East London Printmakers

I spent some time earlier this summer living in London, and made it a point to check out as many print-related operations as possible during my stay. Thankfully, I received quite a few recommendations from Printeresting readers, which lead me around London and beyond. A hop on the bus from my Central London flat and I soon found myself in London Fields. Behold, East London Printmakers.

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East London Printmakers (ELP) is an artist-run not-for-profit printmaking studio in the borough of Hackney offering a professional facility for artists and designers at all levels. The studio is well-equipped for screenprinting, intaglio, and relief processes, has walls covered in great prints, and has notably amazing light – many thanks to rows of skylights above. Started in 1998 by a small group of artists, ELP is a thriving self-sustaining cooperative over 15 years later with 34 keyholders and around 300 members. During my visit, ELP’s marketing coordinator Emily Hopkins and studio technician Helen Ashton were kind enough to show me around.

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As a cooperative studio, ELP is largely run by its keyholders, who have 24-hour access to the space 4.5 days a week. The additional 2.5 days are plenty busy in the shop as well. Wednesdays are reserved for classes taught by keyholders and some additional members. There are a variety of offerings for entry and intermediate levels, as well as master classes by visiting artists. They even offer a print tutoring service.

Thursdays and early Saturdays are particularly cool at ELP, during which time they invite anyone with printing experience to utilize their facilities. These Open Access sessions are hugely popular, allowing non-members, visitors, traveling artists – anyone (18 and older) with proper skills to work independently – to take advantage of the ELP studio. It’s also affordable, and many necessary materials and supplies are available for purchase or rental on site. And to top that, they have a streamlined booking system online. It doesn’t get much better than that. Well done, East London Printmakers.

ELP has also been running an artist residency program since 2008. Two types of residencies, funded and self-funded, add yet another element to an already exciting environment and artist community. Application deadlines fall twice a year on June 1st and December 1st.

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ELP is broken up into to large rooms. The front space is dedicated to screenprinting, with a number of large vacuum tables, a textile printing area, and exposure and washout facilities. The rear section completes the studio, with intaglio and relief equipment, acid and aquatint rooms, an additional exposure unit for photo-intaglio processes, and a small office area.

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Studio tech Helen Ashton assisting an Open Access artist. Helen had some great prints hanging around the studio. Check out her work here!

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Plenty of etching presses around here. Also, some nice relief printing options.

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Two handsome machines: A Chandler & Price platen press above and an Albion iron hand press below. For London-area printers geared more towards letterpress and book arts, ELP has a nice friendship with the London Centre for Book Artsprintshop tour coming soon! – in nearby Fish Island. Members of each studio get a nice deal on the other’s workshops.

If you happen to be in the London area next week, London Centre for Book Arts founder and director, Simon Goode, will be giving an artist talk at ELP on September 9th at 7:30pm! More info here.

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An impressive collection of talented artists call ELP home, including Eliza Southwood (below), a London-based architect-turned-full time artist and illustrator.

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Oscar Eaton was one of many artists busy at work during ELP’s Open Access hours when I visited.

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ELP is setup for both zinc and copper etching.

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Eleanor Rogers does E.T. right.

Many thanks to Emily and Helen at East London Printmakers for the warm welcome. If you find yourself spending time in London and are itching to make a few prints, do yourself a favor and head over to ELP. They love visitors, and you certainly won’t be disappointed. Great people, great artists, and a fantastic facility.

Visit East London Printmakers at 19 Warburton Road, London E8 3RT, United Kingdom. Stay informed through their website and variety of social media options below.

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Categories: Printshop Tour


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