Posted by: DmitriLogunov | March 4, 2010

Insects and the art of printmaking

Following a drawing day at the Museum in October 2009 led by course tutor Fiona Donald and printmaking lecturer Tim Rushton the BTEC Foundation Art and Design students from The Manchester College embarked on a series of prints developed from the drawings that they made. The drawings were evaluated both on the day and back at college to feed into subsequent projects including these prints which are 2-clour woodcuts created by a subtractive process.

The first colour (grey), is overprinted by a darker second impression of reduced area to give the black part of the image. The 2 colours are registered on a hand proofing press and the white areas are removed before any printing takes place.

The prints vary widely in composition and handling, some being delicate, some being more robust but this reflects the different qualities with which the individual students are inevitably blessed.

 2 – colour woodcut, 25cms x 23cms, Armaghan Parivar, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design

2 – colour woodcut, 20cms x 23cms, Ali Al-Arsan, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design

Drawing and Printmaking:

We place great importance on analytical drawing on the course because it underpins subsequent work that students produce and if the prints look good it is only because they concentrated hard on that which they were drawing. Some of the drawings were produced slowly yet once we felt that the group had had sufficient time to become confident with the objects we gave them the task of making a drawing in 2 minutes and then 1minute. The effect of reducing time in this way is to concentrate information gathering, increase the students’ power of discrimination and decision-making, leaving no time for the making of idle gestures. The subsequent “reduction” or conversion of the drawings into a form suitable for a printmaking technique is an invaluable discipline for the students to experience because the strengths and weaknesses of the original drawings can be evaluated throughout this process.


2 – colour woodcut, 18cms x 18cms, Yana Simakou, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design

2 – colour woodcut, 23cms x 20cms, Colleen Schafer, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design

BTEC Foundation Art and Design:

 The students on this course have been involved in a wide variety of extra-mural activities for many years. We have printed large scale backdrops for a dance event at Wythenshawe Forum, produced prints on siteat The Museum of Science and Industry and Victoria Baths, both in its early stages of restoration and more recent finished state. We have worked at Gorton Monastery, Astley Green Colliery Museum and have exhibited a series of etchings at Park Bridge Visitor Centre in Tameside.

2 – colour woodcut, 23cms x 20cms, Alwi  Tamimi, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design

Our students have been very successful in the “Inspired By” competition at Manchester City Gallery and have been regular exhibitors at the gallery producing work in response to the collection.


2 – colour woodcut, 23cms x 18cms, Rosaleen Marmion, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design

We are continually trying to raise the profile of our students work and would relish the opportunity to embrace an area of interactive new media by contributing prints to the Museum blog at the invitation of Henry McGhie. The blog has the potential to create a forum where students can engage with the public and other interested parties.

The success of the prints that the students have produced this time makes us feel that we can repeat a visit next academic year to the Museum but with a different outcome. Whereas woodcuts and monoprints were the outcome of this visit, next time we would like to produce a series of steel plate etchings which could be exhibited along with woodcuts, if this idea is well received, at the Museum in 2011.


 2 – colour woodcut, 18cms x 23cms, Judith Hetherington, Diploma in Foundation Studies Art & Design

We look forward to your ideas on this proposal and should you need more information please do not hesitate to contact me, Tim Rushton <>.



  1. I love all the art work above. Please keep it up guys!!!!

  2. Lovely prints!
    I´m from Spain and I studied at MANCAT ten years ago. It´s a fantastic school for studying Fine Arts, and they´ve great teachers. Fiona Donald is the best 😀 Congratulations!!

  3. Reblogged this on rojocuarzo and commented:
    Beautiful prints of students in MANCAT (2010) for the Manchester Museum.

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