Original canal sketch

Student Spotlight: Pam Ware

Pam Ware is a student on our Bookbinding and Printmaking courses. Read her Morley story here.

Original canal sketch

'Shortly after I reached retirement age nine years ago I began to attend classes at Morley College. A week-long summer-school introduced me to bookbinding and I have been studying it ever since. My classmates are very skilled with repair of old books and working with leather. I have enjoyed learning about different bindings, old and new. I’ve repaired simple but well-loved paperbacks for friends and made custom designed books for myself, family and friends: a large sketch book with paper for pastels in a variety of colours – it’s now nearly full of sketches made in oil pastels in galleries and museums; small, concertina sketch-books; bespoke boxed greeting cards.

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'The presence of skilled and knowledgeable tutors is a great resource. Another student recommended the series of six Fridays, introducing printmaking. I loved it and have been glad to learn a variety of printmaking techniques: monoprinting; etching with one or with three plates; linocut; drypoint; polymer plates; Japanese woodblock printing; collographs.

'I have also enjoyed Morley College’s drawing and painting classes on occasion and with others regularly go sketching or water-colour painting. That regular sketching often provides inspiration for prints or paintings while also introducing me to parts of London I haven’t yet visited, as well as the challenge of sketching ‘en plein air’. I am trained as a scientist and it has been a delight learning – and appreciating - some of the skills of an artist, something completely new, at my age. Other Morley students, decades older than me have inspired me, as well as all those younger ones who find time in a busy life to participate too. It is a real bonus to see others’ work, share ideas and techniques and discuss plans on how things might develop.

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'Taking part in Lambeth Open Art weekend and other exhibitions on occasion, I have sold both prints and hand-made books and enjoyed seeing people’s reactions to my work whether or not they buy.

'It is interesting how concepts and skills overlap from one subject to another: colour-mixing acrylics whilst painting, informs mixing inks for printing or staining leather or paper for bookbinding; what I learn about paper and how to use it in one subject is always useful for the other. I’ve used etched prints as covers for my books and used book-binding skills to make a portfolio or other structures to hold, protect or display my prints.

Pam Ware Canal prints held in concertina

'Having the possibility of varying one’s experience, to learn something new or take up old skills, perhaps in a different way, is good for people of any age. I remember when the Inner London Education Authority made London unique in its provision of classes for adults. I am very glad that Morley College can celebrate its continued existence offering adults a variety of courses. I hope such opportunities, and their affordability, remain for the future.'

Find out more about Printmaking and Bookbinding courses at Morley.

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