World Printmakers’ Print Workshop Central

Online resources for fine-art printmaking workshops

londonprintstudio, London, U.K.

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Some images from lps

Some images from lps

Latest News from lps – A Position Open

londonprintstudio, gallery – printstudio – digitalstudio is recruiting an Operations Manager

Responsible for day-to-day service management; resource coordination, administration and management of staff at londonprintstudio, an internationally acclaimed arts resource.

Ensuring that staff are supported in the delivery of high quality goods and services. Representing the organisation to arts funders and senior gallery, museum and academic staff.

Full time, permanent contract.

Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm (35 hrs/ wk).

£31,527 per annum (including London Weighting).

Deadline for applications: 5 March 09.

Interview date: 19 March 09.

Download an application pack at;

For more information contact John Phillips, Director. Tel.020 8969 3247.

londonprintstudio is committed to equality through equal opportunities. All staff are required to have a Criminal Records Bureau check. Applicants should ensure that they are eligible to work in the UK.

A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales number 2519846. Registered Charity number 1006900

About lps

londonprintstudio is a small not-for-profit organisation that provides educational resources in the graphic arts for artists, community organizations, education institutions and the public.

londonprintstudio Mission Statement

londonprintstudio promotes printmaking and the graphic arts through education, exhibitions and the provision of resources.

londonprintstudio’s values:

  • access
  • creativity
  • diversity
  • excellence
  • flexibility

What We Do

londonprintstudio provides a wide range of services to artists and the public, including:

  • gallery exhibitions and education programmes.
  • open-access to printmaking and computer graphics facilities
  • courses and training programmes
  • innovative education projects.
  • volunteer traineeship programme.
  • digital services.
  • editioning projects.
  • MA and Postgraduate Diploma in Printmaking and Professional Practice (in partnership with the University of Brighton)

londonprintstudio Projects

londonprintstudio develops projects promoting visual and graphic arts education. We regularly work in partnership with other organisations. If you belong to an organisation and have a project proposal that you think may be suitable, please tell us about it.

Examples of londonprintstudio projects are outlined below.

2005-06 I’m A Curator with Queen’s Park Community School.

Students worked with londonprintstudio Gallery Coordinator to develop an exhibition of prints in londonprintstudio gallery. The students explored curating, marketing and sales strategies and printmaking techniques. Selected prints created by GCE and BCSE students using the facilities at londonprintstudio were exhibited in the gallery space.

What’s Important to Me, in partnership with Photoworks Westminster.
Following a very successful photographic project with Photoworks Westminster and an exhibition at londonprintstudio, students from North Westminster Community School developed photoshop and design skills to produce digital images from photographic portraits. The images were presented in a notebook as a record of the project.

2004-05 I’m a Designer, in partnership with Connect Youth, British Council.

londonprintstudio developed and ran a graphic design training programme for young adults who had no previous training or experience of working in design. As part of the project the group addressed Connect Youth’s need to improve its marketing and communications strategy to young audiences. This informal and supportive programme developed the participants’ design, communication and team-work skills. The trainees designed a series of posters, which were subsequently printed and distributed nationally, to promote Connect Youth’s programmes.

2000 Our World Tomorrow
A programme of forty-eight artists’ residencies in local schools. Students explored ideas of social change, which might occur between 2000 and 2020. 2,000 children participated in the project. Each of them created a book about their own hopes and fears, as a record for the future.

2000-02 Our World Today:
A large-scale international public art programme, of exhibitions from: Ireland, Brazil, Spain, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Morocco. The work was exhibited in londonprintstudio’s gallery window and twenty-five other local sites including schools, cafes and sports centres. A number of artists’ residencies in schools accompanied the project.

1999 Alphabetland Childrens Book
by Artist Randy Klein and pupils of Wilberforce Primary School. Randy Klein ran a series of creative workshops with students looking at language and communication. They developed pictures and text for a children’s story book. Alphabetland Book was published by londonprintstudio and distributed free to all children in two local primary schools. The project was funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Queen’s Park URBAN.

