No Fighting, It’s Print Club

Last week an announcement went out on Canvas, the University Of Wolverhampton’s student communications platform, for people interested in joining Print Club.

Never having tried or even seen Screen printing or any other type of printing done I thought I’d attend. It was on a Tuesday evening from 5pm til 7pm so I figured as I was already there for the Tuesday afternoon I may as well bolt it on to the end of the day and try out something new.

As I finished my afternoon in the darkroom I packed up and prepared myself to go to the Print Club which is based in the printing section of the ground floor. I was a little nervous as I didn’t know if there would be people there I knew or not but bit the bullet and went for it.

I met up outside the room with Zach and Bec, the former has printed here before and the latter was in the same boat as me. We went into the room once a few more people arrived and we were introducing ourselves to the group before Simon and Laura introduced themselves and split us up into two groups. Those who had printed before and the newbies, of which I was a member.

The Print Club meets.

Laura stated that the first rule of Print Club was that we do talk about Print Club, and then the next rule was Newbies always print on the first night so we were going to try our hand at Intaglio Monotype printing. I didn’t know what this meant but I needn’t have worried. Laura showed us the process whilst the other group disappeared to continue with their plans.


We were shown the parts of the process that we’d be using and the tools needed.

Tools included; ink roller, paper fingers, plate, water tank, registration plate, blotting paper, surface, brushes, white spirit dispensers, rags.


The process I wrote down whilst watching Laura demonstrate was:

  1. Pick a “Plate” to use, and clean it using the white spirits.
  2. Squeeze a small amount of ink onto the rolling surface
  3. Wipe it into a smear the width of the roller
  4. Dab the roller surface into the ink a few times
  5. Roll roller across glass surface to create a block of ink
  6. Keep rolling using up and down and left to right movements
  7. Roll until you hear it becoming tacky
  8. Remember we’re covering the roller with Ink not the surface
  9. Roll the roller over the Plexiglass Plate (can use other materials too)
  10. Mark make onto the inked surface. Use white spirit on rags or brushes etc to help lift ink off.
  11. Remember that any text will need to be written in revers
  12. Pick up the Paper using a small paper tongs (folded over bit of paper) due to inky fingers.
  13. Write initials on the paper in pencil
  14. Place into the water tank and submerge for 5 minutes.
  15. Lift out of tank and splat on plastic screen above the tank
  16. Use squeegee to remove most of the water.
  17. Remove paper from the screen and place in the stack of blotting paper
  18. Roll a weight over the blotting paper to remove excess water from the paper
  19. Place registration plate on the bed of the print roller
  20. Place the inked plate in the centre of the registration square
  21. Carefully place the paper in the correct location over the inked plate
  22. Don’t let the paper move or ink will smudge
  23. Cover all with tissue paper, then the blankets.
  24. Roll the press all the way through taking care not to injure you or anyone else.
  25. Lift up blankets and tissue paper carefully
  26. Use paper fingers (folded paper tongs) to pick up corner of paper
  27. Peel paper of inked surface
  28. Place on the dryer under some tissue paper to dry for three days


Things I learnt from the process;

  • The paper is wet to help the transfer of the ink to the paper, when it dries it will suck the ink into the surface further.
  • Inking the roller is more important than having a nice looking block of ink on the rolling surface
  • Mark making is difficult to do if, like me, you’re not very creative with drawing, sketching or painting
  • Ink gets everywhere, no wonder you have to use paper tongs. Swarfega is definitely required in clean up.
  • Inl doesn’t come out of clothes as it’s oil based, overalls next time I think.
  • Blue ink was way more tricky to get rolled out and looking useful than the Black or Orange, it seemed. It was probably just my technique.
  • Everyone in Print Club was very friendly and helpful
  • It was fun and I’m looking forward to doing some screen printing where I might be able to rely on images I capture with my camera to form a print rather than using my very limited drawing and sketching ability.
  • Tracey Emin uses Monoprints in her work.

Simon and Laura also briefed us on the International Print Exchange too, in which we could produce five prints and send them off to the exchange and then receive a number back from all the other participants worldwide. This sounds intriguing and I wonder if I can produce anything in the next few weeks that might be something a person might appreciate.


Looking forward to going back each Tuesday to see if I can come up with something wither related to my practice or maybe stretch my practice into new areas.

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