Printfest in Schools

Learning about printmaking

We aim to inspire young people with printmaking, encouraging the use of printmaking techniques and an appreciation of printmaking by others.

A printmaking brief for 2023 was provided to Primary and Secondary Schools to spark ideas for projects and artwork which was displayed at The Coro during Printfest 2023.

Secondary and Primary school printmaking showreel from 2023

Comments from schools and school children in response to the Printfest weekend:

“I just wanted to say how fantastic Print Fest was this year, and seeing the students work presented so professionally was incredible. So thank you” UVHS

“My project for Printfest was great, once I was looking at my artwork in the gallery, it shone right in front of my eyes and I enjoyed it throughout the experience” Student from Lakes School

“I like how Printfest gives young artists an opportunity to be seen” Student from Lakes School

“The children get the opportunity to work to a brief and have their work displayed in a gallery. It gave our children a sense of achievement” teacher from Ramsden Infants School

“The children loved printing! It is very sensory and suited their needs” Teacher from Sandgate School

“It was great for the students to have their work exhibited outside of school. It raises their aspirations as well as their motivation levels” Teacher from Settlebeck School

“Lovely to have so many students involved. I really like that you do free teacher places on the courses” exhibiting Artist

“Great to see. Keep it going. Art in school is vital.” exhibiting Artist

“I am impressed by the variety of work produced and with the way it has been hung” Hilary Paynter, Printmaker of the Year

“I am trying to pick someone who has a slightly different voice, has a bit of individuality coming through, anyone can make a print, but how do you move out of the milieu, how do you make it powerful? Not pretty but powerful?” Gail Mason, Printmakers’ Printmaker and schools’ Judge

Instructional videos

Please feel free to use these during lessons, pausing the instructions as you go along ~ Click the image to view the videos in YouTube.

Relief Printing with Polyblock ~ Anyone can use this instructional video for learning how to create some simple printmaking techniques that can be done in any space.

Monoprinting with stencils part I Anyone can use this instructional video for learning how to create some simple printmaking techniques that can be done in any space.

Primary and Secondary school printmaking showreel from 2022

Above is a selection of the prints created by the school children in response to the brief

The YOUNG Printmaker of the Year Award winners
~ Shannon
~ Ulverston Victoria High Secondary School
~ Peter ~ Broughton-in-Furness CE Primary School

This is a new award this year because of the amazing creative input form over 600 school children who took part in responding to the brief developed with artist Gail Mason, who was voted Printmakers’ Printmaker in 2022. Gail selected the winners and made several commendations for both individual students and for their schools. Lorraine Thompson and Esther Benson of the Printfest Team will be making presentations of the award certificates during school assembly at these two schools.

Primary and Secondary

Primary and Secondary school pupils in the local area fully embraced our project. Using a range of printmaking techniques and a variety of creative responses to the brief, students produced an impressive collection of work. The work of over 600 children was on display over the Printfest weekend, up the stairwell, in the Super Room, in the Main Hall corridor or projected on a loop in the Supper Room.

The 2023 brief

Aims: To learn about printmaking techniques

Gail Mason was voted as “Printmaker’s Printmaker” at this years Printfest weekend.

Gail Mason produces monotype screen prints of imagined or remembered landscapes. She says she is “looking to nature to inspire and delight me, I create fictive environments and revel in colour using it to set an emotional tone”. Explaining her practice as “taking colour for a dance”. The work is made up of layers of transparent and opaque paint.

We asked Primary and Secondary school pupils to respond to Gail’s work. The key words to focus on could be imagination, colour or layering. The work submitted for display at Printfest 2023 does not have to be landscape in theme and can simply focus on one of these three words.

Gail Mason can be found on stand 21.

The outcome

• Show work at Printfest 2023.

• Admission to Printfest is free for all children and students


Printfest has been able to offer 4 hour workshops, split into two sessions, to some local Primary Schools, with the aim of introducing children and teachers to printmaking techniques that can easily be taught in the classroom. The print work produced by the children in these workshops was on display with the school work over the Printfest weekend. There were also two places on each of the workshops at Printfest, for teachers, offering the opportunity for new skills and ideas to be taken away and shared in the classroom. We are grateful for the help in funding by Cumbria Community Foundation.

For further information about getting involved please email: or

Huge thanks to these amazing sponsors for materials for the schools project:

Essdee wrote to Printfest to say: “Essdee are proud to be involved with Printfest for the third year and have been especially excited to have supported the Printfest in Schools project this year. We have been excited to partner with Printfest to help encourage young people to learn about printmaking and enjoyed attending the exhibition and have been really impressed with the work that the children have produced.”