1998 The Paddington Development Trust was set up through Westbourne 2000. The Trust established a close working partnership between community organisations, the local authority and the private sector. In 1999 it successfully gained £13 million from the Single Regeneration Budget grant for regeneration in North Westminster and has attracted support from a broad range of trusts and sponsors.

1997 Westbourne 2000 London Print Workshop was instrumental in bringing together local arts and voluntary organisations with the intention of building closer working links between them. The Studio became the lead organisation coordinating the activities of Westbourne 2000 a local consortium working to a joint regeneration agenda.

1994 UK Brazil Printmakers Exchange In 1994 London Print Workshop organised an artists exchange which enabled five Brazilian and five British artists to visit each others countries, work in printstudios and organise exhibitions.

1991 Illuminating Shadows
. A Manual on Photography and Disability by Ray Cooper. Researched and produced by London Print Workshop, this manual provides detailed descriptions of adaptations to assist people with disabilities to work with cameras, studio and darkroom equipment.

1989 J’ouvert. A national touring exhibition and print publishing project in which artists, performers and costume designers created limited edition prints on the theme of carnival.

1982 North Paddington Farm. A fifty acre working farm in Somerset was established by Paddington Printshop to facilitate closer links between the neighbourhood and the rural environment. Local people are able to visit, live and work on the farm.

1981 Bustop
. The world’s first audiovisual bus shelter, designed and built by Jay Talbot and John Phillips was located outside Paddington Printshop. Bustop displayed a community newspaper, postcards and posters. During the day the Bustop played music and at night showed films and slides.

1977 Meanwhile Gardens. Paddington Printshop assisted artist Jamie McCullock to transform a derelict area of land along the side of the Grand Union Canal into a community park called Meanwhile Gardens.

1976 The Factory (now Yaa Asantewaa Arts Centre). The Studio was originally based in The Factory and helped to establish it as one of the first multicultural arts centres in London.

A Long Interview with John Phillips,
Director of the londonprintstudio

Q: The LPS website describes itself as “a small not-for-profit organization that provides educational resources in the graphic arts for artists, community organizations, education institutions and thepublic.” This is the first studio we’ve seen which defines itself as “providing educational resources.” Does this orientation explain, at least in part, the studio’s excellence and success?

A: The studio’s success is primarily due to it being a client-centred organisation. It exists to support artists and communities, and adapts itself to achieve this aim. Education is a means of empowering people to make informed choices, the better the quality of education provided the better choices people are able to make.

Excellence is a tricky term that that is easily misinterpreted. It is best applied in specific contexts where it is possible to compare like with like. You can have an excellent editioning studio, or equally an excellent community press. What makes each one excellent will, to a large degree, be what makes them different from each other.

With the exception of the bookkeeper, everyone working at the londonprintstudio trained as an artist. The majority see themselves as practitioners.

Q: LPS values are listed on the website as:

  • access
  • creativity
  • diversity
  • excellence
  • flexibility

Is there a method for assuring that these values get implemented? Where does the input come from? Do you have regular staff meetings to elicit ideas and keep on track?

A: By stating a set of values we aim to identify expectations that people should have of the organisation. The list has grown out of internal discussions between staff and board members. It is an expression of how the participants in the organisation see its role.

We hold regular meetings to plan work, less frequent meetings to discuss shifts in agendas, and continuous conversations about ideas and possible projects. The studio is a ‘broad church’ in which different individuals hold different priorities that are reconciled within a common environment. That’s not an excuse for lack of clarity, rather an endorsement of Fuzzy Logic.

Q: In what part of London is LPS located?

A: West London, close to Westbourne Park/Notting Hill

Q: How many artists work at the studio currently?

A: Between 400 and 500 registered users of the open access facilities,plus people who attend courses, do training sessions, and come to exhibitions and events that are open to all.

Q: What printmaking equipment does the studio have?

A: Screenprinting, blockprinting, intaglio, lithography, inkjet printing, computer graphics facilities (there are two equipment lists on the website – one for traditional the other for digital equipment.

