Brand new Printmaking Festival arrives in Birmingham for 2016

via Chris for The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists

Brand new Printmaking Festival arrives in Birmingham for 2016

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) has announced a brand new festival for 2016, opening up the world of printmaking to artists, beginners and families.

Printmaking is an art form in which an image is made on a block, stone, plate or screen from which the final print is produced, either manually using an implement such as a wooden spoon, or with the help of a printing press. Birmingham has a rich history of printmakers, including John Baskerville, inventor of the Baskerville font, which is still used across the world today.

Gallery exterior 2013. Photo by Helen Williams

Visitors can enjoy a variety of printmaking experiences over the coming months, including workshops, demonstrations, a symposium, and the chance to win £1,000 in the RBSA Print Prize exhibition courtesy of the GMC Trust.

The Festival, which launches on Monday 15 August, begins with a series of print workshops led by renowned printmakers suitable for everyone from beginners with an interest in learning a new skill to advanced printmakers looking to refresh their technique.

On 23 October and 6 November, children and families are invited to try their hand at printmaking with two family-friendly workshops. Make a stencil, use ink and handle a squeegee to print your very own trick-or- treat tote bag, or learn how to transform a humble pizza base into another world using a multitude of skills, including printing, drawing and adding 3D buildings!

Adult workshop - Book + Print

On Sunday 30 October, both aspiring and practising printmakers are invited to the RBSA Printmaking Festival Symposium. This will explore both contemporary and historic printmaking through talks by print studio owner Simon Burder, printmaker Tracy Hill, and local academic Dr Kate Nichols.

Dr Marie Considine, Gallery Director at the RBSA Gallery said: “We’re excited to launch Birmingham’s first ever Printmaking Festival and hope that it will encourage more people to engage with this historic, hands-on art form. Birmingham has such a rich printmaking heritage, with many artists still practising the technique in the city today. The festival offers people of all ages and abilities the chance to learn something new, whilst introducing both the art form and the RBSA to a wider audience.”

At the end of the festival, the RBSA Print Prize exhibition will showcase original, hand-made prints from both competition entrants and the historic RBSA Collection.

To find out how to enter your print, visit and download the application pack.

The RBSA Printmaking Festival is supporting using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

See below for full event listings.

Wednesday 17 August

The Painterly Print

1 day with Colin Yates

Combine mono-printing, mixed media, chine-collé and transfer printing to create several painterly prints. This workshop is suitable for all abilities, including beginners. All materials will be provided.


Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August

Wood Engraving

2 days with Hilary Paynter Hon RBSA

Receive expert guidance from a renowned printmaker and learn how to design and print your own wood engraving. This workshop is suitable for all abilities, including beginners.


Saturday 20 August

Silk-screen Printing

1 day with Karoline Rerrie

Make stencils using your own images, patterns or designs and print onto paper to create a small edition of unique prints. Suitable for all abilities, including beginners and experienced printmakers looking to refresh their skills.


Monday 17 October – Saturday 12 November

Baker to Bartlett: The Changing Face of RBSA Printmaking

Gallery 1

This year, our annual exhibition of artworks from the RBSA Collection will showcase the variety of wonderful prints produced by artists throughout the Society’s history. This exhibition has been curated by Carol White and David White RBSA, who have been instrumental in helping the RBSA develop and improve its Collection and Archive. Both David and Carol stepped down as Archive Officers in 2015 so this show is also a thank you and celebration of all their hard work over the years.


Wednesday 19 October to Saturday 12 November

Royal Birmingham Society of Artists’ Print Prize Exhibition 2016

Gallery 2

Open for all Printmakers to apply

First Prize £1,000

Entry fees apply – see application pack for details. 50% discount on fees for under 30s.

Sat 22 October

11am-1pm and 2-4pm


By Peter Shread RBSA

Learn how Peter creates his popular woodcut and linocut prints, which are regularly exhibited at the RA Summer Show.


Sun 23 October

Tote and Treat Bag

2 – 4pm

With Karoline Rerrie, Friend

Make a stencil, use ink, and handle a squeegee to print your own tote bag – perfect for stashing your sweets when trick-or-treating this Halloween! This workshop is suitable for all abilities and is popular with children and adults alike.


Saturday 29 October

Etching with Leicester Print Workshop

11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm


By Sue Baker Kenton, Leicester Print Workshop

In the morning Sue will provide a brief history of etching and will then demonstrate metals, acids, tools and plate preparation.  In the afternoon Sue will ink and proof some plates and will talk about editioning and master-printmakers.


Sun 30 October

10am – 1pm

Learn all about original printmaking through a variety of talks by printmaker Tracy Hill, local academic Dr Kate Nichols, and print studio owner Simon Burder.


Sun 6 November

Printed Pizza Planets

2 – 4pm

With Caroline Ali RBSA

Learn how to transform a humble pizza base into another world by adding texture, inking it up, printing it, then adding craters, buildings, and people by using small block prints and drawing. This workshop is a great introduction for those who are new to printmaking and provides simple creative ideas to try back at home.


Sat 12 November

11am-1pm and 2-4pm


By Celia Nancarrow RBSA

Discover how Celia creates her textured prints using collagraph printing.


Sat 12 November

11am-1pm and 2-4pm

Hands-on print Demonstration

By Professor Caroline Archer-Parré, Co-Director of the Centre for Printing History & Culture at Birmingham City University

This session provides visitors with an opportunity for a hands-on experience of, and discussion on the books and printed ephemera produced from the sixteenth century to present day. The session will have a particular focus on work produced in Birmingham including that of John Baskerville and his contemporaries; fine printing from the Kynoch Press and material produced by the Birmingham School of Printing.


*Discounted prices for RBSA Members, Associates and Friends.

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA)

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of inclusive activities. The Society owns and runs its own exhibition venue, the RBSA Gallery, located just off St Paul’s Square, in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter and a short walk from the city centre. 

2010 marked the tenth anniversary of the Society’s move to its new gallery in St Paul’s Square.


This is not a sponsored post