Print maker, Simon Ripley, will be hosting a masterclass at Print in Action Festival this October! We caught up with him to find out more about his practice.

Simon graduated in Fine Art from Plymouth University in 1996 and helped to set up Exeter’s Double Elephant Print Workshop – now in its 25th year. With Double Elephant Simon specialises in outreach – taking print to schools, hospitals and community settings across the South West. He has worked as artist in residence at Derriford Hospital, Musgrove Park in Taunton and Franklyn Hospital in Exeter and has taken a particular interest in printmaking with adults with poor mental health. He has contributed to suicide prevention projects in Torbay and with MIND.

In 2015, Simon took a residency in Flatbed Press in Austin, Texas – which led to new avenues for his work. He has recently completed the 12 month Press Play course with Emma Gregory at Spike Print. Simon works in a fluid and spontaneous way often playing with the process conventions of printmaking to make work that us highly clouded and vibrant. When asked about his printing process, Simon said “I cut the block and print black first. I then print wet ink on top of wet ink making the image all in one sitting responding intuitively to each layer of ink as colours build up. I want the image to trigger memories or feelings for the viewer.”

During Print in Action Festival, Simon will be hosting a masterclass demonstration called ‘Linocut monoprints : an insight into relief print painterly abstract monotypes’, where he will demonstrate his idiosyncratic way of using wood and linocut to make painterly, highly textured abstract monoprints. Printing by hand onto Japanese papers layering wet inks in a spontaneous and reactive approach to the print process, he will make a print to demonstrate the process and discuss his approach to printmaking.

Simon likes to work with Shiro Usu Japanese paper because it is strong, absorbent and flexible and his go to tool is “a re-ground linocutter with a point that allows me to scratch into surfaces.” He uses Intaglio Printmaker oil based ink in 300ml cartridges as this reduces waste and when asked what kind of buscuit he would be Simon said ” A Kit Kat- fairly easy going and you want one everyday!”

There’s no denying that taking part in something creative everyday can improve mental health, so if you’d like to learn a new activity and take part in Simon’s masterclass at Print in Action Festival, you can buy festival tickets here and keep up to date about adding on workshops and masterclasses here.

Are you a print maker? Take a look at our opportunities to trade and exhibit at Print in Action Festival here.

Find out more about Simon’s work on his website here, and follow him on Instagram @simon.ripley. You can also follow @doubleelephantprintworkshop and find out more about them here.