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Frome Artist Printmakers group

The Frome Artist Printmakers group are a small collective of local artists that work from a studio based in Eagle Lane. 

Each member has a passion for fine art printmaking but adopt very different approaches to their art. They have existed as a self-financing, non-profit making entity since 2000.

The studio was formed after founder members, Liz Irving, Steve Clarkson and Margaret Sheaff visited the space in Frome with a view to buy one of the presses. They were so enamoured by the set up that had been created by Russell Milne that together they decided to form the Frome Artist Printmakers group relocating here to Frome rather than just buying the press.

Russell Milne had spent much of his working career at Butler and Tanner as a printer and platemaker, and when some of the hand-operated machinery was being discontinued he decided that he would salvage all he could and established his own bespoke commercial printing studio.

Russell worked on many projects in the studio but one of most memorable collaborations was helping the local artist Bruce Barnden complete editions of his work.

In 2000-1 the identity of the workshop changed from a commercial venture to a fine art studio. At that time Russell Milne was Mayor of Frome and he was instrumental in helping the new artists group settle.  He said, “I have always been passionate about retaining the old techniques of printmaking, so it was a pleasure to help the Frome Artists Printmakers group establish themselves in Frome.”

The printmaking studio only has a small membership of artists that work well together in the space, and each artist produces work in printmaking that can be seen locally and nationally.

Liz Irving has dedicated over 20 years to practising lithography that she draws directly onto slabs of thick limestone. Liz teaches stone lithography from the studio and is a constant source of support to other members.

Jennifer Chow, who is currently showing some of her recent works at La Strada café, uses a letterpress printing machine to print from both woodblock and lino. Jennifer’s other work as a professional gardener gives her plenty of inspiration for her artwork, ranging from landscapes, flowers and butterflies.

Liza Bennett has been taught stone lithography by Liz Irving and she is beginning a new series of works now. Liza uses the studio as inspiration for her bespoke card collections.

Sue Cook has recently graduated with a Masters in Printmaking from UWE in Bristol and is planning her next works in the Frome studio.

Steve Clarkson, a founder member, has spent the last two years setting up alternative photography techniques such as gum bichromate and gumoil, his current artwork is based on floral arrangements in the Dutch painting style.

Steve commented, ‘The printmaking workshop is well established in Frome and we hope to expand in the near future. We currently  run courses in relief printing, lithography and gum bichromate techniques and hope to offer a lot more as the studio continues to develop.”

They are keen to support local artists with printmaking needs and welcome enquiries. Contact Steve Clarkson for more information, tel:  07816 924357.