005 Printing the collagraph

I studied fine art at Bristol, completed a PGCE and then specialised in printmaking on a postgraduate diploma course in Brighton.  Twenty six years ago I returned to Devon where I spent my childhood.  Since my return I have planned, set up and resourced three workshops.  Tamar Print Workshop is now situated on the edge of Dartmoor, near Tavistock, close to the Tamar Valley World Heritage Site.  The heart of Dartmoor is only a few miles away and Cornwall, with its windswept beaches and coastline, is just as easily accessible.


Everyone is welcome here at Tamar Print Workshop – from accomplished printmakers to absolute beginners.  I have 25 years’ experience of teaching printmaking and I am well known for my unique approach!

I provide a supportive, inspirational environment where people from all backgrounds can learn new skills and develop their work in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Numbers are limited and so personal attention is guaranteed.

The sessions are informal and non-prescriptive with emphasis on guidance within the context of individual needs, abilities and ideas. There are no (or few) holds barred.  Once you have grasped the basic principles – then have fun breaking the rules.(But only if you want to!)

I specialise in etching and this, one of the most exciting of all the printmaking techniques, is often the starting point for further exploration into other forms of printmaking such as monoprint, collagraph, carborundum, drypoint, and linocut.

Course layout:

The courses provide opportunities for beginners to discover the process, and for the more advanced to develop, by experimenting and exploring various elements of printmaking. Rather than formal instruction, the emphasis is on the exchange of ideas and feedback generated by informal discussion.

I guide beginners through some of the basic traditional etching processes, e.g. hard ground, soft ground, aquatint, open bite and sugar lift. The more advanced may arrive with a specific project or idea to work with. Based on initial discussions, each student is encouraged at their own pace and within their own context.

There are opportunities to experiment with some acrylic resist techniques and with linocut, collagraph, monoprint and other techniques – either separately – or in conjunction with traditional etching.
Workshop facilities:

The workshop is efficiently equipped for various forms of printmaking, having the benefit of 6 printing presses. The large Rochat etching press (bed size 26″ x 48″) is partnered by a Littlejohn – a smaller bench press and there are 2 small proofing presses.  In addition to etchings, monoprints and collagraphs can be printed on all these presses, and the smaller presses can be adapted to print linocuts and other relief blocks.  There is also a small wind-down press for printing linocuts, and an offset litho press which is used for monoprinting.

The space is divided into two sections, the main area for printing and working on plates, blocks etc; and a separate, smaller room for processing (mainly etching plates), which houses the etching solution, aquatint box and cleaning area and helps to maintain a safe working environment.

Things to bring:

Subject matter to work from, e.g. photos, sketches, sketchbooks, examples of finished work etc. etc. (This is very important to me – so that I can give the right kind of advice.)

Photos or slides of your work (if you have any – but don’t worry if not) to share with the other participants.

Brushes for detailed work (not your best ones).

Hand wipes.

Old clothes and warm clothes if it’s cold!

Times: Each day starts at 10.00 a.m. and finishes at 4.00 p.m.


A list of local farmhouse bed and breakfast accommodation will be available.


Tea and coffee will be provided but for all day courses please bring lunch to share. There are plenty of places to eat out in the evening – a list of suggestions will be available.


Please contact me for specific directions nearer the time.

E.mail or phone (07817 165856) for more information and booking form or click on “Book a Course”