World Printmakers’ Print Workshop Central

Online resources for fine-art printmaking workshops

Fyns Grafiske Vaerksted, Odense, Denmark

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A Printmaking Haven in Odense for More Than Three Decades

Established over 30 years ago, Fyns Grafiske Værksted in Odense, Denmark, is an exceptionally well-organised and creative environment for printmaking.

It has over 275 members, and continues to attract professional artists from all over the world.  Applications for membership are considered twice yearly by members of the Workshop Committee. Once accepted, members have 24-hour access to the facilities for an annual fee of only 500 DK Kr (68 euro). All profits go straight back to the workshop to improve and maintain facilities there. A gallery on site also promotes and sells prints, thereby generating support for the workshop and it’s artists, and promoting printmaking to a wider audience.

The studio is well equipped and very accessible. Facilities include equipment for etching, relief printing, lino/woodcut and lithography. Traditional and contemporary techniques come together in the workshop, as members with many different backgrounds and skills work alongside each other. There are several short courses each year in various printmaking techniques to further enable this exchange of knowledge. Experimentation and invention are welcome!

The workshop has strong links with other printmaking studios around the world, and participates in frequent artist exchanges and residencies. There are also firm connections with the local art academy.

Coming Soon

4th December 2008 – 27th February 2009

December in Dublin.
30 grafikere viser under temaet
“My Heart Belongs to…”
nye grafiske værker på National Print Museum i Dublin.

This exhibition will feature around 80 original etchings, collographs, photogravure, woodcuts, and drypoint prints in conjunction with the Funen Graphic Workshop in Odense.

The exhibition will build on an important link between Denmark and Ireland.
Up to 30 Danish artists, all members of the Funen Graphic workshop, will participate in the exhibition which is supported generously by the Embassy of Denmark in Ireland.

Grafik fra serien "ane-billeder" af Birgitte Lykke Madsen. Aquatinte, xerolito og chin collé. 2008.

Grafik fra serien

.

An Interview with Birgitte Lykke Madsen, Director

We pride ourselves on maintaining a very welcoming and friendly environment…

Q: It seems that your studio stands out in a couple of respects:

  • It is open only to selected professional artists.
  • It puts some emphasis on sales of their work.

Is that a correct impression? If so, how did this orientation come about?
A: Yes, it’s true that the workshop is for professional artists only, and it has been this way from the beginning. We do also work hard to sell the artwork that is produced here, both to support our members and to fund the daily expenses of the workshop. But there is also great emphasis on the many links to other printmaking workshops and artistic communities, in Denmark, Europe and beyond.

Q: Is Fyns Grafiske Vaerksted a public or private studio? How is it financed?
A: The workshop is a “self-made” institution, made 30 years ago by artists. Today it is 25% financed from members fee (500 DK kr. a year, which is cheap!), 25% from sold graphic, 25% from the community and the rest from funds.

Q: Could you tell us the secrets of selling your artists’ work?
A: Our gallery is a very friendly and highly organised place! We have a folio for every member, and so stock an incredibly wide range of art. Those working in the gallery are artists themselves, and can find prints that cater for every need. We are all passionate about what goes on here, and anyone who is interested in the techniques behind the work can gain a lot by a visit to our workshop and gallery.

Q: Your website mentions the possibility of having “an exhibition in your workplace…” What is that about?
A: The gallery is in very close proximity to the adjacent print workshops… so I think it’s very interesting for anyone coming to see the prints, to get a glimpse of ‘behind the scenes’ at where the work comes from.  Anyone who is a member has the opportunity to exhibit in the gallery.

Q: How many printmakers are currently active in FGV?
A: 280 members now – and 50 of these live outside of Denmark, therefore they are not here at the same time. They book the presses in advance.

