Tom Goulder and Suzanne Sherwood from Duck Print Fine Art Limited Editions are old friends of mine and Tom is the Master Printer based at this workshop.
I have known them both collectively for long time now, so long that it is scary! I wont go into the fine details….But Tom and I were at Art School at the same time in the 1980s and Suzanne and I went to high school together.
After Christmas I travelled south to spend some much needed rest and recreation time with them and my busy son. Time in their household and workshop in Port Kembla NSW was a wonderful Christmas gift. As always their company was generous, supportive and kind. It is always wonderful to visit but usually we visit and have a holiday from our solo existence in Lake Macquarie. This trip I spent more time than I expected in the studio.
Whilst I walked off the path of printmaking on and off after art school Tom has consistently travelled this path. He has steadily developed the workshop since leaving art school with many reincarnations of venue between Sydney and Port Kembla.
Tom is probably the most hard working printmaker I know. As a master printer he has supported and assisted a long list of artists, overseen multiple portfolios and printed for hundreds of artists- collectively the whole gamut of levels within the art community. This has included emerging young and otherwise, established and mid career artists. Tom is extraordinary for his own skills and abilities as an independent workshop, working for all this time as a solo master printer. To his credit is reaping the result of his own steady support for many artists over 30 years, bloody hard work and research development through process.
During my recent visit I took with me a few etching plates , really just to ask Tom’s opinion and advice about the application of Aquatint as I am re-learning more about this process to assist with my teaching at Newcastle Printmakers Workshop.
My memory of learning this media stretches back to 1990s at Sydney University during my teacher training. I acknowledge that I learnt a considerable amount from Patricia Wilson- Adams at Newcastle University when I was enrolled in the Masters program where I worked with copper plates and some zinc.
Additionally , in recent years I also enrolled in classes at Pine Street Arts Centre in Sydney during a residency at Ashfield. Also I did a workshop with Amanda Donahue at NPW in 2014 and a Solar Plate workshop and classes with Susan Baran last in 2015 and 2016.
In 2016 I have started teaching low toxicity zinc plate etching to my students at NPW and have fallen in love with this process all over again.
I felt very blessed albeit a little humbled, that over this time that I was assisted to clean and proof a corroded old plate that was begun in about 2003 and had stored badly over the years. The generosity of his time with me was the best Christmas present that I could have. Coupled with Suzanne and Samantha Waldon’s time taking my son for a walk enabled me rare and focused studio time a a single parent during school holidays.