Abi Munday on Work Experience at Curwen

Sep 01, 2017

What I gained from working at The Curwen Print Study Centre
From participating in seven months’ work experience at the Curwen Print Study Centre, I have gained many print making skills. These will benefit me massively next year in my final year at University and for the long term future with both my career and experimenting with my own work. From the opportunity to attend the Certificate course I learnt a huge variety of printing techniques. These include Monoprinting, Lino, Collagraph, Screenprinting, Etching and many more. I’ve also had a lesson on colour theory which has helped me when creating designs to understand what colours complement each other well. I hope next year at University to use the Fine Art print room to build on that which I have learnt from the Curwen Print Study Centre and create designs using traditional printing techniques combined with my digital work to form a textile collection as part of my university work.

Throughout my work placement at the Curwen, I have met a lot of different artists who have inspired me as a designer and have found a variety of styles of printing that I can use in my own artwork. Through this I have seen how others learn and it has given me ideas of how to include this in the way I do my own work.

I also helped out with school groups that attended the Curwen and really enjoyed this aspect of their work. I have thought about the possibility of teaching A-level textile design and print when I finish my degree which I had not thought about before.

I feel I found an environment that is welcoming, inspiring and resourceful in my local area where I can do my own work. I am excited to go back to the Curwen print studio for open access days to use the equipment available and experiment with my own work for my portfolio.

From my work placement I have learnt many skills to help me artistically. I understand which printing techniques will achieve certain outcomes. For example, if I want my final art work to be very detailed I would use etching as my printing technique but if I wanted large block areas of flat bright colours I would use screen printing. This will help me in the future to achieve the final outcome I intend. I can also combine different techniques and layer prints to create unique designs. I have learnt about colour theory from being able to take part in the Certificate course which will help me enormously in the future when creating fashion/ interior collections in my final year at University. I have been taught how to create a clean, well registered print which will help me in future when creating a portfolio as my prints will look consistent and professional. By helping set up for classes in the studio I have learnt what materials are needed for each printing technique such as acetate, sandpaper, textured materials, etching needle for dry point, which I can then do in my own time and have a better understanding of what each material is used for.

By helping out with studio jobs I have been able to see how much hard work goes into keeping a studio running. I have enjoyed being a part of this and it is nice to see artists coming in and using materials that I helped to keep topped up such as cut scrim and ‘paper fingers’ to create fantastic prints. I also now know how to prepare these useful materials for when I hopefully have my own small studio in the future.

Working at the Curwen Print Study Centre 9am-4.30pm 3 days a week for 7 months has helped me get into a disciplined routine for next year at University and organise my time wisely to enable me to work to my full potential. As a student it can be easy to get into bad working habits but I intend to take these working practices into next year to stay organised and get my work done efficiently. I feel my work placement at the Curwen has helped inspire me going into to my final year of University and I am now full of ideas for projects for the next year to come and I understand what printing techniques to use to achieve these ideas. I feel my work experience has helped me grow as an artist and showed me there are so many possibilities in the future. I now have thought of a career path in teaching for when I graduate which gives me something to focus on. I would also like to create an interiors collection using traditional printing methods. I feel very excited about going into my final year of University with so many new ideas from the experience given to me by the team at Curwen.

Abi Munday