Free workshops won’t let the ink dry at iconic printworks building

FJ Parsons sign at Hastings Observer building SUS-160830-095544001
FJ Parsons sign at Hastings Observer building SUS-160830-095544001

There’s an opportunity for people of all ages to take part in free print workshops tomorrow (Saturday September 3) at the iconic Observer Building Hastings.

Hosted in Hastings’ former print quarter, the event is being held as part of the Page Break print season. Workshops will take place in Rock House and the Printworks building, where FJ Parsons print company employed around 1000 people, until many of the traditional printing skills were lost to digital technology in the 1980’s.

Page Break has been programmed by Hastings resident, Dawn Dublin, to celebrate the print heritage of the F J Parsons Ltd company.

There are five drop-in workshops run by local artists, photographers and illustrators:

The workshops include a Letterpress printing taster which is suitable for all ages. Participants have the opportunity to design their own wood type words and print them on a vintage Farley proof press.

An Illustration workshop, headed by artist Christopher Hoggins offers family-friendly illustration for all ages.

During the Linocut demonstration and taster workshop, also suitable for all ages, participants can visit the print wagon in the alleyway and watch lino-cut demos with artist Aiden Saunders.

In the Fanzine workshop, those aged 7 and over have the opportunity to help local artists Danny Pockets and Peter Quinnell create a fanzine from scratch using photography, collage, drawing, printing and more.

A Photograms and pinhole portraits workshop for ages 4 and above offers the chance to make a picture under the red light of the darkroom or take a Victorian style portrait and watch the picture appear.

Dawn says the workshops offer a fantastic opportunity for all ages. “These fun, informal, drop-in workshops are a great way to get a taste of the wonderful world of print”, she said.

“There’s no experience necessary, just come along and enjoy!”

Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Workshops take place between 11-4pm and can be accessed through the alleyway below Brassey Steps, Claremont Street. A steward and posters around the building will give directions.