Seacourt Print Workshop, Northern Ireland

A few months ago, I stopped by Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor, Northern Ireland for a quick tour around their facilities.   After making a few wrong turns in the seaside town of Bangor, we eventually pulled into a sprawling complex of industrial buildings.  Robert Peters, Director of Seacourt Print Workshop greeted us, and generously took time off from running the shop to show us around and tell us about the studio and its ongoing projects.

Disguised from the outside by a sheath of aluminum, Seacourt’s spacious interior holds a strong collection of presses, stones and screens.  Upon first entering, their impressive Columbian relief press (designed by Philadelphian George Clymer) greets visitors.  Topped with a Bald Eagle and a rattlesnake, this style of press found popularity in Europe, and Seacourt keeps it in operation even as many of its iron brothers and sisters have become museum pieces.  Behind the relief press, a sprawling space holds an education room as well as spaces dedicated to etching and relief, stone and plate lithography.  Upstairs lives an exhibition space, computer room and screen printing facilities, as well as room to stretch out and draw.  In addition to the traditional mediums, Seacourt boasts the widest variety of printmaking techniques in Ireland, and continues to research non-toxic materials.  Their robust educational programming includes public lectures, outreach programs for schools and community groups, ensuring that the community and artists alike have the opportunity to learn about printing and make use of the facilities.

At the conclusion of our shop tour, in true Irish hospitality, Peters invited us to sit down to biscuits and hot tea to talk about art, printmaking and family. Thank you to Robert Peters for taking the time to show us around the shop.  You can find more information about Seacourt’s programs and current events at http://www.seacourt-ni.org.uk/index.html

Ground floor shop view, including large screen storage and large format exposure unit

Intaglio area of Seacourt, at left sits the education room

Graining sink at Seacourt. And if you haven't already, check out Beauvais Lyons' Flickr feed of graining sinks from around the world: https://www.flickr.com/photos/beauvais_lyons/with/14802627767

Lithography area of Seacourt

Stone Library at Seacourt

Perhaps the Holy Grail of Leather Rollers? A former cyan leather roller? We may never know. We continue the hunt for color leather rollers. If you have any information about color leather rollers in any state, we want to hear from you! Email Sinead @ sineadacahill@hotmail.com

The second floor (or first floor in the European) of Seacourt holds a spacious area for screen printing

The Columbian press, invented by George Clymer (1754-1834) of Philadelphia, PA USA. Clymer didn't find much of a market for his press in the States, and moved to England where his design was produced by a variety of shops. The eagle serves as the counterweight, and denotes its American origins, along with the rattlesnake. Made in London in 1825, this press was originally used to print books and newspapers. Fortunately, this press is still in use at Seacourt, while a number of other Columbian presses are living in museums as relics of the Olde World. Read more about this press here: http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1198581 (Source: The National Print Museum (Músaem Náisiúnta Cló), Dublin, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History)

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Categories: Printshop Tour


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