The fair is the brainchild of James Green of the Sheffield Printmakers group, which aims to promote printmaking in the city. He reckons it will be the first event of its kind in Sheffield
There will be 38 designers, illustrators and artists exhibiting at the fair, including Mick Marston, We Live Here, Dust, Sarah Sharpe and Zoe Badger.
The works were chosen from an open submissions process, with Green and his Sheffield Printmakers comrades spreading the word through the usual channels of social media, flyering and good old-fashioned word of mouth.
‘The work is very varied’, says Green. ‘There’s some traditional art and more modern stuff too, which is what we wanted.
‘It’s not too much of a “design” fair – a lot of people will come who don’t know too much about printmaking, so it’s good to give people an idea of what it involves’.
Helping to ink the printmaking message onto visitors, there will be five demonstrations throughout the day, showing people the ropes in letterpress, screen-printing, collagraph, etching and linocut printing.
As well as works from established practitioners, the fair will see a table devoted to students from the graphic design and illustration courses at Sheffield Hallam University. At the other end of the age scale Green says a few of the fair’s participants are ‘old school’ printers in their 70s.
Green moved to Sheffield to study in the early 1990s, and never left. He says, ‘There are a lot of artists who live in Sheffield, and there’s definitely a real interest in hand-made stuff, maybe because of that heritage of handmade steel.
‘As it’s a slightly smaller city that Leeds or Manchester it feels more tangible – people in the artist communities bump into each other and talk to each other a lot, so it seems really friendly’.
Sheffield Print Fair takes place on 16 November at St Mary’s Church & Conference Centre, Bramall Lane, Sheffield S2. For more information visit http://www.sheffieldprintmakers.com