World Printmakers’ Print Workshop Central

Online resources for fine-art printmaking workshops

Graphic Studio Dublin, Ireland

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The Largest and Oldest Fine-Art Print Studio in Ireland

Our Workshop Facilities

Graphic Studio Dublin is in a four-storey building which was formerly a distillery granary (total area 650sq metres

Graphic Studio Dublin

Ground floor (approx 150sq m workshop area)

At ground floor level we have the following etching facilities and storage space:

  • Acid room, including a spit bite area, plate cleaning and de-greasing area, and the acid cabinets. The largest acid tray fits a maximum plate size of 1800mm x 950mm.
  • Aquatint Room.  The aquatint box fits a maximum plate size of 1000mm x 700mm.

Main floor area

  • This includes work tables, a stop-out area, two guillotines, copper and paper storage, maintenance work area, and litho stone storage.

First floor

At first.floor level we have the main administrative office, print room, digital print area, kitchen and toilet facilities.

  • Print room.The print room is a multi function space which houses print editions in eight plan chests and can be used as a clean area to display prints. It currently also houses our extensive print archive. This space is also used as a meeting room, a lecture and education room, and for other activities such as life drawing.
  • Digital print area. This area is currently being fitted out and will house computers and digital printers for members use. Internet access is also provided for members here.
  • Kitchen/library.  The kitchen is where members have their meals and relax. Here we also have a library, which includes mainly print related books, technical and reference books etc (some 500 in all).
GSD's new studio

GSD's new studio

2nd Floor (approx 150-square-metre workshop area)

  • The Lithography area and three etching presses, including our largest.
  • We have currently got two lithography presses both of which can accommodate stones of up to 600mm x 1000mm in size.
  • We have funding in place to buy a new Takach press which will have a bed size of 1800mm x 1000mm. The graining sink is 1360mm x 1050mm.
  • The studio has approximately 140 lithography stones of various sizes of up to 1200mm x 90mm.
  • Etching presses.  The largest etching press bed is 2400mm x 1150mm. This press can also be used to print large relief prints. We have two other etching presses on this floor; bed sizes 1700mm x 790mm and 920mm x 460mm.

3rd Floor (approx. 150-square-metre workshop area)

  • On the third floor we have our relief printing area, most of our etching presses, and a print flattener.
  • Intaglio. There are four etching presses on the 3rd floor, bed sizes are; 1900mm x 790mm, 1500mm x 660mm, 1700mm x 790mm, and 920mm x 460mm. Of a total of 7 intaglio presses, all but the two smallest can also be used to print from lithographic plates, woodblocks, and lino.
  • In our relief printing area we have a Columbian press, bed size 860mm x 660mm, and an offset press, bed size, 960mm x 60mm.
  • The print flattening unit will take 67 prints 1050mm x 890mm in size, or many more of a smaller size.
  • Each member has a storage compartment for materials and one plan chest drawer on either of the top two floors. We also have toilet facilities on both these floors.


Robert Russell of Graphic Studio Dublin: “… digital prints… will have to adhere to printmaking ethics.”


Robert Russell at work

Q: Let’s give credit where credit is due. Who founded the Graphic Studio Dublin and under what circumstances?

A:  Graphic Studio Dublin (GSD) is the oldest fine art print studio in Ireland, established in 1960 to promote original printmaking and to foster traditional print techniques.  It was established by a small number of artists in a small basement in Mount Street, in Dublin’s south inner City.  It has since moved three more times, to its now permanent home at Distillery House.

Graphic Studio Dublin (an entirely artist-driven body) acquired new studios in 2007, at Distillery House, North Circular Road, Dublin 1.  Distillery House is a superb 7,000 square foot, four storey building, accommodating shared studio space for over 60 members, and programmes including the Visiting Artist Programme (working with 5-7 artists per annum).

Q: How many artists work at GSD?

A:  67 members, and other artists who work within programmes such as the Visiting Artists Programme.

Q: Your gallery, Grapic Gallery Dublin, is in another location in Temple Bar. Please tell us how this happened.

A:  Again, three members of the studio decided their practice was missing a public outlet.  Temporary premises were rented in the early 1980’s in Dublin City Centre, but a rent review prompted the purchase of an old leather factory in Temple Bar, Dublin 2 in 1988.  It was converted into a gallery, and has been thriving since.  It celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008.

Q: Your collaborative printmaking initiative sounds very ambitious. How did it come to take on such a scale? Where do the participating artists come from. What is the arrangement with them?

A:  We work with a maximum of 10 Visiting Artists per year.  Other artist members of our studios might individually sub-contract printers to do jobs for them…  Artists are sought through our programming staff, and separate contractual arrangements are made depending on the project.

