An open format
The meeting has an open format, which means all participants can have the opportunity to share their knowledge in a give and take context. This format encourages being open - willing to share information and knowledge, as well as sharing frustrations, pitfalls, challenges and difficulties that you encounter.
Safer and more sustainable printmaking, better known as ‘non-toxic’, has been around for a while. For some, it became their beloved way of working, while others stick to traditional techniques and see non-toxic just as a novelty in printmaking or, even worse, a system that does not work at all. Others may see it as threatening tradition and the ‘pure way’ of making prints.
In this meeting, we will not only focus on practical issues but we will also cover the more theoretical. Often forgotten, discussion can change the way one thinks. Safer and more sustainable printmaking goes far beyond new techniques and material, it‘s also having an impact on the way we think about the nature of printmaking. Is ‘non-toxic’ printmaking opposing traditional ways of working? Why is there so much opposition? Is this ‘green way’ as ‘green’ as it pretends to be? Should ‘non-toxic’ be the way printmaking is taught in schools, studios, and residencies…
These kinds of questions and remarks can be important to think about. In the end we always must be critical, even about the things in which we believe.
The concept of this meeting is conceived in such a way that we build up the content together. The practical part the meeting will therefore try to offer a series of small demonstrations or talks given by the participants.
So, if you are an experienced and/or professional intaglio printmaker, familiar with or a convinced user of the ‘non-toxic’ approach, this meeting can be the perfect platform.
You are a professional printmaker and you’re currently working and/or teaching in a less toxic and healthy way.
Do you want to expand your knowledge on less toxic and healthier ways of printmaking?
Were you trained in the traditional way and do you now miss a network to discuss issues you encounter in translating your daily practice or teaching into a less toxic and healthier way to make prints?
Do you encounter problems in organizing your non-toxic studio in your country? You can’t find the proper materials and/or equipment?
Are you interested in alternative solutions to issues that you have already solved?
Do you want to share your knowledge about less toxic and healthier ways of printmaking with other printmakers in the international field?
Would you like to see that the knowledge on these less toxic and healthier ways of printmaking is spread into the field of teaching and practice?
A theoretical section
A theoretical section via discussion moments
The general focus of the theoretical part will be on the position of safer and sustainable printmaking in the field of printmaking.
Forum 1: How non-toxic is non-toxic? Chair: Marnix Everaert (BE)
Non-toxic printmaking is automatically linked to the words green, ecological, sustainable and being a safer method for humans and environment. But is this truly so?
This talk questions the way we think about ‘non-toxic’. In the discussion following this short talk, participants are encouraged to give their opinion.
Forum 2: A not so easy road... Chair: Marnix Everaert (BE)
The founding mothers and fathers of the non-toxic method believed in the revolution this would bring within printmaking. This revolution would be fast and smooth. Unfortunately, this did not happen the way they had in mind. So, what went wrong? After this talk, the group is invited to share their ideas on this topic.
If you want to give a short lecture yourself, please inform us about on the subscription form. We will be happy to schedule your talk during one of the peer-to-peer sessions.
A peer-to-peer orientated part giving the opportunity to all participants to share knowledge
One of the goals of this meeting is to test the concept of peer-to-peer learning. Therefore, we invite all participants to share their printmaking knowledge. You can have a demo session, a short lecture or an inspirational talk. This can concern the theoretical and practical but also can be about sustainability, ethical issues, projects you are involved in, … If this peer-to-peer approach proves to be successful we will continue developing this methodology further.
Marnix is an artist and professor at the Academy for Visual Arts - Ghent, Belgium. He received his BFA and MFA at the School of Arts in Ghent, BE.
Marnix started working with non-toxic techniques in 1999 and changed the studio at the academy to one of the first educational non-toxic studios in Europe. He has given many workshops on non-toxic in Belgium, Holland, Spain (together with Henrik Bøegh from Grafisk Experimentarium, DE), the USA, South Africa and Japan.
He is a passionate printmaker, but not a narrow-minded specialist who only focuses on techniques. For him, printmaking is just another tool an artist uses to shape ideas.
Marnix is showing his work in Belgium and abroad.
Anje is scientifically and artistically trained. She works in Leuven, Belgium, as a printmaker-entrepreneur. Printmaking is the core element of her business ‘BioArt’ in which she coaches people via the art of printmaking. She recently founded ‘De Broeikas’ a cooperation. This cooperation is in the process of sustainably renovating an old barn that will become a co-working space for artists and entrepreneurs. In her spare time, she works as an artist. Key concepts in her work are connection, synergy and silence. Her technique of choice is intaglio.
Peer learning and co-creation fascinate Anje. She enjoys setting up interactive meetings, like this meeting, where synergy is facilitated.
A charming setting
Atelier Blauwhof, Kessel, Belgium:
A unique printmaking studio, situated near Antwerp, Belgium
Great location, excellent food, artistic atmosphere, green surroundings
Information can be found via the website -
Date: Thursday, March 15 - Monday, March 19, 2018
The total cost of the meeting is 750 EUR. Please ask an invoice form if you need one.
Enrollment is limited to 12 participants.
This price includes:
• Participation fee for demonstrations and workshops
• A package with basic material (plates, paper,...)
• A full residency including:
- All meals and drinks (excellent cuisine!)
If necessary, more materials can be bought at fair prices. Of course, you can also bring your own.
