Beginners Etching Course – Black Church Print Studio

For (absolute) beginners, this course covers hard and soft ground, aquatint and some introduction to colour printing and chine-collé techniques. My teaching focus is the creative development of images through drawing. The students bring plenty of photographs and sketch books so we can discuss their ideas, aims and how to translate the images into the graphic language of printmaking.

This course takes places once a week for 6 evenings plus one whole Saturday at Black Church Print Studio, Dublin.


Print Workshop in the Chester Beatty Library based on The Coëtivy Hours manuscript

This print workshop was based in the exhibition The Coëtivy Hours on display in the Chester Beatty Library. The Coëtivy Hours is an illuminated manuscript from the 15th century richly decorated with floral scrolls, human, apes, lions, birds, family arms and supernatural figures. Prigent de Coëtivy commissioned a workshop in Paris to create the masterpiece to mark his marriage to Marie de Rais.

We started with a full demo of the drypoint process followed by a visit to the exhibition where participants could get ideas for their own images and sketch some drawings. They created their own plates, using perspex (a thick acetate), and drypoint. For printing the plates we worked with a range of colours and chine-collé technique. Here’s a little taste of what we were up to:


Sucheta Ghadge, Mumbai based printmaker, talks to Debora Ando about her practice and research.

DA. How did you start your career as a printmaker and what is the support that the Clark House provides for printmakers?

SG: I was born and bred in a rural area where there was no encouragement in the arts sector. As I had an inclination toward the arts my parents wanted me to study architecture. It was only then, during my academic studies, that I learnt more about the Fine Art course, and that created an exciting sense of discovery for me. Even though my parents were against it, I ended up attending the art course. In last two years of it, I found myself interested in printmaking techniques, working layer by layer patiently with woodcut. Then afterwards, the Department of Arts and Culture granted me scholarships which allowed me to travel and work in different printmaking studios for three to four years across India.

In 2010 the Clark House Initiative began with a printmaking workshop organised by Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma (founders) with alumni and students of JJ School of Art under the guidance of Prof. Anant Nikam. Since then they been working in collaboration with the printmaking department of JJ School of Art. I myself took part in many workshops as a student while I was doing my masters’ degree. Eventually in 2014 I became part of the Clark House Initiative.

DA: Which other medium do you work with?

SG: I like etching and drawings with watercolour and inks. As hereditary, I also work with embroidery and right now I am doing few experiments combining stitching and woodcut prints.

DA: Could you tell me more about stitching in your work? What are the qualities that you explore within this medium?  

SG: I am as close to stitching as I am to woodcut as a medium. In earlier stages of my creative process I try to depict things through drawing. Then I work on woodcut prints with silk white thread but in very small areas because both mediums have their own identities that should not be lost. I use stitching like ‘floating leaf on water and white prominent line around that leaf shines’. Mixing the graphic expression (print) and the actual physicality of linear elements (thread) results in different effects such as subtle ‘shadows’ from layering them up.

DA: In your work you examine physical restrictions, boundaries and the idea of partition in the natural world. Could you tell me more about these concerns?

SG: As human being we don’t have restrictions in life but we restrict nature which has its own flowing ways. I am interested in examining how rivers, which have their own flowing way, have been “owned”, diverted and re-designed by countries, states, cities. With this I am relating other things like Bonsai Pollination Partition in my work.  The dark colours of native soil and the vast span of rivers reminds me my childhood memories. And seeing the changes of a river now and then allows me to think deeply about the nature-related things to construct the ideas for my works through transparencies and layers.

DA: Has nature and landscape changed much from your childhood? Does it have any type of impact in the local community? (i.e. migrations,  social- economic contrasts, unemployment, environmental issues, etc)

SG: My native place is Satara in Maharashtra state, near the confluence of the river Krishna and its tributary river Venna. It is surrounded by the mountains of the beautiful Kaas valley, which is a World Heritage site. I spent my childhood at the bank of river Krishna where we used to play. Now there is no sand at the bank and there are so many holes in the riverbed because of sand mining. Even on the bank of the river the land is filled with mono-crop sugar cane plantations. Green as they seem, they consume a huge volume of the water from the river. The water has also been diverted away from rural life to supply towns and cities. ‘Koyana’, one of the largest dams in Maharashtra, is the only one of its kind in the area. Dams and water diversion have created so many issues. Because the attachment to my native soil I started observing and collecting data about environmental issues wherever I go to.

National Print Museum – One Day Colour Intaglio Workshop

Just sharing some images of my workshop at the National Print Museum: One Day Colour Intaglio Workshop. Perspex, etching inks, chine-collé, drypoint, roll-up.

Chester Beatty Library – Teens Program

Last Saturday I had the pleasure to work with two enthusiastic groups  (12-14 years and 15-17 years)at Chester Beatty Library. The workshops covered the techniques of chiné-colle and drypoint exploring the theme of fantasy and imagination. It was most enjoyable to see how dedicated the teenagers were to create images and mixing colours to express their feelings, dreams and perceptions of the world. All of them were new to intaglio and despite of finding it challenging, they also found it equally rewarding!



The Print Workshop + Illustration and Picture Book Artists

Here’s the documentation of this year’s collaboration (this is our 6th year!) with Adrienne Geoghegan’s Illustration and Picture Book Artists. Exploring the technique of drypoint, artists were invited to create their own works based on the theme of their own choice. Each group worked over 2 sessions of 2.5h. They were encouraged to investigate the graphic possibilities of the medium, hatching and cross-hatching, textures, incisions and composition, being always aware that results will very much depend on the pressure applied on the metal point…!




National Print Museum – One Day Colour Print Workshop

Yesterday I had the pleasure to share a whole day with a talented group of people in the National Print Museum for a One Day Colour Print Workshop. Most of the participants were new to printmaking but, oh wow!, they produced such nice works, you wouldn’t believe it! For plates we used perspex, drypoints, and lots of colours, of course. Experimentation was the word of the day!