Q: Your “About Us” page mentions that Graphic Studio Dublin is “supported by the Arts Council and IONA Technologies.” The latter part of this declaration sounds like a studio director’s dream come true: to be supported by a large software company. How did GSD achieve this?

A:  It evolved through the development of professional relationships with sponsorship personnel at IONA

Q: Your plans to have an online shop in 2009 is very interesting. Not many graphic studios have taken this step thus far. What prompted you to decide to do it?

A:  Demand.  With over 60 artists buying papers and inks, it made sense to offer them through the studio.  To make it efficient for staff, the online sales method means not having to chase people for outstanding cheques etc.  It also means we can hopefully train and equip more printmakers through our courses.

Q: I notice your website also includes an online presskit. We don’t see many of those, either. How did GSD, Ireland’s oldest print studio, happen to adapt so thoroughly to Internet culture?

A:  We have always considered ourselves as pioneers in certain areas of fine art printmaking.  Having a website that assists us with our international collaborations, is part of this.

Q: Your integration with other Irish cultural institutions (the National Gallery, the Chester Beatty Library) looks interesting. How was  this achieved? Is it a result of just being around for a long time, or did you actively go for it?

A:  In the mid 1990s some of our members actively sought to introduce a programme element to the work, which would enhance the studio and the artists within.  It has grown from an initial project in the National Gallery of Ireland in 1998.  Graphic Studio Dublin collaborates with major cultural partners in Ireland and abroad, including the National Gallery of Ireland, Chester Beatty Library, IMMA, National Museum of Ireland and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane to showcase the highest level of fine-art print-making (by our own members, and other international artists).  During the period 2009-2011 we will be liaising with international partners to co-produce exhibitions with Edinburgh Print Studios (Scotland), Centre Culturel D’Irlandaise, Paris (France), and the Municipal Gallery of Art, Gorlice, (Poland).

Q: Your website presents a limited-edition portfolio (“Revelation”) in a format called “Solander Box.” Where does this unusual term come from and what is its significance?

A:  Daniel Solander was an 18th century Swedish botanist who invented an archival box to store his botanical specimens at the British Museum.  His name has been given to an archival storage box used to house documents or fine art prints.

Q: Your “What is a Print” definition says: “A graphic or original print is the printed impression produced from a block, plate, stone or screen on which the artist who conceived the idea has worked.” This would seem to preclude digital work at the Graphic Studio Dublin. Is this correct?

A:  Digital work has not been possible at Graphic Studio Dublin up to this point due to lack of equipment.  However, during 2009, medium format printers are being acquired to assist printmakers working in new technologies.  However, as a fine art studio, digital prints, like traditional ones, will have to adhere to printmaking ethics.  Thus, editions will be limited, and be the original work of the artist making the print/s.


Graphic Studio Dublin

The oldest fine art print studio in Ireland, established 1960
Tel :+ 353 (0)1 817 0938
Distillery Court, Distillery House
537 North Circular Road
Dublin 1
Fax:+ 353 (0)1 817 0942

Written by Michael Booth

May 21, 2008 at 7:48 am

5 Responses

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  1. Hello!
    My name is Marjut Börjesson, I´m a member and former president of Grafik i Väst i Göteborg, Sweden, wich is a gallery owned by us artists. In the end of this month I´m going to visit Dublin and was thinking it might be interesting to pay you a visit at your graphic studio as well. Please, tell me if there is anyone in particular I should make contact with. Or is it possible for me just to stop and drop in? Could you please tell me at what adress I can find you?
    Thank you!
    Marjut Börjesson.

    Marjut Börjesson

    June 18, 2008 at 10:45 am

  2. Address above. We’de be delighted to show you our studios. We have great links with Sweden, and are happy to make more.


    Jackie Ryan

    November 13, 2008 at 2:16 pm

  3. hello, I am intersting in the opportunity to try print some new works in this studio and how to go there and stay there for some 3 WEEKS?
    thank you for answer


    Peter Kocák

    September 5, 2009 at 7:49 pm

  4. I am a master student at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. I would like to have a direct link with the artist Carmel Benson for my research on Irish Women Artists. Her work appeared in the exhibit “Revelation.” Could you please respond directly to my email?

    Thank-you for your support,
    Sonya Ocampo-Gooding

    Sonya Ocampo-Gooding

    February 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm

  5. Hello,

    I’m PHD graduate from Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, Poland. I would like to know if there is any possibility of getting a chance to work in your studio following The Visiting Artist Program?
    I would be very grateful if you could respond directly to my email.
    Best regards,
    Marianna Stuhr

    Marianna Stuhr

    February 28, 2011 at 11:45 am

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