Q: Your offering includes “digital services.” Would you please give us your take on digital work? Do you treat it as printmaking (limited editions, signed and numbered) or in a category apart? Is digital work just the last step in the evolution of printmaking, as screen printing was in the middle of the 20th century, or is it something entirely different, outside of the tradition? Do you distinguish between digital originals and digital copies? Are you concerned about unfair competition from sellers of digital copies passing them off as “art prints?”

A: Artists make prints in different media, they employ different marketing strategies – limited editions, unsigned posters etc. The studio’s role is to facilitate artists to make their own choices in these matters. The staff team as a whole is skilled in both traditional and digital media in order that it can offer education and
support across a range of diverse needs.

Q: You also collaborate with other organizations on “projects.” Could you describe a couple of your recent favorites? I was impressed, for example, with your North Paddington Farm project. Is it still running? How is it going? Isn’t this a bit far afield for an inner-city printmaking workshop? How did you manage to bring it off? Surely there’s an interesting story behind this one!

A: The farm grew out of a recognition that many people living in the neighbourhood had rural backgrounds, but as migrants to the UK had little access to the countryside. It still limps along, but has rather faded from the picture. The studio grew out of 1960’s and 70’s community activism. It’s primary concern was to effect positive change within an economically deprived, yet culturally rich environment.

Print was a vehicle for mobilisation. The printshop, because it serviced a wide-range of people and  organisations, established new networks that fed into these community-based initiatives. The printshop became an initiator and supporter of a number of local spaces including a community gardens and a women’s centre. Each of these projects sought to create an environment that people could control for themselves and through which they could develop. Akin, if you like, to Matisse’s proposition of the ‘artwork as an armchair’ projected onto an urban canvas. The largest collaborative project, initiated by the studio, began around 1996 when we proposed that local arts and community groups begin to work collaboratively on a united regeneration strategy for the neighbourhood. Within two years thisinitiative led to the formation Paddington Development Trust , which over the past ten years has raised and distributed over £30 million to local community-based organisations in the area.

In the late 1980’s the Paddington Printshop became London Print Workshop. It continued to support community-based projects, and widened its remit by establishing a space that would directly benefit artists (and in particular artists making prints).

Q: You were actually the founder of the forerunner of the LPS, the Paddington Printshop, which you founded 34 years ago in 1974 with Pippa Smith. This is a long history. Are you the first one to be surprised at how long it’s lasted and where it has taken you and the studio? What elements of the Paddington philosophy still remain today in LPS?

A: I’m very surprised that it took off in the first place, and even more so that it’s lasted so long. But the aim was always to be there for the ‘long-haul’. The opposite strategy, if you like, to the community artist parachuting into a neighbourhood to paint clown faces on kids for a summer festival.

The studio, in one sense, grew from two types of organisation. The Mas Camp on the one hand and the Community Press on the other. I’ll try to explain. Mas Camps (Mas = Masquerade) are spaces where people come together to make carnival costumes. When Pippa and I came to the area, Notting Hill Carnival (which is now the largest street party in Europe) was a small community affair. We discovered Mas Camps in people’s houses, church halls and ‘disused’ factories. They were places where, for two or three months each year, people gathered after their day jobs to sew, build, glue and chat the nights away. They were industrious, raucous, welcoming and sharing. Community presses were earnest, inky and somewhat impoverished in design ideas. Pippa and I simply brought the two concepts together, to create a community press with the spirit and design interest of a Mas Camp.

Of course many things have changed over three and a half decades, but the underplaying ethos remains. The studio’s current mission statement, which is not yet up on the website is ‘to empower people and communities through practical engagement in the visual and graphic arts’. I spent last weekend jumping-up’ with the same Carnival band that we started working with 34 years ago. Some things don’t change.

Q: How did the transition from one to the other come about?

A: The process has been iterative (a posh word for going round in circles while simultaneously moving on– like a spiral through time). As I described above, Paddington Printshop, influenced by Atelier Popular, Cuban graphics and carnival, sought to employ print in community activism and encouraged people to make their own graphics for their causes. It also used its networks to set-up and support new community initiatives. London Print Workshop widened this brief in the 1990’s and sought to create a space that would support visual artists too. Following the creation of a purpose-built studio, which opened in 2000, it became possible to consolidate these strands and create an organisation that is able to move between the ‘gallery’ and the ‘street’.