Q: In what media do your artists work?
A: There are many different techniques practiced here, ranging from etching, lithography, collagraphy, monoprinting and photo-etching. It is also a place of experimentation, with our members sharing their knowledge and experiences with each other, and we run several courses each year to develop and share skills.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about the origins of the studio?
A: The workshop is a “self-made” institution, made 30 years ago by artists because of needs of presses and a place to meet and discuss. The town gave us this small place, which at that time was badly located, but today the city has developed and we are situated in the best part – next to the House of Hans Christian Andersen….

Q: What do your artists like best about your studio? What do they complain about?
A: We pride ourselves on maintaining a very welcoming and friendly environment, which is also very professionally organised. There is definitely a strong feeling of mutual support here, but also great freedom to continue with one’s own work and interests. Twenty-four-hour access means all the artist’s can work at their own pace, which is very important. The biggest problem is artists digging holes in the inks.  J

Q: Your studio has a tradition of artist exchanges. How did this come about. How do you come in contact with the exchange artists? How does the exchange program work? What do you consider the benefits of exchanging artists with studios from other countries?
A: With 280 artists we have a lot of contact with other countries. The connections have been made by natural network. Today we offer and expect the same possibilities for our artists:  we offer free studio and support, cheap accommodation and nice comrades J and we expect the same from the studios we are involved with.

It’s obviously very beneficial to see how other studios are run, and the variation in techniques that are practiced there. It’s important as well to be open to feedback and criticism about our own workshop and activities, so that we can adapt and improve to best suit the need. Many of our members have seen their own work develop in new ways with the input from exchange artists… It’s always good to be occasionally challenged with something new!

Q: Could you please tell us more about the big Danish print exhibit in Dublin next winter? How did it come about? Who participates? Your website mentions 30  artists from the Fyns Grafiske Vaerksted. How are the participating artists selected?
A: The connection was made by one of our artists who had an exhibition there last year. She is now the curator on that exhibition and has picked out the artists. There is no harm about this, because we try to select various from one exhibition to another.

Q: In your opinion, what are the principal problems and issues facing printmakers today?
A: There is sometimes not enough distinction made between ‘printers’ and ‘printmakers’…. many people don’t appreciate that prints can be as individual as paintings, and not just photographic ‘carbon copies’ of an image that the term print sometimes implies. Also many people have the misconception that printmaking is an old-fashioned ‘craft’, rather than fine art. True, many techniques have not changed much over the last century, but this is because they work well, and there’s no need for improvement! And at our workshop many members are mixing the old with the new, to produce modern and conceptual art. Many printmakers today have to fight to change this impression within the art scene that a media such as etching isn’t very ‘cool’. But as the artwork produced at FGV demonstrates, printmaking is a very individual and expressive media, and just because it doesn’t use state of the art technology, this does not mean that the finished result is any less worthy.

Q: In your opinion, what should printmakers be doing that they’re not?
A: Taking a break now and then 😉

Contact

Fyns Grafiske Værksted
Hans Jensens Stræde 18-20
5000 Odense C
Tlf.: 66 13 99 73
Website: http://fynsgv.dk
Email: fynsgrafiskevaerksted@mail.dk

Written by Michael Booth

July 14, 2008 at 5:57 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Hello, Enjoyed reading the above, the images are beautiful.
    Will definatly go to exhibit and bring the class I teach.

    Aoife Dwyer

    November 3, 2008 at 4:38 pm

  2. Hello, I am a printmaker in lithography, woodcut and mixed techniques and will be moving to Denmark near German border this June. Enjoyed reading about your printshop, your mandate and activities. I would like to become a member of FGV. How does one go about that?

    Thanks for replying!

    Brigitte

    Brigitte Potter-Mael

    May 23, 2010 at 9:43 pm

  3. Hello from Australia,I am a printermaker travelling to Denmark in june 2011.I am searching for a print workshop to participate in around june 15. Can you help? thank-you. Notification required as soon as possible. Kind regards Yvonne

    yvonne moloney

    April 19, 2011 at 5:30 am


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