstances. I planned the longer session because there is so much to do that we always run out of time, so I hope you can take advantage of this.

We’ll cover any or all of the following approaches to making colour prints:-

  • The multiple plate print (particularly in etching)
  • Viscosity printing (in etching, collagraph and monotype)
  • The “dolly” method
  • Chine collé
  • Masks and stencils
  • Other hints and tips about inking up collagraph plates
  • Colour reduction lino cut, or multiple block lino.

Some of the areas we’ll discuss are subject matter, preparatory work and image transfer, registration (the bane of the colour printmaker’s life but a crucial skill), papers, ink application, press pressures and blankets, and how to produce a clean print. If you’re a beginner, I’ll give you instruction on how to manage the potentially messy business of colour printmaking and lead you every step of the way!


You can also find brief descriptions of the different processes, e.g. etching, drypoint, lino cut, monoprint, collagraph and more. If you need any further information about the techniques please get in touch by e.mail (mary@gulwork.wanadoo.co.uk) or feel free to give me a call (07817165856).

You can download a booking form from the website but please get in touch before payment to make sure there is space for you.