Q: Presumably a publicly-funded print studio has to deal over the years with elected officials of all sorts? Is there a secret to navigating those choppy waters? What is it?

A: Elected individuals rarely stay around for long enough to affect things. Political regimes are more long-lasting and do affect the climate.

Four principles of survival:

  1. Always remember that you are only as good as your last joke
  2. Practice the art of flexible tenacity
  3. Always carry sufficient cards up your sleeve to be able to stay in the game when the banker changes the rules
  4. (Most important of all) Do things that carry real meaning for the people you work with.

Q: Is public funding considered to be recession proof?

A: No, especially in London when all of the Sports Sponsors have pulled out of 2012 and the Olympic budget is Going for Gold.

Q: Your “volunteer traineeship program” looks very innovative. Your site says of it: “The volunteer traineeship programme provides practical work experience and develops skills appropriate to the coordination and running of an open access artists resource and gallery. This is a volunteer post. The volunteer will assist in the day-to-day running of the reception, gallery, print studio and digital studio.” Can you tell us how long it has been running, and how many volunteers have been through the program? Do you know what percentage of these trainees eventually find positions in printmaking studios?

Would you recommend similar initiatives to other well-established print workshops?

A. Alas nobody asks us to collect these stats, and as we have so many other figures to record, we haven’t tracked this scheme. Anecdotally however we know that a high proportion of people who have gone throughthe programme have found work in the arts sector. It’s been running for over ten years and has probably had around 60 people on it.

Perhaps more than anything else the Traineeship gives graduates confidence, and, by enabling them to put their skills into practice, provides them with practical experience that is useful in interviews. But it is very much a two-way process that makes demands on staff. It is necessary to train people in a variety of areas, which is time consuming. One key benefit for the organisation is that there is always a significant pool of current or recent Trainees who are familiar with the studio’s systems and who can be employed on projects or for emergency cover. Yes, I would recommend it to other studios, with the proviso that the studio will only benefit if the traineesthemselves are benefiting, and that means putting commitment and resources into the programme.

Q: It’s admirable how you maximize the use of your resources. Your summer residency program, for example, with discount rates for the studio’s services for mainly foreign visitors. Is that it? How long has it been running? Are you satisfied with its results?

A: We put the scheme together about two years ago. A Trainee, who wasvisiting from overseas, devised it. Actually the residency operatesall year round (we need to update the website) It formalises something that has been happening for a number of years – people coming to London to work at lps during their vacations. Over the years we have run many international residencies, often working in partnership with other organisations. This scheme provides artists with a focus during their stay and a base from which to explore the city. It works well for both the visitors and other studio users.

Q: Do you find that some of the young people who come into LPS through the digital studio later take an interest in traditional print media?

A: One of the outcomes that most surprised me after setting up the new facility in 2000 was the growth of interest in traditional techniques and a corresponding fall-off in use of computers. Perhaps this is aninevitable response to digital ubiquity. Many designers who have grown-up with pixels have a strong desire to work with tangible physical processes.

Q: How successful is your gallery in selling prints for your artists?

A: It isn’t especially successful, compared to other activities. It is the one area of turnover that didn’t grow with the move to the new building. It is difficult to quantify exactly why this might be. One factor is the level of competition, their are many opportunities to buy art in London. Another is that selling art requires considerable risk and commitment, which doesn’t sit easily with the studio’s education and charitable remit. English charity law is more restrictive in this respect than say Scottish law.

Q: Is there anything we have forgotten, anything else you’d like to mention here?

A: Yes, the studio’s birthday is the 1st of May.


425 Harrow Road
London W10 4RE, U.K.
Tel: 020 8969 3247
Fax: 020 8964 0008

Written by Michael Booth

May 21, 2008 at 6:54 am

One Response

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  1. i found this site looking for the american artist Randy Klein. met him at the FIT in New York in the 70’s.can you tell me if this is the same one/=? thank you. ursula.

    ursula schmitz

    January 11, 2009 at 3:14 am

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