With Futures week on 27/01/2014 – 31/01/2014, the Avenue Campus was absolutely buzzing with a complete spectrum of artists, lecturers and activity workshops all of which would help with ideas or thoughts for a promising future of when students become post graduates. It was by chance that I paid attention to the colour posters on the wall in the rear entrance to the Maidwell building, which read ‘Graphics & Illustration, Stephen Fowler, Printmaking Workshop’. I decided to be brave and attend the workshop without listing my name and without being on the graphics and illustration course, as the magic word to me was ‘printmaking’. That Friday on 31 January at 10am, for myself as a non graphic student in today’s terms I gate crashed the printmaking workshop given by Stephan Fowler, and lucky for me because there were some non attendees my name was added to the list among the names of the students that were in attendance.
The scene was set, Stephen Fowler appeared as a gentle professor in charge of a nostalgic looking record player and a range of vinyl records in their original sleeves displaying all manner of graphic artwork, together with his well stocked toolkit of other versatile implements such as erasers, pipe lagging, and potatoes – the list was endless, this also included much of his own work in the form of small printed books and fold out sheets. Finally the vinyl records were unleashed on the record player for approximately a minute to the students who had to envisage in their minds thoughts/feelings that the music inspired them to produce a record sleeve to compliment the music.
The first album that was played I found was more inspirational to me, and so armed with the water based inks supplied by Stephen Fowler, I maintained my pathway of the fine art route and continued to use the traditional style of working onto a metal plate to print the image by use of the printing press, whilst other students used non printing press methods. As a result of taking a chance by going along to the workshop, not only did I have a fun day with other enthusiastic fellow printmakers but I created for me an image totally outside the box to my style of printing, which was an opportunity nearly missed.
Ps I went away with the potatoes for tea.