Like many artists, Judith Stroud, who features in this month’s Online Exhibition is mindful of environmental issues and creative in her approach to recycling and reusing materials.
Two of the new processes she works with make use of entirely recycled materials, or a very high proportion of them:
For her Paper Sculpture Relief prints she uses 100% recycled paper (surplus paper from misprints, damaged, old or discoloured prints) which is torn up and pulped. She uses a second-hand food processor to make the pulp herself and finishes each piece by hand using vintage artist watercolours, inherited when she was 11 years old from her Great Uncle Wilfrid, a Victorian lepidopterist.
She uses the same watercolours in other printmaking processes including making the rice-paste colours for her Japanese woodblock prints.
With Judith’s innovative ‘Jigsaw Linocut’ method of working, she is able to reuse even very small pieces of vinyl off-cuts ensuring waste is kept to a minimum.
Swansea Print Workshop has always encouraged and supported creativity and innovation in environmental approaches across the organization and through individual artist members.
In 2011, SPW officially adopted the BIG Safe method of etching – an alternative etching method offering the same level of results as traditional materials without exposure to hazardous chemicals. We have continued to champion this process, offering regular training opportunities through our Workshop Programme. Artwork using the BIG Safe etching process will be featuring in our Online Exhibition Programme later this year.
Through artist member Rose Davies, SPW has for several years supported and hosted ‘Leftovers’, an annual international touring exhibition for miniature artworks. This idea originated from Wingtip Press based in Idaho as a way to make use of small scraps of leftover quality paper. Due to the pandemic, calls for the exhibition are currently on hold. More images from exhibitions in 2018, 2017 and 2012 on our Visiting Exhibition page.
In 2010, our young volunteers selected a theme – Going, Going, Not Quite Gone – based on endangered species in Wales to deliver their Outreach printmaking workshops for their Community Arts project. More information can be seen on their project blog and our Completed Project pages.
As part of our fundraising efforts, SPW was a regular participant in the annual Swansea Green Fayre, offering for sale our Green Spot products made by volunteers. Items including handmade boxes, notebooks and gift tags are created from upcycled and recycled materials such as misprinted artwork and old collagraph plates.
SPW regularly reviews its environmental approach and we are always interested to hear about any innovation and creativity in printmaking which has an environmental element.