ABOUT OCHRE PRINT STUDIO
Ochre Print Studio is an open access fine art print studio, welcoming and encouraging artists and printmakers of all abilities to engage in the creative processes of traditional printmaking and contemporary print technology.
Our spacious and well equipped studio provides a safe, friendly and inclusive environment with extensive range of equipment, including facilities for fine art screenprint, photopolymer, intaglio, relief and textile printmaking. We offer a varied programme of courses, talks and demonstrations throughout the year, including visits and master classes by well established artist/printmakers.
At Ochre Print Studio we aim to promote safer printmaking practices and processes which are less harmful to health and have a lower environmental impact than traditional methods. Less toxic printmaking processes still use a variety of chemicals and substances and the ultimate safety is dependent on their informed use and we are happy to offer advice on this.
Members are offered courses at reduced rates and are invited to exhibit their work during the studio’s annual exhibition. Further exhibition opportunities are offered for ‘selected’ shows each year. In addition, members who have attended courses or are experienced printmakers are encouraged to use the facilities during the four weekly Open Access sessions, provided they are capable of working independently and have completed a studio induction with us.
Keyholder membership is available for those who wish to use the facilities on a more flexible basis. Access to the Studio is available Monday to Friday, during Lockwood Centre’s opening hours. This level of membership includes space for materials, storage of silkscreens and the use of a plan chest drawer to store work.
In addition to membership, Ochre Print Studio offers two annual Artist’s Residencies and a programme of three-monthly Intern/Traineeships. Meanwhile, technicians and those helping with the day-to-day running of the studio are offered in-lieu printing time for the work they do to support the studio.
Ochre Print Studio is based at Surrey Choices’ Lockwood Centre in Guildford. Surrey Choices supports adults with learning difficulties. The centre is home to a number of other artist-led businesses, including La Luna Ceramics and Jellytree Productions. The artists at Lockwood run a programme of classes for the clients of Surrey Choices; a successful collaboration based on an exchange of space and time between the artists and the centre, generating a community spirit, with skill sharing at its heart.
The provision of less-toxic printmaking methods is at the core of our ethos.
Health & Safety Equipment
While we provide protective equipment at the studio, including aprons, goggles, ear protectors, masks and household gloves, you may prefer to bring your own for personal use. Masks and disposable gloves are available to buy in the shop.
Ochre Print Studio offers a full range of equipment for screenprinting during Open Access sessions. Those using the studio on a weekly basis may store their own screens on site. All consumables are available to purchase in the studio, including pre-mixed photographic emulsion, water based inks, mediums and tapes.
Our dark room is divided into two separate work areas. The area allocated for photopolymer plate preparation also contains a large format Natgraph light exposure unit. The inner area provides space for coating and washing out screens after exposure. A range of coating troughs are provided to suit all screen sizes and there is a drying cabinet and a large screen wash out booth with a soft hose. Currently, only one person is allowed access to this room at a time to maintain social distancing.
A further room divided into two areas provides screen storage with a separate wet room and large designated area for reclaiming screens with a power wash hose and all chemicals required to degrease and strip screens. In our spacious studio we are awaiting the arrival of a replacement vacummed bed mid-September. Currently we offer the choice of two large and one medium sized vacuumed screenprinting beds (Mylar [medium], Mahler and Truemax) and eight ‘jigs’ of various sizes (for table top screenprinting without a vacuum) and a large range of squeegees suitable for all screen sizes. There are three large drying racks located around the studio and buckets and sponges for cleaning screens during printing. Currently, only two beds are available for screenprinting at a time to maintain social distancing.
A range of papers suitable for screenprinting are available to purchase from our shop at very reasonable prices.
Intaglio and Relief Printing
We have a separate room for etching plates, including a three station etching sink with a ferric chloride dip tank, saline copper sulphate etching tray and degreasing area and a non-toxic aquatint booth with extraction for airbrush aquatint. We use Baldwin’s Intaglio Ground (BIG) and an area within the studio is allocated to applying the ground with an oven to cure it. We promote the use of BIG because it is completely non-toxic and has many advantages over traditional grounds including: its ability to be used as a hard or soft ground, its longer open time for drawing and mark making and its excellent ability to capture tone. Currently, only one person is allowed access to this room at a time to maintain social distancing.
Click here for a link to Andrew Baldwin’s website and more information about BIG
The area in the studio for inking up and printing etching plates provides six glass topped inking up stations, a large paper soaking tray, blotters, a range of rollers, spatulas and palette knives and the use of three drying racks. Rags and cleaning materials are provided. We have a large Columbian relief press and four etching presses, one small (fixed table top), two medium (a Bradbury Wilkinson star wheel and a Hunter Penrose M60) and one large (a Hunter Penrose M80).
Non-toxic cleaning methods are applied within the studio, with the use of vegetable oil, Citiri-Wash, Lincoln Wash and a simple spray of diluted washing up liquid supplied to each inking up area (low odour white spirit is only available on application).
The studio shop offers a wide range of materials at reasonable prices for those using the etching side of the studio during Open Access sessions including: Traditional and Japanese lino, copper and aluminium etching plates, Rhenalon and PETG for drypoint, acrylic plates for monoprint, Mountboard and Environmount for collagraph and photopolymer plates.
A wide range of papers are available to purchase from our shop at very reasonable prices. We have papers suitable for all intaglio and relief processes, from Somerset Satin to Fabriano Rosaspina and Sunome Senaka,
The Tuesday Evening Open Access Etching Club (currently unavailable due to Covid-19)
We appreciate that reinforcing skills learned on our etching courses in a supportive environment improves confidence and independent printmaking within our community of printmakers.
If you are an Ochre Print Studio member, after attending a course you will be able to continue using our etching facilities during our Open Access sessions. On many Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings, an etching technician, Mai Osawa or Sarah Cliff, will be on duty during the session. Please enquire whether they are on duty before booking.
For details on becoming an Ochre Print Studio Member (£36/year) and booking Open Access sessions (£20/session plus materials), please click here.
Digital Printmaking Facility
The studio has acquired ACE (Arts Council England) funding to set up a digital print facility. We now have a wide format printer and we are working towards piloting a service providing ‘positives’ for screenprinting on tracing paper and large format colour prints for posters etc. Please telephone or email us in advance if you wish to use this facility.