Imprint Lab

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Meet our Fine Print Studio Coordinators

The Imprint Lab at Arts University Plymouth is home to our Fine Print Studio and workshops, Digital Print Bureau, and a wide range of digital and traditional printmaking processes.
<p dir="ltr">The <a href="">Imprint Lab</a> at Arts University Plymouth is home to our Fine Print Studio and workshops, Digital Print Bureau, and a wide range of digital and traditional printmaking processes. Combining multiple disciplines and opportunities for skills development and the pursuit of distinctive creative research related to print, the Imprint Lab spans traditional and digital opportunities to master different printing methods and collaborate with other sectors and disciplines.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Fine Print Studio offers a broad range of techniques, including screen-printing, typesetting, copper plate etching, drypoint, Chine Collé, aquatint, photographic intaglio processes such as photopolymer and photoetching, collograph, lino, woodblock, letterpress, monoprint, and paper litho. The studio includes multiple presses, including a large Rochat Mezzotint press, a Hunter Penrose press, a Columbian and Albion relief presses, two Starwheel presses and vacuum beds for screen-printing. Staff members within the studio work in ongoing collaboration with Fab Lab Plymouth, utilising their equipment for digital cutting and 3D printing of blocks and plates and the production of artist's books.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Fine Print Studio welcomes students from all courses but is used most often by <a href="">BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing &amp; Printmaking </a>and <a href="">MA Printmaking</a> students. The Fine Print Studio is overseen by Studio Coordinators Claire Gladstone and Josephine Birch, a team who are committed to experimentation and encourage both analogue and digital processes, hybrid printmaking and pushing the boundaries of print.<br /></p>
Claire Gladstone bio pic Supplied May 2024

Claire Gladstone

<p dir="ltr">Claire Gladstone is a multidisciplinary artist who uses printmaking as the dominant part of her practice. Claire’s research is concerned with how we process and store memories and their inevitable fallibility; mapping the mass of little constructions and stories we tell to make sense of ourselves in the world.</p> <p dir="ltr">Within her work, Claire combines digital processes with traditional printmaking techniques, and has been working in Fab Lab Plymouth within Arts University Plymouth to create laser cut plates and hybrid digital and analogue prints. Her own practice uses photo intaglio, drypoint and monoprint alongside hybrid processes.</p> <p dir="ltr">Claire said: “Printmaking is an egalitarian practice; it can be solitary, but printmaking thrives in a sociable inclusive studio, where skills are shared and ideas discussed. This is our aim in the Arts University Plymouth Fine Print Studio, to make a comfortable collaborative space for experimentation and practice. I studied for my Masters in Fine Art at Arts University Plymouth and came to work here immediately afterwards, so I have experienced the University from both perspectives.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“We cover many processes in the Fine Print Studio and each has many variables, so there is often an element of experimentation and surprise. The most satisfying part of my work is seeing students' faces light up when their print is revealed, and students working independently. This is when I can work with them to problem solve and develop their practice. I am a big maker of and an advocate for, the artists’ book, and am always happy to discuss and advise on book making projects.”<br /></p>
Imprint Lab

The Fine Print Studios at Arts University Plymouth

<p dir="ltr">Advising students on where to find inspiration and expand their printmaking practice, Claire said: “For serious printmaking context, artists work and conceptual ideas, the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Mellon Lectures</a> are unmissable. ‘Pressing Matters’ is a very accessible print journal, which alongside ‘Printmaking Today’, is an essential read. Both are available in the Arts University Plymouth library. “</p> <p dir="ltr">An MA Fine Art graduate of Arts University Plymouth (with distinction), Claire previously spent 10 years coordinating an arts festival and was Senior Technician in the print room at University of Plymouth before becoming a Studio Coordinator at Arts University Plymouth.</p> <p dir="ltr">Working as one-third of artist collaboration Room to Manoeuvre, Claire is an invited member of The Plymouth Society of Artists. She has exhibited Internationally and most recently at Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, London; Artmill Gallery, Plymouth; Thelma Hulbert, Honiton; Greenhill, Dartmoor; and has been the subject of a solo print show at the Double Elephant Gallery in the Phoenix, Exeter, and The Car Park Project, a multiple venue show with Room To Manoeuvre. A residency in the arctic circle is her next venture.</p> <p dir="ltr">Artist, printmaker and illustrator Josephine Birch has always been drawn to narrative and is passionate about drawing. Working primarily on location, she responds to the world directly around her. These works inform her print and picture books, placing the work firmly in the natural world and allowing memory and a ‘sense of place’ to influence the direction of the work. With a love for lithography, monotype and etching, Josephine also works as an illustrator, primarily illustrating picture books for children as well as Middle Grade and Young Adult novels.<br /></p>
MA Printmaking 1
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Arts University Plymouth's Fine Print Studio

<p dir="ltr">Josephine graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Illustration and a Postgraduate Scholarship from The Royal Drawing School, after which she achieved a First Class MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art. Jo has been teaching for over 10 years, including at HE and FE levels, running a BA (Hons) Illustration degree and teaching at institutions including Coombe Farm Studios, Cambridge School of Art and The Fitzwilliam Museum. Josephine loves to teach from a practical stand point, believing that process based learning will help you develop concepts and support creative making.</p> <p dir="ltr">Josephine is the recipient of multiple residencies, including from the Royal Drawing School, and is recipient of Jerwood and Make South West funding for printmaking. Her picture books have won multiple awards including The Image of The Book Children's Laureate Award and Association of Illustrators Finalist in New York, and have been shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards and Bologna Children's Book Fair. She has exhibited around the world, most notably RA, RWA, Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair and AOI New York.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking of her personal practice, Josephine said: “I always loved to draw, and my mum was a dressmaker and elder sister a painter, so the house where I grew up was full of creativity. I studied at Cambridge School of Art for my BA and MA, where I spent a lot of time in the print room and on the postgraduate Drawing Year at The Royal Drawing School.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I exhibit regularly, both in group shows and with my gallery Partnership Editions. I had my first solo show this year with Weald Contemporary and currently have a show running called <a href="">'In Praise of Home'</a> with Partnership Editions. This year I've been in group shows at Atelier Brighton and Irving Gallery, Oxford. Some of my proudest moments were exhibiting with the Royal Drawing School at Christies, and the day my first picture book was published.”<br /></p>
A smiling student screenprinting in the Textiles studios with technical demonstrator Kathryn Hays

Screenprinting at Arts University Plymouth

<p>Reflecting on her work within Arts University Plymouth, Josephine said: “I teach all forms of printmaking at Arts University Plymouth and hope to help students to feel welcome and confident in the Fine Print Studios. I’m not often asked about narrative or book design, but these are definitely two areas of my expertise that I’d be happy to share with students more often.”</p> <p dir="ltr">For anybody wanting to see more examples of Josephine’s work, she has worked for various publishers including Hachette UK and Graffeg Publishing, and is currently working on illustrations for a YA novel featuring a queer love story. Josephine also recently received funding from Make South West to develop the lithography provision in her personal studio. </p>