UWE Visit

Workshop Report by Ruth Ball
The following photographs were kindly posted to me by Melissa Rigby, Jeanne Crosse, Rachel Gogerly and Rebecca Gouldson, BSOE members who visited the group workshop to UWE in June. The full group also included, Jill Leventon, Jannie Partington, Annie Appleyard, Chis Jorgenson, and myself.

Elizabeth Turrell and Jessica Turrell generously facilitated a day that was very actioned packed and encompassed a range of study which included:

  • A talk and viewing of enamel samples and experimental works
  • A demonstration of screen printing for enamel transfers
  • A demonstration of a panel being fired in the large scale kiln
  • A tour of the printmaking department & extended UWE facilities
  • A tour of the Illustration BA Hons and MA Design/Printmaking Degree Shows

The day started with an informal talk and the viewing of a cumulative display of samples and experiments, undertaken as part of Elizabeth / Jessica / their student's research projects. The photo here reveals only a small section of what was on show, the amount of work was extraordinary.
A short demonstration was given showing the firing of a panel in the large scale kiln. Here Elizabeth is inserting a panel into the kiln. The process is much the same for firing in a small kiln though obviously a much more industrial kit is required to support the work.
The demonstration of screen printing transfers for enamel was of great interest. The group were lucky enough to be able to view the entire process, from the making of a mark to the final printing of the specially developed transfer sheet (UWET paper available from the paper suppliers John Purcell)
The following photo's give a brief outline of the methods involved:

The artwork was prepared with a variety of products (inks/crayons/torn paper/lace etc)

Next, the artwork and prepared screen was then placed in an exposure unit.

Once exposed to light, the screen is washed to reveal the image.

The following step is to carefully register the transfer paper.

Then a mix of specially formulated enamel ink is screened onto the transfer sheet.

Finally the printed sheets are stacked, to dry off.
Generously, several sheets were printed, enabling us all to take a sheet home to experiment with, so below are some results from Rachel and myself of transfer experiments. These were done after the event in our own workshops.
The process for applying the transfer is relatively simple.
  • The printed paper is cut to shape.
  • Then it is dipped briefly in a shallow bowl of water, which results in the backing paper becoming loose.
  • Next, holding the image over the enamel surface you can then slide off the backing paper.
  • The transparent film remaining, which contains the enamel ink, is smoothed over the enamel surface and should be left to dry.
  • Additionally the transparent film that the enamel ink is printed onto should be carefully burnt off before a full fire - this smokes a bit so full venation is essential.
  • The piece is fired as per requirement to the design / the enamels you are using - firing is much the same I would say as for painted enamels. (ie. don't over fire, otherwise the ink will burn out ! )

Rachel Gogerly - UWE transfers over transparent colours - fired on silver.
Ruth Ball - UWE transfer over a base of flux & a center strip of opaque black - fired on silver.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to show photos of the degree shows, but needless to to say the standard of work on view was totally amazing. It left a few of us wishing to start a second degree, and enrolment on MA programmes seemed to be a most favourable route! This desire was particularly enforced as the tour from the shows led into room after room of facilities. The departments at UWE on the Bower Ashton Campus boast laser cutting, and mind boggling 3D printmaking technologies, in tandem with an enviable selection of traditional printmaking processes.

To conclude it is needless to say that the visit was a great success and yet another great learning adventure ! Many Thanks to Elisabeth, Jessica and all the staff at UWE for sharing their knowledge and providing an excellent range of inspirational events.