Adrian’s Laser Engraving workshop & Camden Town Printmakers exhibition- a review

On a sunny Saturday I spent the day being arty and attended Adrian Barron’s Laser Engraving workshop here at ROAR.

The first half of the day was learning how to create images that could be used on the laser cutter, imputing them into the correct software so that they would create our unique printing blocks. This technical process was made easier by the help of Adrian and Luke (assistant), but also by a handy guide (I do love a good set of bullet points).

With a similar thrill to gardening, we waited patiently for our blocks to be created on the laser cutter. In the meantime Adrian delved into the basics of actual printing, the inks he uses and how to create the right consistency. It was helpful to have someone there actually demonstrating how to do this, seeing what the correct pliability was before we had a go ourselves.

After a nice sunny lunch sat outside of Rotherham Minster, we got to the real messy and fun side of the workshop. After oiling our blocks we were ready to get going (yippee!). It was great that we had a good chunk of time to practice, discovering what we needed to do to improve the prints. Adrian was also very helpful, his easy going attitude freed us from making “mistakes”, instead allowing us to learn as we went along.

I got a bit “print happy” and started experimenting with different paper- opting to print on newspaper- as well as blue and yellow sheets. I also had a go at painting different colours onto the wooden block before transferring to paper.

The workshop ignited a fire in us all, as another attendee commented:

“I had a great day on Saturday, loved the workshop, and now feel confident in trying other printing projects and also using the laser cutting machine. I loved the workshop so much even had a further experiment with a small lino cutting kit I have had a home (used for a couple of years) the next day!”

Artist Minx Taylor’s prints

After the workshop we went down to the Coterie Gallery to view an exhibition of The Camden Town Printmakers who had all attended a studio course at the Working Mens College in Camden with Adrian as their teacher.

The sunshine of the outside burst through windows of the gallery space which was neatly assembled. It was great to have Adrian there to tell me a bit about the different artists who were exhibiting their work. The diversity of the artists was quite frankly refreshing and reflected into their art.

Another artist commented: “The exhibition was good too from a social aspect as it was nice to relax at the end of the day with some of the other people on the workshop.”