Home > Arts > Print Workshop & Darkroom > Introductory Printmaking and Darkroom Workshops

Introductory Printmaking and Darkroom Workshops

Series of five images

Taigh Chearsabhagh Print Workshop and Darkroom is a creative hub situated inside the busy Museum and Art Centre. The Print Workshop is in the mezzanine space, the Darkroom is located underneath this room. The Print Workshop overlooks Gallery 1.

If you are an established artist and want to learn a brand new technique, or if you are a complete novice, these introductory beginners’ workshops will give you a good starting knowledge of how to use the Print Workshop and/or Darkroom. The courses will teach you to confidently use these workshops on an ongoing basis to develop your work. They are inspired by the desire to offer accessible, fun and creative Printmaking and Photography classes for beginners and improvers. 

All materials for these courses are provided and included in the fees, which are on a sliding scale depending on the number of participants booked on each course, ie: the more participants booked on a course, the cheaper it is for each participant.

1 day workshops:

  • Introduction to Etching using zinc with a hard ground
  • Introduction to Etching using zinc with a soft ground 
  • Introduction to Mono Printing on True-grain
  • Introduction to Analogue film camera and Darkroom practice
1 person£160
2 people£90 each
3 people£70 each

2 day workshop:

  • Introduction to combining Intaglio Techniques – Etching using zinc with a hard and a soft ground  
1 person£295
2 people£165 each
3 people£125 each

All the workshops are run by Nicola Neate, Taigh Chearsabhagh Print and Darkroom Coordinator and Technician. To arrange a date for a workshop, or if you have any questions, please contact Nicola at: nicola@taigh-chearsabhagh.org


Introduction to Etching using zinc with a hard ground  (1 day workshop)

Black and white line etching, credit Nicola Neate.
Copyright: Nicola Neate

This intaglio etching process is where lines or marks are scratched or made onto the surface of a plate that has been coated with a hard ground. The prepared plate is dipped into a Saline Sulphate solution to corrode the exposed metal areas. The plate is then inked up and the recess marks hold the ink. The plate is laid onto the Rochat press with a prepared dampened paper laid on top of it. The plate is pulled through the Rochat press to produce the etching print.

This is a one day etching course is designed to take you from idea to finished etching

Learn the basic techniques of mark making using lines.


Introduction to Etching using zinc with a soft ground (1 day workshop)

Photo of two people sitting at a table in the Taigh Chearsabhagh Cafe, with an exhibition of prints on the wall behind.  Credit John Kippin.
Copyright: John Kippin

This intaglio etching process is where lines or marks are drawn or made onto the surface of a plate that has been coated with a soft ground. The prepared plate is then dipped into a Saline Sulphate solution to corrode the exposed metal areas. The plate is then inked up and the recess marks hold the ink. The plate is then pulled through the Rochat press.

This one day etching course is designed to take you from idea to finished etching, using experimental mark making techniques.


Introduction to combining Intaglio Techniques – Etching using zinc with a hard and a soft ground  (2 day workshop)

Photo of two people working in the Print Workshop. Credit Rosie Blake.
Copyright: Rosie Blake

This intaglio etching process is where lines or marks are drawn, scratched or made onto the surface of a plate that has been coated with a hard and then a soft ground. The prepared plate is then dipped into a Saline Sulphate solution. The dippings are timed to corrode the exposed metal areas in stages. The plate is then inked up and the recess marks hold the ink. The plate is then pulled through the Rochat press.

In this two day workshop you will be combining the two processes – Hard and Soft ground. This workshop explores a variety of markmaking techniques.

This entaglio etching course is designed to take you from idea to finished etching, using a variety of experimental mark making techniques.


Introduction to Mono Printing on True-grain (1 day workshop)

Painting in blue, green, red and black colours. Credit Nicola Neate.
Copyright: Nicola Neate

Mono printing is the technique of painting directly onto a smooth surface, the image is then printed. Only one image is made, making the process closer to painting than other printing processes.

In this workshop True Grain will be used, this is a textured polyester drafting film which holds tone very well.


Introduction to Analogue film camera and Darkroom practice (1 day workshop)

Black and white photo of geese flying, against a clouded over sky. Credit Nicola Neate.
Copyright: Nicola Neate

This is an introduction course to analogue photography. It will provide the knowledge and the skills to enable you to work independently in the darkroom at Taigh Chearsabhagh.     

You will need to have already shot a roll of 35mm or 120 film that you bring along to this workshop to process. 

This course will show you how to process your roll of film and then from your developed negatives you will discover how to produce a contact sheet and from this select some images to make a few black & white photographic prints. 


These workshop spaces make Taigh Chearsabhagh a special place, they provide opportunities for creative community contribution. Artists who work in these spaces often comment on how inspired and focused they are when working within this busy, contemporary, rural venue. Taigh Chearsabhagh welcomes you and hopes to see you soon!

The Print Workshop is set up for non-toxic practice, using the process of acrylic-resist etching on a Rochat press 21” x 40”. 

The Darkroom is equipped for small, medium and large format developing and printing. There are two enlargers, a DeVere 504 and a Durst 670 Colour.