FESPA UK Association Supports New Talent at Print Club London
Graeme Richardson-Locke, board member of FESPA UK Association recently visited Print Club London to meet the ‘Printerns’ that are being sponsored by the association to help fund their screen printing internships and reported back for the FESPA UK Association.
Print Club London, was established in 2007 and is run by managing director Fred Higginson (Sculptor/ Illustrator M.O.L.) and director Kate Higginson. The duo work closely with iconic illustrator and creative director Rose Stallard, who brings the Print Club brand to life with her inimitable 1970s fanzine-style-artwork and edgy typography. Alongside running the studios, Fred, Kate and Rose also curate an annual exhibition ‘Blisters’, one of the UK’s largest screen printed poster shows that introduces a wider audience to affordable, original artwork. Whilst providing studio space and selling work is a key focus of the studios, the trio work with clients on projects ranging from bespoke bags for Stella McCartney to live printing projects in store with Nike.
Kate, Graeme, Amber and Fred
Graeme was very impressed by the drive and enthusiasm at Print Club London for screen printing and their achievements in filling the gap left by art colleges and their restricted access to print facilities. The FESPA UK Association board agreed to sponsor the ‘Printerns’ and welcome Fred, Kate and the team as the association’s latest members.
On arrival to Print Club in Dalston, East London you enter down a side road to access the studio building, which is opposite a stack of shipping containers with graffiti by a former member.
Outside Print Club London
Another wall has screen printed wheat pastes, full of colour by Donk a London street artist. It sets the scene for a warm welcome into a busy office where the staff all clearly love what they have built.
Once the introductions had been made, Amber Henry the Gallery manager took Graeme to meet the printerns. The first was Charlie Gould who studied Illustration at Southampton University, he presented his work and ideas that are inspired by his passion for iconic movies and an illustrative style based around the use of a simple palette of layered translucent colours reminiscent of Mexican woodblock prints. Gould is thrilled to have been selected by Print Club to pursue his screen printing ambitions, ready to begin in May with his first edition.
The second printern was Niall Greaves whose interest in screen printing began with improvised equipment in his family home. His first print experiments were made with a sun lamp to expose the screens that were washed out in the bath. Greaves is inspired by the old punk posters by designers like Jamie Reid and a love of abstract forms. He studied firstly at Newcastle college then in Bristol. Greaves is also very pleased to be supported by Print Club’s scheme that will enable him to create his editions and master the skills of screen printing.
Graeme was pleased to share some of his own experiences having spent 30 years in screen and digital printing. One of the advantages of joining the FESPA UK Association is the access it provides to its community and expertise. When a technical question arises, either concerning process, health and safety or sourcing, the help is there on the phone or through the website. Whilst the association’s membership is very diverse, it is made up of people in businesses that believe in the value of community.
Following the discussion with the Printern’s, Fred Higginson director of Print Club gave a tour of the gallery and print workshops. They are well set up with water based screen printing for both textile and graphic applications and have 10 hand-print tables. Whilst there, Graeme was able to witness a variety of activities, a screen printing tutorial was taking place for a dozen or so members and Sam Baldwin the head printer and the print technicians were all busy printing new work.
Sam Baldwin, Head Printer
It was an inspiring visit into a thriving print community, FESPA UK Association will continue to provide updates as the Printerns start presenting their work and contributing to the next Print Club London exhibition.
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