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St Catherine's School printmaking course

At the end of March the Monash University Prato Centre welcomed 12 students from St Catherine’s School for their biennial printmaking course.

St Catherine’s is an independent non-denominational Christian school for girls located in Toorak, Melbourne, in Australia. Taught by Patrick Aubert, a printmaker artist, the three-day intensive course had the students, from years 10 and 11, learning new techniques in intaglio and Cliché verre.

Prior to their course in Prato, the students visited Venice and Florence and created their own art journals filled with illustrations and photographs as inspiration for their prints. Talking to the students upon their arrival it was easy to sense their enthusiasm and excitement. They explained that the process of creating prints began with their photos or hand drawn illustrations. “You put this plastic sheet over the top and using a needle you have to carefully etch out the lines of the image. The etched lines are where the ink goes.” 

Patrick Aubert is a French printmaker artist who lives and works in both France and Italy. He has run printmaking workshops in the USA, Canada, France and Italy and he has had his own work displayed in many international exhibitions. His practice and research focuses on low-toxic techniques of printmaking and his works display the use of both traditional and contemporary intaglio techniques. Patrick says he is passionate about making the workshop at the Prato Centre productive yet fun.  While there is a lot to learn, he said the most important thing is that the students enjoy what they are doing.

 “The course is the highlight of my trip so far, […] it has inspired me to come back to Prato and study printmaking/etching in the future.” - Katie

“The course most certainly opened my eyes to the fabulous variety of printmaking. I am now in love with the concept and can’t wait to do more back home.” – Sabrina

Many of the students are looking to begin or are already studying printmaking in VCE at High school, so this short course provides a platform for them to explore new techniques and styles. It is an experience that inspires many to consider further study in art or design when they graduate.

This year the group was accompanied by Lilly Dusting, a teacher at St Catherine’s who had undertaken the printmaking course at the Monash Prato Centre herself when she was a student.  Her passion for printmaking began in Prato, leading her to study Fine Art with a major in printmaking.

This year’s students have each left a print for the Monash Prato Centre to display on its walls, and they have taken the rest back to school for an exhibition that will promote the course to future students. We look forward to welcoming the next group from St Catherine’s School!


Student testimonials:

“…it was really interesting learning new techniques and using new materials in a foreign/ beautiful country and city. I would come back and do this all over again in a heartbeat.” – Hunter

“I found the printmaking course to be very enjoyable and informative, it really opened my eyes to the world of printmaking.” – Lily

“Our stay in Prato and the printmaking course was an amazing experience. Prato is such a stunning place and being here I felt like a local [...] Long story short I’m coming back.” – Sabrina