Atelier Blauwhof - Voetweg 53, 2560 Kessel
Tel 0032 3 480 13 84 –
Fly to Brussels International Airport
Take the train from the railway station Brussels Airport-Zaventem to Lier
A shuttle service from the railway station Lier to Blauwhof will be organized on Thursday, please inform us about your travel schedule
Towels, soap and shampoo
Pecha Kucha slides
Anything you want to show – a print, a plate, a book…
Extra information on this meeting can be provided by one of the members of the organizing committee:
Cathrine is an artist based in Drammen, Norway. She uses printmaking as her primary medium and nature as a source of inspiration, as a site for showing her work, and often even as her studio. She was trained ‘old-school’ and specialized in traditional printmaking for her Bachelor’s degree. Being curious, she decided to do her Master’s using non-toxic methods, unfamiliar both to her and her Professors at the Academy in Oslo. With the traditional techniques as her reference, she translates her expertise to less toxic methods, step-by-step, researching and testing methods and mediums to meet her demands of craftsmanship. Cathrine is now working solely with non-toxic techniques for her site-specific projects, exposing her prints to the forces of nature. She earned her Master's degree at Oslo National Academy of Arts in 2017, exhibiting ‘talking to trees’ as the main piece from her research. Cathrine has exhibited her work in various national and international venues, both solo and group exhibitions. She has been teaching traditional and non-toxic printmaking at Asker Artschool in Norway for several years, and is doing one to one tutoring in her printmaking studio at Konnerud.
A practical part
A practical part with demo sessions, followed by discussion and practical critiques
Our program consists out of four interesting workshops all given by experts in the field.
If you want to demonstrate a method that you master yourself, please inform us about this in your subscription form. Since we want to stimulate a peer-to-peer learning environment, we are looking forward hearing about your suggestions and will be happy to schedule your demo during one of the peer-to-peer sessions.
Collagraphy – Shichio Minato, JP
Using various types of acrylic medium, adhesives, carborundum and a bit of inspiration, you can get rich results that are unlike any other printmaking techniques.
Acrylic medium collagraphy is non-toxic and can be easily combined with other printmaking techniques such as etching, mezzotint or dry point.
The demo session will focus on the manipulation of the mediums and inking of the plates.
Ink Modification - Cathrine Finsrud Stustad, NO
‘Akua ink is not out-of-the-box ready for my way of making prints’, says Cathrine. It’s perfect for photopolymer, but given any traditional technique Cathrine found it to wipe off too easy. Her first solution to the challenge was curse and swear never touch it again. But, some years later, when she was asked to teach non-toxic printmaking at Asker School of Art in Norway, she had to become ‘friends’ with it – and so it was time to become tenacious.
In the demo Cathrine will show how to mix AKUA ink for Moku Hanga, lino/woodcut, line etching and aquatint. We will also talk about how to work around ‘clogging’ the paper when using soy-based ink for multi-layer purposes.
A different view on soft and hard ground - Marnix Everaert, BE
Are there good working alternatives for traditional (liquid) asphalt based grounds? Yes, there are (of course). You will learn how to work with acrylic based, ink based and do-it -yourself grounds, and how to remove them without mineral (volatile) spirits.
The versatility of spray aquatint - Marnix Everaert, BE
Aquatint is one of the major techniques within intaglio and offers many possibilities for enriching your etchings. In this workshop, you will receive demonstrations and time to practice the following: aquatint basics, the wax pencil method, spit-bite and the use of acrylics to produce tone on an aquatinted plate. Refreshment of the aquatint basics is a good place to begin to learn the wax pencil method. We will use this kind of pencil as a stop-out. In this way, we will get a more a painterly effect of aquatint, as in the spit-bite technique. We will also use acrylics on an aquatinted plate to get subtle tones from dark greys to even whites.
An experimental part for trying out new techniques and troubleshooting
Every day there is time to practice and to try out some of the demonstrated methods. There will also be time to discuss the prints that are created. Focus is not especially on producing an artwork but rather on exploring the possibilities of techniques to use within your practice.
Also, there will be time to discuss the problems you encounter in your daily practice. Themes that need to be explored, discussed or tested will be addressed in these sessions. Please inform us about your needs in your application form.
If you are interested in participating to this meeting, please submit your curriculum vitae and the application form below. Please be aware that basic non-toxic intaglio knowledge is required.
Final application date is January 20th, 2018.
All candidates will receive an answer by January 25th, 2018. Upon a positive answer, payments can be completed. An invoice can be provided
Enrollment is limited to 12 participants.
Shichio is a visual artist and fine art academic with 15 years of experience in research, teaching and art management. He is an associate professor at the University of Fukui, Japan.
He graduated from Kanazawa College of Arts, Japan (BFA) and from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Ghent, Belgium (MFA).
After obtaining his MFA, Shichio moved to France where he worked as an assistant in the Printmaking Department at l'École supérieure d'art et design Saint-Étienne.
He is interested in non-toxic printmaking, especially development of a supporting system for schoolteachers.
As art director, he curated a number of exhibitions and was appointed as a chair at E&C Gallery, Fukui, Japan.
Shichio had exhibitions of his works in Japan and abroad.
Carrying a grant for ‘survey research on the spread of non-toxic Printmaking techniques’. He is working together as visiting professor with professor Marnix Everaert at the Academy for Visual Arts in Ghent (April 2017 > March 2018).
– A green dream?
A practical and theoretical meeting on
safer and sustainable printmaking
March 15-19, 2018
Atelier Blauwhof - Kessel, Belgium
This meeting mainly consists out of 4 parts:
A practical part with demonstrations
An experimental part for trying out new techniques and troubleshooting
A theoretical part with short lectures as introduction to discussion fora
A peer-to-peer oriented part giving the opportunity to all participants to share knowledge
On Friday evening, there will be an inspiration session in a Pecha Kucha format with all participants: You can introduce yourself with 20 slides in 6’40”.