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Spring 2018 Printmaking Day Courses

printmaking day courses

Paper-works* Spring 2018 Printmaking day courses

Unleash your creativity, experiment with something different, develop a new skill and try one of our introductory printmaking courses! Limited to just four students and held in our well equipped light filled first floor studio to make sure that you get the best out of your day.

All day courses are from 10am to 4pm. No previous experience required. Lunch and all materials included. £60.

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Introduction to Drypoint day course photographs

Introduction to Drypoint day course

A successful and really productive day in the studio running our first introduction to Drypoint course.

Each student produced at least four drypoint plates using  a mixture of drypoint plastic and drypoint card. The students executed  initial exploratory mark making on the different materials using a variety of tools. These included carbide and steel tipped stylus’s, roulette wheels, halftone rakes ,sandpaper and wire wool. Learning from these tests the students went one to successfully produce prints using both drypoint plate media. Their resulting designs reflecting their own individual visual style.

The closeness of the basic drypoint technique to drawing together with the variety of additional mark making techniques resulted in a clutch of very strong images. Expectations as to what could be achieved in just 6 hours were exceeded.

Many thanks to our students for making it a great day! To join us on an upcoming course see available dates.






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Learnings from the Kitchen Litho Workshop

Mug, Kitchen Litho

Kitchen Litho Workshop 23rd January 2018


Four of us spent the day exploring the technique of Kitchen Litho. With spray bottles full of coke and lots of water, wet sponges and sticky oil based Litho ink it’s a fun and a messy business !

We had successfully done a dry run of the technique but with more people doing it together we got our share of mishaps. Problems generally surfaced at the inking up stage where the image became lost under an immovable layer of ink!. Its been a good learning experience and we’ve been back in the studio today to iron out the issues that arose yesterday.  The main flaw seems to have been applying too much ink in one go and not using enough water on the plate and the sponge whilst wiping off excess ink. If the roller seems to have barely any ink on it as you apply it to the aluminium foil then that seems a good place to be starting from. Other issues include potential cross contamination of sponges used at different stages of the process and the fragility of the aluminium foil.

Most of the images that we worked on were using soft litho crayons. We also successfully used a children’s wax crayon to achieve finer lines. Overall what came out strongly was the suitability of this printing technique for rapid , gestural drawings.



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First Experiments with Kitchen Litho

Kitchen Litho Equipment

Today we spent a couple of hours doing our first experiments with the Kitchen Litho technique. Its all well and good reading up accounts of how its done but nothing beats having a go. Blog posts that either elaborated on Emilie’s methods (sandpaper (!) and vinegar ?) , or reported failures, meant that we were beginning to approach our workshop day with a little trepidation. All this was quickly dispelled once we got our hands dirty.

The basic “kitchen” requirements include : Aluminium cooking foil, a glass chopping board, sponges, a bottle of Cola , plenty of kitchen paper and a handheld plastic spray bottle. These were supplemented in our experiments today with a thin sheet of plastic, a pack of Korns soft Lithographic crayons, oil based lithographic ink, an ink roller, blotting paper and a small etching press!

1 Wrap aluminium foil around a thin sheet of wet plastic, matt side out

Preparing aluminium foil for Kitchen Litho

2 Mark the aluminum foil with a Korns Litho Crayon ( Soft No. 1)

mark making with Litho crayon

3 Spray the aluminium foil plate with Cola

spraying aluminium foil with cola

4 Rinse off Cola with a wet sponge

rinsing off cola

5 Wipe dry with kitchen roll then pour on a little vegetable oil

6 Use the vegetable oil and a sponge  to wipe off the Litho Crayon

7 Wipe off oil with a damp sponge leaving a clean aluminium plate

8 Roll out the Litho ink on the glass chopping board

9 Use a clean sponge to wet the surface of the foil then roll on a thin layer of ink

10 Wipe off excess ink using a sponge

11 Repeat wetting, inking and wiping to leave a well inked plate

12 Place on press, register paper then cover with damp paper, dry newsprint, thin acrylic sheet then thick etching blanket

