Handprinted Studio 2018

We’ve had another brilliant year in the Handprinted Studio! We love seeing our customers get stuck into loads of different techniques both in our workshops
and during our open access days.

As well as Shirley and Holly teaching workshops every week we’ve been lucky enough to have guest tutors such as Ian Phillips, Sue Brown, Nick Morley, Sarah
Campbell,  Hester Cox and Laura Boswell visiting to teach workshops and some even giving talks on their specialities. We’ve covered screen printing,
linocut, woodcut, thermofax printing, collagraph, drypoint etching, natural dyeing, batik, block printing onto fabric, lampshade making, mono-printing,
transfer printing, letterpress, shibori, Japanese woodblock and more!

Have a look through some of the amazing work made this year in our Handprinted Workshops:

Join us for a workshop – they’re suitable for all abilities! See our Workshops Timetable here


Stamped Christmas Bird DIY Decorations

Homemade decorations can be the best (and cheapest!) way to decorate for Christmas. These little birdies would make lovely presents too. Get the kids involved
with this easy project. 

To make things even easier, we’ve made a printable template for you to use.

Print out a batch of templates. Each A4 template can be used to make two paper birds.

Start by dyeing the printed paper with Brusho Dye. Use any colours that you like. A little Brusho goes a long way – tap a few crystals into a palette or
jar and dilute with water until the desired shade is achieved. 

Brush with dye all over the page. Mix and blend the colours as you go. Spritz and sprinkle the dye for different effects. 

When the birds are made up, both sides of the paper will show so when one side is dry flip the paper and paint the other side. 

Whilst the dye is drying, cut some stamps. MasterCut is easy to carve and cut into different shapes. Sketch some designs for a collection of stamps and
cut them out with a scalpel or craft knife. (This part is for adults only!)

Use a lino cutter to decorate the stamps. Simple lines will work very well for this project! 

When the paper is dry fold it in half along the tail ends. Cut along this line to create two pairs of birds. Don’t cut along the birds’ bodies! 

Fold along the birds’ bodies. 

Use your stamps with Versacraft Ink Pads and decorate the birds. 

Cut the folded birds out, leaving the fold along the body uncut. 

Open the birds out and decorate the other side with stamps. Only the wings and tails of this side will show when the bird is made. 

Fold the bird back in half. Fold one wing down. 

Repeat with the other side. 

Staple the two sides of the bird together at the head and the tail. 

Use a needle and thread to hang up the birds. Roughly find the middle of each bird so that it will balance. You may need to press quite hard with the needle
if you’ve made the birds out of card so this is another adults-only job.



For this project you will need:


Meet the Maker: Angie Mitchell


I work mainly in relief print, both Lino and woodcut, I actually use Marley vinyl floor tiles in place of Lino, I like the way it cuts and I can easily
jigsaw shapes together. I carve into lime wood blocks which is very easy to carve and I love the rasp it makes as I’m cutting it.

If I’m working with colour I often blend the colours on the plate using a range of different sized rollers. I also like to use coloured tissue and patterned
papers to incorporate chine colle.

I have a small Tofko relief press and a Hawthorn etching press for larger prints and printing fabric.

How and where did you learn to print?

My first printmaking was at college in Ambleside using a large Albion press.

Years later I started experimenting with print on clay using an ink made with oxides and fat oil, I later realised I could use Transparent ink instead
of fat oil, it was a lot less smelly!

Why printmaking?

I love the process of printmaking, unlike painting you are not starting with an intimidating blank canvas or sheet of paper.

Where do you work?

I have just moved into a small studio gallery with three other artists, which is perfect for me as I can work, chat to people and hopefully sell some work
at the same time. I didn’t enjoy working in isolation, it’s good to share ideas and experience.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

After opening up the gallery I make coffee and think about the jobs to be done that day. If I’m on duty I shall plan a non-messy activity such as woodcutting
or planning for a future project.

