Victoria-based artist Jenn Robins was in Williams Lake giving a print-making workshop to members of the Cariboo Arts Society and two out-of-town guests. Here Robins talks about colours and ways of achieving different hues and textures Thursday morning at the Central Cariboo Arts & Cultural Centre.

Victoria-based artist Jenn Robins was in Williams Lake giving a print-making workshop to members of the Cariboo Arts Society and two out-of-town guests. Here Robins talks about colours and ways of achieving different hues and textures Thursday morning at the Central Cariboo Arts & Cultural Centre.

Printmaking a revived tradition

When it comes to printmaking there are an infinite number of things a person can do says artist and freelance instructor Jenn Robins.

When it comes to printmaking there are an infinite number of things a person can do says artist and freelance instructor Jenn Robins. The Victoria-based artist eagerly shares her knowledge during a week-long workshop held in Williams Lake.

“The print world is expanding so much now and it seems as if there’s almost a bit of a revival happening. There’s still very traditional techniques, with ways and rules that have to be honoured, but there’s also people wanting to stretch the boundaries.”

Robins makes prints on metal and embossing on metal too.

She also does waterless lithography — a technique created by Nik Seminoff from Saskatoon.

“This is a Canadian invention. There’s always ways in which we keep stretching what we do with process and materials.”

Seminoff was involved in making the photo lithography plate originally, which Japan purchased, and then went into the process of waterless lithography.

“In each case, what we’re trying to do, is get rid of all the toxins in our repertoire. That man is now in his 80s and often I speak with him. I’ve never met him, but he’s always so gracious. You find that in the print making community. People are really willing to share their stuff.”

Originally a music teacher, with a university degree that also encompassed courses in English, history and geography, a health incident changed Robins’ life and resulted in her return to university, at Okanagan University College.

“I thought I’d try two dimensional art. My grandmother was a wonderful artist, she really was. I didn’t really know what would happen when I enrolled, but I met Mary McCullough. She was my instructor for one course, and I asked if I could come and work in her print studio.”

McCullough agreed and told Robins by the end of her stint she would know what a print was so when she went into a gallery she’d know what something was.

“I was in the class for about five weeks and I never left. I do other things as well. I’ll paint with water colours or every so often go into another medium usually to teach me something more about colour, and then go back into the printmaking again. That’s what I’ve been doing for 25 years. I adore it. You never get bored,” she says.

Robins kicked the course off with a lecture at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus Aug. 10 and since then 11 women, including one from Prince George and one from Alexandria, have been busy at the Central Cariboo Arts & Cultural Society centre.

As she shows off some of the prints people have made in the workshop, Robins points out different types of prints they’ve tackled, such as embossed collagraphs and four-day photo etching, which is very complex and detailed, she adds.

Picking up once piece she explains it’s completely done by hand. Another piece was taken home and colour was added.

“Everything varies on how you actually cook the plate,” suggests.

As the participants mill around viewing each other’s work, Robins looks around and describes them as a “wonderful” group.

It’s the third time she’s been in Williams Lake to give a workshop and each time the Cariboo Arts Society has had more equipment in place, including a printmaker purchased five years ago.

“What is lovely about the group is that once it was decided the workshop was going to take place, there was a tremendous amount of work put in to prepare. One person’s husband made the light box, another did the electric for the light box. A few of them worked as a team to make it happen.”

Funding for the workshop came from the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District through the Central Cariboo Arts & Cultural Society.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The next welding program being offered at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus will be tuition-free thanks to federal funding. (Thompson Rivers University photo)
So you want to be a welder?

TRU Williams Lake offering tuition-free program

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is an independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C.’s 1st vaccine-induced blood clot case detected in Interior Health

Interior Health also recorded 52 new cases of COVID-19

Williams Lake RCMP are asking the public for assistance locating Marion Louise Billy. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake RCMP seek woman wanted for theft, weapon possession

RCMP released the information Thursday, May 6

Audrey McKinnon was officially named the NDP nominee for the federal riding of Cariboo-Prince George. (Twitter)
Audrey McKinnon confirmed as Cariboo Prince-George federal NDP nominee

The nomination comes during speculation the federal government

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Most Read