Beleterie - click for detail


course location

My studio is situated the commune of Brantome in one of the most attractive areas of rural France, where I welcome printmakers who are interested in learning first hand from me about the new non-toxic techniques described in my website and book "Green Prints" ( This region is called Périgord in the department of the Dordogne which is renowned for prehistoric cave art, Medieval Châteaux, Bastides and towns, Romanesque cathedrals and churches, Roman remains, and a lively contemporary art scene. It is within easy reach of motorways, high speed train services from Paris and airports at Périgueux, Limoges and Bordeaux.

content and duration

The minimum practical time required to learn something about the techniques I have to offer is a week, but a two week course would be required to cover all the methods. The precise content of a course will be tailored to the requirements of each participant, of whom there will be a maximum of three at any time. The previous experience, knowledge and requests of each person will be taken into account in determining what he or she should cover in the time. The topics that can be covered are: basic principles of etching technique and the health hazards of traditional methods; new safe non-toxic methods of preparing and etching copper, zinc, steel and aluminium plates; electrolytic, electro-chemical and passive semi-dry methods; safe photoetching (Lazertran, ImageOn film); computer graphic methods; woodcut and relief printing; water-based ink screenprinting; monotypes. The course method will be "hands-on" , making and proofing plates, wood blocks or screens, and using the computer to aid the process of transferring and scaling sketches, or creating digital prints.


studio facilities

The details and photographs of this course are now a few weeks out of date and will shortly be updated with new photos, prices and access details. I have moved into a new ecological house and purpose built studio with better facilities.


Left - general view of part of printmaking studio - 9m x 8m (30' x 26'6") floor space with small etching press, woodcut relief press, very large sink and electrolytic etching area, area with drawing board, computer equipment, paper and print storage. (Oct 2006)

Right - etching press by Polymetaal - bed size 50 cm x 100cm (21" x 42") 12.5 cm top roller (March 2005)


click to enlarge

Left - relief printing press 53cm x 53 cm (21" x 21") platen size, and 6 tonnes hydraulic jack pressure.

right - computer equipment - PC with 17" screen, scanner, colour laser printer, A3 ink jet printer, digital cameras, internet connection. Software - Adobe Photoshop 7, PaintShopPro 7, Word 2000, and other graphics and general software.

Left - electrolytic etching equipment - tray with grid and contacts, laboratory power supply, and time switch.

Right - a group during a course in July 2001



costs and accommodation

The fee for a weeks course is 800     (Euros) and includes all materials and tuition for 5 days but does not include accommodation. The price per person is reduced if there is a group, or several persons can come at the same time. The maximum number is limited to three. The days could be spread over a longer period, a fortnight or three weeks, to accommodate someone who was in the area for a holiday who wanted to take advantage of good weather, local events etc., or for someone living in the area. This allows time to do sketches away from the studio, or to read things from the small library of technical books and papers on printmaking available. A midday meal will be provided. The accommodation, depending on the dates and bookings, could be nearby at LaRoche, very attractive holiday "chambres d'hote", which you can find out all about from their well illustrated website : . Their website gives prices for "chambres d'hote" (bed and breakfast) and also self catering accommodation, which are typical of prices in this area. I can reserve the accommodation, but I should advise that they become booked up quite early. There are other places offering similar accommodation, but further away from my studio, whose addresses and websites can be supplied.


lunch on the terrace


access and transport

There is a motorway from Paris to Limoges (A20) and a national road to Thiviers (N21). The journey by car from Paris takes about 5 hours. Anyone proposing to combine a printmaking course with a holiday is recommended to hire a car which will cost from 300   - 400   . per week. There are fast trains from Paris to Angouleme (TGV 2 hours) and Limoges (for Thiviers) (Corail 4 hours). The latter is preferred as it is closer to Bêlèterie. The train fare is about 120   return. Contrary to the predjuces of US travel agents, second class is very comfortable on French trains. There are airports at Bordeaux, with trains to Angoulême, Périgueux or Thiviers.


requirements and my details

Participants would benefit most from the course if they have had some experience of printmaking, particularly of etching, but beginners will be welcomed, but would require a minimum of two weeks. All materials will be provided but participants should bring an apron and thin protective gloves. No solvents or noxious substances are used so gloves need only be water and oil proof. But bring your own sketch books and preferred drawing materials.

As you will see if you look at my detailed CV, I have a background as an artist and architect, and have worked with computer graphics. I have made prints all my working life (linocuts, screenprints, lithographs), but started seriously studying etching part-time in 1987 and began working full-time as a printmaker in 1991. I started research into non-toxic methods then and began reviving electrolytic methods in 1989. I have many years of experience as a teacher first at secondary school level, then Cheltenham Art College and Sheffield University, with many periods running workshops at Colleges in Europe and Africa.





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