10 Questions: Leeds Print Workshop

Next up in our 10 Questions series, we speak to Kirstie Williams, Founder Member of Leeds Print Workshop. You have probably seen the bright and colourful co-operative printmaking studio on Vicar Lane, which is a wonderful hub of creativity in the North of town. They have fantastic print facilities for their members, and a diary packed with workshops for anybody to try. A huge thanks to Kirstie for sharing her experience of running a big printmaking family in Leeds!

What do you do?

We run a cooperative printmaking workshop in Leeds City Centre which provides facilities for traditional printmaking processes. We also teach a variety of printmaking workshops and short courses for beginners or those with previous experience.

What are you typically doing every day at 9am?

Usually I’m replying to emails and making my way to the workshop. We open at 10am!

What makes your job easier?

Being a cooperative means there are lots of us who all take responsibility for running the organisation. This means more support and more people contributing to make opportunities happen. It means feeling part of a family.

What makes your job harder?

Finding a balance between the amount of admin we do and doing the thing that makes us happy - Printmaking!

Dream job title?

I think we all aspire to be a Professional Printmaker - I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel grown up enough to get there!

What is the most overused word in your workday?

I’m not sure about a single overused word, but the most over-asked question is ‘How long will this take to dry?’

What misconceptions do you encounter working in your field?

We often have people popping into the workshop asking us how much we will charge to print their design onto things. We don’t print for people, we print with people! We focus on providing the facilities for people to do their own printing, but we don’t offer a printing service.

Any advice for those who want to do what you do?

Printmaking is all about experimentation and practice. Sometimes things go wrong - learn from it, make mistakes, make happy accidents, embrace new ideas. You only develop technical printmaking through doing. Go on courses, meet people, ask questions!

What’s your career high point?

It felt really special when we passed one year of operation and reached 100 workshop members. That gave us the confidence that we’re doing something right and offering something which really makes a difference to Leeds’ creative scene.

What makes your current job different from anything else you’ve done?

Here at the workshop we are all our own boss. Working in a cooperative is completely different from any other job I’ve had before. We’re one big printmaking family!