Danish Højskole and printmaking

Sometime in April this year, I realised that travelling abroad was very unlikely to happen to me this year, so I had to think of some local options for summer holiday. Trying a Danish Højskole was on my sort of “bucket list”, so I saw it as a good opportunity to tick it off.

A Højskole is an interesting phenomenon. If extremely simplified, these days it’s a summer camp for adults 🙂 You usually stay there for one or two weeks (mine was one week), and spend time practicing the subject you choose. The subjects are different, but there are many sports and art schools – so I went for art, ofc. My course was called “from sketch to a graphic print”. Two years ago I was at the Art Academy London for a week course in photo-etching. Since then I developed a special fondness for printing on a press. Unfortunately, there is no workshop with a press in Aalborg (yet, hehe), so I could not take a course or experiment during the year. So, when I saw a course in printing on a press – I said “Yes, please!”. And I totally didn’t regret my decision to spend a week this way.

It was a wonderfull environment, where I had a pretty unlimited access to the workshop, nice guidance, aaaand…I didn’t have to think about mundane necessities like figuring out meals or a place to sleep – yes, they fed us three times a day plus some cake at 9 pm (hmm)) and we lived there the whole week. So I think I spent about 50 hours over 5 days experimenting. And in my opinion, I was quite productive.

We tried relief (woodcut), intaglio (etching on plexiglass and carving carton), and planographic (lithography with gum Arabic, I think it’s also called xerography). So, pretty much the whole spectrum of printing techniques, if you look it up on Wikipedia. 

I tried relief before, so didn’t spend much time on it. But etching and planographic were really fun to try 🙂 I think I enjoyed most to work with plexiglass: it’s easy to do etching on it and I like drawing, so it felt quite natural. The results I enjoyed most, though, were on carton. And xerography gives infinite options for collages. 

Aalborg was quite well-represented at that course, so now we are talking about arranging a workshop with a printing press here in town. I really hope it works out and I’ll have access to a place where I can experiment more. 

I feel a little tired of colours these days, want simpler shapes and clearer lines, that’s why old-fashioned printmaking makes me feel so fresh.

UPD: it took me the whole weekend to figure out how to present the prints online 😀 Just scanning and cropping did not feel good enough. In the end I decided on some sort of coloured passe-partout  (oh, I love French words <3) 

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