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Developing Designs for Printing | Autumn

Developing Designs for Printing | Autumn

Starts Friday 6 October 2017

One of the biggest barriers facing students who come to the Barley Barn for printmaking classes is their lack of confidence in creating designs. ‘Designing for Printing’ has been put together to help students generate and work on ideas, motifs, pattern and themes in their printmaking. This course will be repeated throughout the year and will cover a range of themes, such as seasons, texture, layers, home, holidays…  

Find out about our Spring course.

This course is split across two full Fridays, giving you time to work on your ideas in between sessions.

You will learn how to find inspiration and develop ideas and themes for block printing designs onto paper or fabric. We will use everyday objects, photographs, magazines and more to kickstart your creative printmaking process.

Across five lessons you will practice mixing and printing colour, understand basic pattern formats and how to use these in print, explore how simple shapes can convey emotive themes, develop complementary design ideas utilising theme, colour and pattern and learn how to create an all-over pattern block from lino and print a repeat design with it.

You will leave with… annotated works in progress, experimental and finished block prints on paper as well as foam and lino blocks that you can continue to print with at home. You will have the knowledge and confidence to continue to develop your design ideas at home and the technical skill to print onto paper or fabric.

Who is this course for?
This course has been designed for creative dabblers, those with an interest in printmaking and people who know how to print but are short on ideas. Beginners are welcome and students who are booked onto some of our other courses may find this useful to help them come up with ideas.

Materials and Equipment
All printmaking tools, materials and equipment are provided.

Please bring with you… a sketchbook and basic drawing materials and your reference material relating to your theme – You might like to bring along objects as well as magazines cuttings, sketches, photographs or fabrics. Further information will be sent out before the start of the course, in the meantime, please look at our Pinterest Board for inspiration. You may find it helpful to start your own Pinterest board or start collecting ideas in a sketchbook, scrapbook or portfolio.

Important Details
Group size is limited to 6 people to give you plenty of space to work. Throughout the course, you are encouraged to work collaboratively in the group, to discuss each other’s work and help each other to fully develop their themes and ideas – in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions throughout the course.

The course runs over two days, Friday 6 October and Friday 13 October. The course will start at 10:00, please arrive five minutes before the first sessions for a cup of tea or coffee and introductions. The course will finish at approximately 15:00 each day, although please note that times may vary depending on the speed at which you work.

Please bring along a packed lunch on both days
(the nearest supermarket is a five-minute drive away).

Find out about our Spring course here. If you would like to discuss the course prior to booking, please email Ruth.



Ruth Wheaton
Ruth Wheaton

My interest in art has taken me all around the world, working in the Australian outback, London’s Mayfair and now back home in Essex. I studied printmaking at the OCA, Gainsborough's House and Colchester Institute and really enjoy helping people discover how easy it is to create their own designs using simple printing processes.  I opened Slamseys Art so that everyone can have a go at learning new creative skills.

Find out more about my printmaking and view student work on Instagram.

Tutor Reviews

"We really had a fantastic time learning how to screen print and creating our own designs and would love to do more with Slamseys.... Highly recommend both in terms of the fab venue and teaching!!"

Chelmsford City W.I.

I go on courses when other people go on holiday and as it happened 2 booked courses had been cancelled. It was at this stage I discovered Slamsey’s printing courses and had a rush of blood to the head, booking 4 courses in the Autumn 2017 programme. I started to panic: What if I didn’t the first one and had paid the fees for 3 more? Would the content overlap too much that I wouldn’t  learn much and get bored? What is I didn’t like the tutor?

It has been a total success! These courses are equal in standard to the mosaic courses run the artist Anne Schwegmann-Fielding, another professional artist, and previously the best I have attended. 

Ruth Wheaton is a very experience tutor class and gently moves students on so that the all the activities are completed and yet there is flexibility. The equipment and block printing ink are freely available when you need them and there are lots of helpful tips along the way so that you can continue at home. She has a real love and understanding of the print-making process.

The description on the website is full and very accurate and if you explore the super website you will see the standard of work which is possible achievable to.

Each course covered a different area. To me learning how to build up a design and use the colour wheel to make all the colours needed from red, blue and yellow ink has been really useful. I believe I have a acquired very thorough grounding and with practice at home, and likely achieve very satisfying results.

The details list the kind of people who will enjoy the courses. I would say that with Ruth’s very gentle teaching style, providing you consider yourself  ‘crafty’ you will get a great deal out of them. You need no more knowledge than having done potato printing and having enjoyed the process. You will meet a whole variety of people. I call myself a mosaic artist, but not having done any printing in a degree module for nearly 20 years because of a depressive illness resulting in complete loss of confidence.

Everything associated with Slamsey’s is of the highest quality and matches the branding of the website. The barn is a very large airy space and very conducive to encouraging art activities. There being no more than 6 in a class there is no need for the diffident to feeling overwhelmed. …. and there is plenty of parking!  

What more can I say? Only I am already planning to join more course in the future. My money was well spent!

Cathy T

The 5 Week Printmaking Short Course was a perfect introduction to a variety of ways of printing art, that could easily be replicated at home. Ruth is a very talented artist who is able to generate an enthusiasm for what she does during the course. She is very patient and allows each member of the class to 'do their own thing'. The surroundings in which the course takes place are ideal and the equipment provided is very good. I will certainly continue to print art at home and have already begun collecting a few things with a project in mind. I thoroughly enjoyed each morning.

Karen B

The Fabric Printing One-to-One course was fantastic. We were so impressed with the course from booking to finish. Ruth was flexible and accommodating when we needed to change our booking at the last minute. We would just love to do more printing now! The follow up information about where to purchase supplies etc. is extremely helpful. This will ensure we carry on!

Connie C

I found the Fabric Printing Short Course really interesting and informative, especially as this is something I've never tried before, it was very good value for money. I especially liked the small class and the laid back approach Ruth has, it really does makes people feel at ease and able to express themselves individually. Also being able to experiment with different techniques and mediums. The cakes were a real treat too! 

Sam D