Leaves, string, lace…

What Next?

22 May 2020: Frottage and mono printing workshop led by Amanda Thesiger

In the run up to the DAD Frottage and Monoprint workshop, I began to take rubbings of everything that could possibly work; items in the food cupboards and bathroom; doormats, pet baskets and pieces of slate, it was spiralling! I was mindful of the potentially ‘remote’ nature of running an activity, such as this workshop, online. But it’s a wonderfully tactile process. It makes you stop – and notice – and pulls out your sense of touch over and above your vision. So, despite the limits of Zoom, I was very excited to share it with a very able and willing group of 12 visual artists and makers, and to find that we felt we were a community, held together during this session of discovery. The group produced a constant and surprising stream of images, combining surfaces that were being sampled; some very delicate and fine, others, more bold and graphic. It was brilliant to see how indiscriminate this technique can be – with wax crayon, charcoal, conté or graphite – it’s not just beautifully veined leaves that work – though there were some lovely ones – but humble knitting and tea bags, thread, string and sections of patterned glass, wooden planks and lace gave themselves to transformation and becoming visible in decorative and evocative ways. The range of papers that people tested was very broad; from layout to tracing, newspaper, origami and music sheets to tissue, all producing exciting results.

Everyone had a big resource of frottaged samples and images by the time we moved into the second half of the workshop. Some pieces then took on new stages with ink and paint; printed over, lifted and painted on. Others were torn and cut to become part of a print and collage mix; or were worked into with direct drawing. Some participants applied watercolour over the crayon, exploiting the wax resist, while others returned to dry monoprints from a previous session, going back to frottage over these coloured surfaces to see what would take. Everyone’s approach was both methodical and organic; growing a collection of unique and beautiful images that marked a period of time and process; and a new relationship with some of the simple objects and materials they had become closely involved with. It was a very enjoyable and inspiring session. (Amanda Thesiger)


Thank you, an amazing creative morning

Excellent class and inspiration

Good fun

Very inspiring

It’s really given me a creative boost

Fantastic morning

This was another excellent workshop arranged by DAD and lead by Amanda Thesiger. The Zoom session worked well and the presentation was well researched and presented. We were shown examples of other artists’ work to start our imagination. We were encouraged to take texture rubbings from our own variety of objects and on different grades of paper. We then moved onto printing, again with Amanda demonstrating first before we tried our own ideas. I learnt so much about the frottage technique and application. 
Thank you DAD for this innovative workshop arranged during lockdown.


The workshop was part of the Dover Printfest 2020 in association with the Fête de l’estampe events taking place across Europe and with Dover Arts Development, the Dover Studio Collective and Future Foundry.