Learning Lithography at Leicester Print Workshop

A few weeks ago we went along to a short evening course at Leicester Print Workshop to learn the basics of photo-plate lithography. Our tutor for the evening was the talented Emma Gardner, an independent printmaker herself, she is also currently an Artist in Residence at the workshop.

Armed with our chosen photos, we gathered around the table to learn more about the history of this technique and the process behind it.


Before we began, we were given a run through of the each of the steps - expose your plate, gum it, ink it, press it, clean and repeat. Sounds simple enough, right? Not quite. As we started to ink our plates, and things started to go wrong, we quickly realised that it wasn’t quite as easy as we all thought! Emma made it look so effortless, but getting the right amount of ink on your plate, and in the right places, takes real practice to master.


Although it took us all a while to get used to the technique, eventually we got the hang of it and were able to produce some pretty impressive prints. Some turned out better than others, but in the end we had so much fun in the process that it didn’t matter.

Huge thanks to Emma and Leicester Print Workshop for having us, and for helping even the most lithographically-challenged of us to create some prints we’re really proud of.