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Artist Mary Harold excited to be part of our Studio Access Scheme

Mary Harold, from Coryton, West Devon, is growing her business in printmaking, painting and stitching with the help of our new Studio Access Scheme, which enables experienced practitioners to access our facilities and specialist art resources.

Mary Harold, from Coryton, West Devon, is growing her business in printmaking, painting and stitching with the help of our new Studio Access Scheme, which enables experienced practitioners to access our facilities and specialist art resources.

Mary, who practices traditional silkscreen printing techniques in her art, creates a wide range of paper and fabric craft items, such as greeting cards, tote bags and bunting, for sale at local craft fairs and galleries.

As demand for her work has grown, she found that her output was limited by the screenprinting equipment that she could afford to purchase for her studio at home.

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Through our Studio Access scheme, Mary now uses specialist heat presses and exposure units to create a more consistent, commercial standard print, which is allowing her to expand distribution and increase the number of galleries that can stock her creations.

Speaking of her art, Mary said, “I started attending Short Courses in the evenings at Plymouth College of Art, which is where I first learned about screenprinting and working on fabric as well as on paper.

“I attended the courses for several years, until I felt like I had the skills I needed to set up as an independent printmaker, but then reached a point when I wanted to use the college equipment but didn’t need the teaching anymore.

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“There was a lot that I could do in my studio at home. Most of my designs begin with a drawing by hand, which are then transferred to a silkscreen and then printed.

“The college has an exposure unit which allows for much more detail in your designs. I also find the heat press a valuable tool – it sets the ink on fabrics and makes them commercially viable.

“It is great to see the college start up a Studio Access scheme that can be used to access the facilities in the evenings. It’s a big help for my business, even just for little things, like being able to buy materials from the college."
Mary Harold
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“Now that I’ve increased my output, I’m hoping to really expand the number of galleries stocking my products and the craft fairs that I exhibit at.

“It’s exciting to feel like I’m part of a movement of print artists in the UK. I’m a huge fan of of printmakers like the St Jude’s movement, there are lots of good printmakers in the South West and it would be great to see them gaining some recognition too!”

Rosie Gibson, Project Coordinator for Studio Access here at the college, said, “We’re delighted to be able to support practitioners to make and develop their work through the scheme.

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“We have excellent resources at the college and it’s great to be able to support people, not just while they’re studying with us, but after graduation and beyond.

“Experienced creative practitioners might not need the level of tuition that you get on one of our degrees or Short Course, but at the same time not everybody has access to the kind of expensive, specialist equipment that we can offer. Studio Access is ideal for meeting the needs of experienced artists and graduates in the South West.

“Currently we’re offering bookable slots for access to our Ceramics, Glass, Printmaking, Printed Textiles and Jewellery facilities, but in time we’re aiming to expand this to also include media facilities and fashion studios.”