13 Pass through press with pressure similar to that which you might use for intaglio

14 Remove print and dry flat between blotting paper

15 return to stage 9 for subsequent prints

So the first attempt was successful but lots to learn and improve on. We had read that Litho crayon was the easiest mark making method and there are lots of alternatives to explore. The aluminium foil is also quite fragile so we would like to explore a source for a slightly thicker and stronger one.

with thanks to Emilie Aizier . Emilie’s website

Read a brief summary of kitchen litho resources





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Kitchen Litho | A brief summary of resources

Kitchen lithography book

Kitchen Litho

Kitchen Litho was conceived by French Artist Emilie Aizier. It is a simplification of her earlier lithography experiments using sheet aluminium plates and phosphoric acid. Aluminium foil is much cheaper than using aluminium and carbonated soda drinks are, it turns out, a weak solution of phosphoric acid!

Emilie’s experiments and early web postings in 2011 and the publication of her book in 2012 have spawned a whole series of advocates and followers. Aside from notes in websites and blogs there are now also a number of You Tube videos demonstrating the technique. Most of these follow the process described by Emillie but some add additional steps. Some advocate the preparation of the aluminium foil surface with fine sandpaper however in the main the accounts achieve successful prints following Emillie’s method.

The original book by Emilie truly captures the spirit of Kitchen Litho and emphasises experimentation rather than providing a prescriptive methodology. This is after all the spirit from which the printing technique was born.

Recently there have been  two other publications on the technique published in 2016 and 2017. Paper-works* have yet to get our hands on these to review them.

In 2015 and 2016 Emilie Aizier promoted an annual open online competition and exhibition of works employing the kitchen litho method. This has now become a biennial event. The next submission date is the 31st December 2018 .More details are available from


“Kitchen Litho” by Emilie Aizier published 2012, 70 pages. Obtainable form Emilie’s website

“Aluminium Foil Lithography” , Spark Box Studio, by Chrissy Poitras and Kyle Topping  published 2016 (?), 57 pages – downloadable pdf only.

‘Kitchen Lithography: Hand Printing at Home: From Buttons and Bags to Postcards and Pillowcases’ ,by Laura Sofie Hantke and  Lucas Grassmann, Princeton Architectural Press, published 2017, 120 pages.

Website and blog articles

Kitchen Litho by Emilie Aizier

Kitchen Litho by Printzeal

Aluminium Foil Etching by C S Poppenga

My attempt at Kitchen Lithography by  Lori Dean Dyment

Kitchen Lithography

Kitchen Litho by Barbara Hudin,

Read about paper-works* first experiments with Kitchen Litho.


There is a group page on Facebook for those interested in the technique


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Introduction to Linocut day course photographs

Two people printmaking at a large table

 Completed “Introduction to Linocut ” day course.

January 6th 2018

An excelent enjoyable day was had in the studio. Three talented people attended our first introduction to linocut day course and were able to explore their latent handmade printing skills. We saw three very different approaches. New friends were made and new skills learned.

To join us on an upcoming course see available dates.


figure in purple working on a linocut at a work bench
Experimenting with mark making on our introduction to Linocut day course. January 2018
woman in orange apron drawing
Drawing out design directly onto lino. January 2018
Linocut being inked up with black ink
Inking up a linocut at our “Introduction to Linocut day course” January 2018
hand using a spoon to rub an image on paper.
Experimental print with tracing paper as a transfer medium using a spoon.
Figure operating a large printing press next to window
Printing linocut on the large Polymetaal roller press. January 2012
black and white mono print image
Mono print from lino with selective use of hand pressure applied with a spoon. January 2018
monochrome linocut hanging on drying line
Linocut print with selective inning and masking with torn strips of paper. January 2012
prints drying on table
Mount Cook and experimental mark making by attendee at linocut course. January 2018
prints drying on table
Mark making and Picasson inspired linocut by one of the attendees on our “Introduction to Linocut” course.


Join us on the next Course



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Marios Cafe Exhibition – Dec 2017 to Jan 2018

Marios Cafe Exhibition

Marios Cafe Exhibition , Narrative & Form Exhibition Dec 2017 to Jan 2018

The Marios Cafe Exhibition “Narrative & Form” is a project by Lisa Hurcum and Hugh Davies. Working in different ways in the same studio this exhibition focuses on the principal ideas that informs each of their separate practice.


