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: Glasszoo, 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 non-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. Small, medium, large and extra large screens are available to hire on a monthly basis (ranging from 45T, 90T and up to 120T) and 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.
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 offer the choice of two large and one medium sized vacuumed screenprinting beds (Mylar [medium], Fox, 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.
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.
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 four 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 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,
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.