Discovering Print at Bradford Industrial Museum

Creative Interpretation

Bradford's museums and galleries have a long tradition of working with regional artists to explore new ideas about art and objects in their collections. 


Ruth Fettis, a freelance artist, has lived and worked in Bradford for 20 years. She has worked extensively with schools, community groups and galleries and has exhibited across the region. Ruth works in a range of media inluding printmaking, collage, drawing and painting, murals and illustration.


In 2005, Ruth ran a workshop with KS3 students and teachers from two Bradford secondary schools - Hanson School and Carlton Bolling College. During the printmaking workshop at the Bradford Industrial Museum, Ruth explained her working method by showing the students her sketchbooks and examples of her own work - a book printed on hand-made paper called 'She was poor but she was honest', and giant linos and prints of a dress.


She demonstrated the technique of linocut to the students (see video link below) and explained the concept of relief printing (cutting away material to leave a design for inking and pressing). Under instruction from Ruth, the students selected a design, based on printmakers' work they had seen at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery and copied into their sketchbooks, and drew this design onto lino using a pencil. The design was cut out with a linocutter so that the area to be inked was left in relief. The lino was then inked using a roller and black ink. The paper was pressed over the lino and the back of the paper rubbed over in small circular movements using a wooden spoon, a technique called  burnishing. The prints were added to the students' sketchbooks as a record of their visit and were used to contribute to their final print design back at school.

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