Narrative comprises six linocut works by Lisa Hurcum :

Jugs, Remembering, The Blossoming, After the party, Man on train and Eileen.

Each piece has evolved out of a series of short stories written by Lisa. These stories are reproduced in full alongside the images in the paper=works* booklet accompanying the exhibition. The stories and the linocuts capture the small details of peoples lives that resonate with the narratives that we all share.


Form comprises of six studies in a mixture of Linocut and Drypoint by Hugh Davies

Net study 1, 2 and 3 Drypoint and Net study 4, 5 and 6, Linocut

The studies are of a small boat dragged up onto the beach for winter. It has been upturned and protected with black plastic sheeting held tight to the hull with an old net stretched and lashed in place. The prints explore how lines, either scribed in a drypoint plate or gouged out of lino, capture this form on paper.

Exhibition Dates and Times

The Marios Cafe Exhibition is on the walls until the end of Saturday 27th January. Pop in between 8am and 4pm Monday to Saturday . Mario will however be closed between Christmas and New Year.

View and purchase all the exhibited prints, accompanying booklet and sets of postcards in our online gallery

Find out more about Marios Cafe and its history at


Paper-works is an artist led printmaking studio in Lowestoft, Suffolk. We provide  courses and workshops in printmaking. To find out more please see our website.



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Marios Cafe, Camden, London

Chair and table in Marios cafe host of Narrative and Form exhibition

Marios Cafe , Camden , London

Marios Cafe is special.  Ive been going there for a quick coffee, a restorative full English breakfast or a Parmigiana chips and salad for over 20 years. Wether as a morning regular, or an occasional visitor you always get a warm welcome from Mario. The small cafe with its eclectic mix of vintage chairs , and tables dressed with ubiquitous sauce bottles is often filled with the clatter of cutlery and easy conversation (often about music). It is a great place to be.

The walls of the cafe are hung with work by a different artist each month. Booked up for months in advance the works are hugely varied in style and scale. On the walls Ive seen everything from a full size cardboard cut-out of a 1970’s Volvo Amazon to exquisite drawings from a small sketchbook and large vibrant abstract canvases to beautiful framed black and white photographs.

Ive long harboured two ambitions about Marios . Working in Mario’s kitchen was one of them ! (which I finally got to do a couple of years ago). The other has been to have my work on the walls . Back in June I had been updating Mario about the printmaking studio project and he suggested a time slot for Lisa and I to have an exhibition in December.  Of course I said yes,  especially from the comforting distance of many months.

November 2017

Were now in November. The last few months have been filled with assorts of different projects, setting up and equipping the print studio amongst them. Finally we have been able to focus on producing some work! We are using the big new press in ernest for the first time. Working on imperial paper size is a bit of a step up in scale which brings with it a few challenges from the increased time required to work on the larger plates to the handling and registering of the paper.

With at least 12 large prints the issue ( and cost)  of how to protect the prints on the walls has finally been resolved in favour of clip frames. We’ve cleaned out the local discount store of the size were after ( 20″ by 26″ ) so the hunt for more is still on!. So far we’ve both produced 3 pieces of work and now working on our fourth , still at least two more each to produce!

Read about the exhibition at Marios Cafe



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Building the printmaking studio at paper-works*

Image of the empty printmaking studio

Building the Printmaking Studio!

Over the last few months we have been busy building the printmaking studio. Getting it ready to be able to start doing relief and Intaglio printing.  Out with the carpet and lampshades. Walls have been stripped and painted. Floorboards repaired and strengthened. Pin board has been fixed to the walls and worktables , stools , plan chests and  storage cupboards have been put in place.

View towards the window in the printmaking studio

Friends (and tree surgeons ! ) have come to our aid in man handling the two Polymetaal presses into place and we can now begin work in ernest in the studio itself.

Large press in the printmaking studio

Its brilliant to be able to start doing some printmaking! Especially with an exhibition deadline coming up! The exhibition at Marios Cafe starts in early December!

Read here for up to date news on the studio