I’ve just returned from Italy where I was teaching a linocut and letterpress workshop at Opificio della Rosa, a beautiful printmaking studio in a castle. The aim of the workshop was to produce a book, based on a narrative which each student had chosen.
The first two days were spent learning how to make marks with the linocut tools and playing with the wooden type to make colourful compositions. The approach to text and image was deliberately playful and I tried to encourage the students to experiment as much as possible and be open to new ideas.
On the third day the students discussed their chosen narratives, which ranged from a story about Pythagoras to a collection of animal noises from around the world. Then they began to plan the layout of their books.
Opificio della Rosa is an inspirational place to work, cut off from the distractions of the real world and allowing time and space to think. It is run by Umberto Giovannini, an expert woodcut artist, fount of knowledge on art history and sometime musician.
Below are some images from the workshop, including the finished books.