If I am planning to do some printing then I have to cut and prepare the paper and prepare my inking area carefully with the selected inks and rollers.
I always leave at least an hour to clean up and tidy away. There’s nothing worse than returning the next morning to a mess.

How long have you been printmaking?

I have been printmaking on a full-time basis for about 7 years, but have dabbled in print for a long time before.

What inspires you?

The very process of print inspires me, the marks, textures, tools and materials and of course other printmakers!

What is your favourite printmaking product?

I’ve recently discovered printing on fabric and am quite pleased with my lampshades.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

A hand printed alphabet book that I made for my grandchildren.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

You can see my work online and in my gallery. At the moment my work is also in the Great Print Exhibition at Rheged near Penrith

What will we be seeing from you next?

Watch this space! A new series of woodcuts hopefully and more designs for lampshades and possibly blinds!

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

Don’t be put off by what you sometimes perceive as failure, the more you explore and experiment the more the creative process blossoms.


Website: www.angiemitchell.co.uk

Facebook page: The La’al Studio Gallery


Drawing Fluid and Filler Screen Printed Christmas Cards

This is a really fun way of making a big batch of Christmas cards. Making a screen with drawing fluid and filler maintains a hand-drawn look whilst giving
a flat professional finish that’s the same on every card. Here’s how:

Draw around a blank card onto a piece of paper. Draw your design in the space – make the drawing bold as we want to be able to see it through the screen.

Lay a screen over the top of the design. We are using an A4 90T screen which is perfect for printing onto paper. With the mesh flat against the design,
trace the drawing with a soft pencil. 

Flip the screen over to the back so that the mesh is raised above the table. Use drawing fluid to paint in your design. You want to paint all the areas
that you want to print onto your card later. 

Leave the drawing fluid to dry. 

When the drawing fluid is dry, use parcel tape to create a rectangle around the edge of the design on the back of the screen. This saves screen filler
as less of the screen needs filling.

With the back of the screen facing up, use a spatula to place a line of screen filler on the parcel tape above the design. 

Use a squeegee to drag the screen filler down the screen. 

Scrape off the excess screen filler and leave it to dry. Once the filler is dry, rinse the screen with a shower or garden hose. The drawing fluid should
wash out, leaving the screen filler behind. 

Once the screen is dry, extra screen filler can be added with a paintbrush for finer details and for touching up. 

Once the screen is completely dry it is ready for printing. Use parcel tape to fill in any open areas of mesh around the design.

We are using a board with hinge clamps attached to the top. This will help to keep our screen in the same place for each print. We have attached a piece
of acetate to one side of the board that will fold back like a book page. This will help us to register the prints. 

Place the acetate over the board. Place a line of ink at one end of the design. We are using acrylic paint mixed 50:50 with System 3 Acrylic Screen Printing
Medium. Hold the screen slightly away from the board and use a squeegee to flood the screen: drag the ink gently along the mesh without pressing hard.
Place the screen down on the board. Use the squeegee at a 45 degree angle to push the ink through the screen. You should hear a zip sound. 

Lift up the screen to reveal the print on the acetate. Flood your screen to stop the ink from drying in the mesh. Slide a blank card under the acetate.
Position the card under the print. With the card still in place, fold back the acetate and mark the position of the card with masking tape corners.
Each card can now be placed in the same spot allowing all the prints to be in the right place.

Print each card with your squeegee at a 45 degree angle, adding more ink to the screen if necessary. 

When finished printing, scrape away any excess ink from the screen. Use a soft damp sponge to wipe the screen clean and then rinse with cold water. 

When the design is no longer needed the screen can be cleaned with Speed Clean. It is best to clean off the filler as soon as it’s no longer needed as
it can be tricky to remove after a long time. 

Use a brush to coat both sides of the design with Speed Clean. Leave for five to eight minutes and then wash with hot water. You may need to repeat this
a couple of times to remove all the filler. 

To make these cards you will need: