World Printmakers’ Print Workshop Central

Online resources for fine-art printmaking workshops

Wharepuke Print Studio, Kerikeri, New Zealand

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Mark Graver\'s Wharepuke Print Studio
Mark Graver’s Wharepuke Print Studio

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Wharepuke Print Studio and Gallery, Kerikeri New Zealand

Run by Mark Graver, a professional artist and qualified art teacher, (Leeds Polytechnic BA Fine Art and Camberwell College of Arts London MA Printmaking) the Wharepuke Print Studio is a fully equipped printmaking workshop specialising in non toxic printmaking techniques with an emphasis on acrylic resist etching.

The studio, on The Stone Store Hill in historic Kerikeri in The Bay of Islands, is unique in New Zealand in its total dedication to safer printmaking practices and is set within the two hectares of the award winning Garden of Regional Significance, Wharepuke Subtropical Garden. Wharepuke caters for all levels of experience and offers a range printmaking courses, workshops and services to professional artists and the public.

Facilities include

  • Conrad Geared Press – bed size 915x1752mm
  • Sakura Etching press – bed size 470mm x 800mm (purchased with the aid of a Birgit Skiold Memorial Trust grant)
  • Vandercook No.1 Letter Press
  • Acrylic Aquatint spray booth
  • UV Exposure unit
  • Akua water based inks
  • Vertical etching tank

Courses and Artists Holidays

Groups can contact the studio to arrange tailor made courses and on site accommodation is available in self contained Eco cottages (see www.accommodation-bay-of-islands.co.nz for details). Holiday packages and suggested itineraries can also be put together to allow for printmaking courses and time spent seeing the sights around the beautiful Bay of Islands.

Open Access to Print Studio

A supervised Open Access Facility is available for those with proven previous experience of acrylic resist techniques or on completion of an induction course. Artists are able to hire time in the studio on an open access basis. Times vary, contact studio for details.

Collaborative Print Projects

Professional artists wishing to make prints are welcome to contact the studio to discuss collaborative projects.

Gallery, Collaborations

A gallery within the studio showcases prints and paintings by Mark Graver and planned is a purpose built gallery space for print exhibitions exchanges etc. Collaborations and exchanges with other print studios and artists from around the world are actively sought.

Visiting Artists Workshops

A longer term plan is to have visiting artists coming to run special workshops and to introduce an artist in residence scheme whereby an artist can come and stay at Wharepuke to produce prints, give talks, exhibit and take workshops.

Wharepuke Print Studio and Gallery

190 Kerikeri Road Kerikeri
New Zealand
www.nontoxic-printmaking.co.nz

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Interview with Mark Graver, Artist and Master Printer,
Wharepuke Print Studio & Gallery

Q: Mark, we want to talk about print workshops this morning. How were you formed as a printmaker?

A: I was very fortunate to be able to learn from tutors, peers and visiting artists during my student days at Leeds Polytechnic and Camberwell College of Arts, London. I’ve also worked in open access studios in Yorkshire, Edinburgh and London so gained an insight into set ups that way.
Q: What do you consider to be the most important lessons you learned in the years before you set up your own shop?

A: Learning and researching the new safer non toxic techniques and practices on which the studio is based. The Wharepuke Print Studio is the only dedicated non toxic studio in New Zealand.
Q: Now that you’ve been up and running for a year or so, have you learned some lessons of your own? Want to tell us about them?

A: There have been a few technical issues to overcome. The climate here is subtropical (warm and damp) which isn’t really conducive to working with paper. This has been overcome by having a separate drying room for the prints that can be dehumidified.


Q: What the hardest thing to achieve in a print workshop startup?

A: The hardest thing was sourcing the materials needed for non toxic techniques in New Zealand. I have to bring a lot of things in from Australia and I use Akua Inks from USA. We do though act as a distributor for Akua in NZ now.
Q: Are there specific problems/limitations inherent in being located a long way from the European and American printmaking mainstream? Do you work with anyone from Australia. That would seem to make sense, no?

A: The main use of the studio is as a place for me to make my own work so I can offer courses and workshops when I want to. We are therefore not reliant on others using the space. Since opening publicly in March 20008 I have been contacted by printmakers from around the world. Australia is an important market too and we’ve been contacted by Australian printmakers wanting to come for courses. We have on site, self contained cottage accommodation here too so can offer holiday packages.
Q: Presumably being far away makes things more expensive. I’m thinking in terms, for example, of flying over workshop teachers and resident artists. How does that work. Is there sponsorship available for that, either from the government or New Zealand businesses?

A: It’s tough yes! We are arranging for Dan Welden, the solarplate specialist, to come from the States for a workshop but the funding request was refused so we have to pay him from workshop fees. I’ve also been in touch with Keith Howard but again without the funding we can’t manage to bring these people here. I shall be doing further research into how we can fund future workshops. One way is to have printmakers who happen to be coming to NZ anyway perhaps running courses as is potentially happening with some Australian contacts. Hopefully by building up these networks I can travel to other places to run workshops too!
Q: Do your teaching and workshop responsibilities leave you any time for your own work? How do you deal with that question?

A: Primarily the studio is used for my own work. I can arrange courses to suit and work in with when people want to come for a course. I’ve had a lot of interest in Professional Development courses for other tutors with people travelling up from Invercargill and from Auckland. We also work with groups that want to come and can tailor courses to suit their times and requirements i.e. whether it’s a holiday with some printmaking or a more intensive workshop.
Q: Have you had your first artist in residence yet?

A: We don’t actually offer a residency programme as such – it’s a funding issue again! – but I have been approached by an artist from Australia who wants a 3 week stay with a course and workshop access so I’m in the process of working this out for them. We are looking into the possibilities of other residencies taking place on the property and working with other organisations to implement them. We may have residencies available for writers, musicians and painters in the future if it comes together.
Q: You mentioned earlier your desire to “internationalize” your workshop. Could you explain in some detail what exactly you mean by that?

A: Basically it’s about getting the place known and recognised internationally and about building connections and networks with artists and studios from around the world. I’ve always found the printmaking community to be very inclusive and mutually supportive and I believe the best way to promote printmaking in New Zealand is by fostering links abroad and by working on some collaborative projects be they exhibitions or exchanges.
Q: Kerikeri, where you’re located, is near the northern tip of New Zealand’s north island, the most tropical part of the country. How far are you from Auckland, the capital? And from the other principal cities? Are there ways you can attract clients, course participants and perhaps sponsors from those other New Zealand cities? Have you tried?

A: We’re three and a half hours by road from Auckland – but Wellington’s the capital! Kerikeri also has an airport, so by plane it’s only about half an hour from Auckland and you can get to Wellington in about and hour and a half flying, about twelve hours to drive!

But I’ve had someone travel from Invercargill for a Professional Development print course – that’s a the bottom of the South Island so about as far away as you can get from here while still being in the same country!
Q: Is there a Maori art movement in New Zealand, similar to the aborigine art movement in Australia. Is it something your studio might get involved with?

A: We have something here called Toi Iho TM a registered trade mark used to promote and sell authentic, quality Maori arts and crafts. Toi IhoTM has also been designed to authenticate exhibitions and performances of Maori arts by Maori artists. As a studio we welcome all cultures here to make the work they wish.
Q: Thanks for talking with us, Mark. Before we go, is there anything else you want to add?

A: The next project I hope to get started is the creation of an educational DVD and handbook and a series of free on line printmaking tutorials. I have two funding proposals submitted for this project and am waiting on the outcome. This will be a way of supplementing the courses here and spreading information on non toxic printmaking.

Contact Details

Mark Graver
Wharepuke Print Studio
190 Kerikeri Road
Kerikeri
Bay of Islands,
Northland,
New Zealand
Ph. (09) 40 78933
Website: http://www.nontoxic-printmaking.co.nz
Email: info@nontoxic-printmaking.co.nz

Written by Michael Booth

July 9, 2008 at 11:01 am

4 Responses

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  1. i mr. viraj naik is a printmaker and would like to join the studio as a residence artist for a period of month. please do direct me ahead procedure to join.
    thanking you,
    faithfully yours,

    viraj naik

    viraj naik

    March 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    • Dear Viraj
      I would love to make contact with you and discuss your hybrid creatures. If you have some time will you drop me an email.
      Thanks!

      Suraj Sonti

      October 16, 2010 at 5:57 am

  2. Hello Mark- I contacted you last year but never made it up to your area. Hopefully sometime this year. You seem to have a wonderful setup- A dream I hope to fulfill when I move back to NZ. Keep up the great printmaking work. Cheers- Melissa

    Mleissa Wright

    February 15, 2011 at 6:52 pm


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