Shirley’s working life is divided between her own artistic work, and running Handprinted – the company she set up in 2003. ‘I came to printmaking after working in Fashion and then after retraining, I worked as a teacher of textile printing and dyeing in Adult Education’. The shop and studio are an extension of Shirley’s own creativity, where studio space and printmaking presses and materials can be used either by individuals, with one-to-one tuition or on many of the courses and workshops. A whole host of the great and the good of the printmaking world make their way as guest lecturers / demonstrators / teachers and encouragers to Shripney Road in Bognor Regis to teach and inspire the novice and the experienced printmaker alike. Originally the Handprinted shop specialised in printmaking and dyeing for textiles, but with the 146th and current ‘renaissance’ in printmaking more generally, the company now embraces all forms of printmaking and all requisite materials.
‘The Handprinted studio is upstairs from the shop where we teach a variety of courses and it is also used by a selection of artists, including myself, to create their own work’. The fact that Shirley sees her own personal studio-time as important is indicative of her desire to keep her feet firmly on the ground and not entirely into teaching at the detriment of her own work. ‘This is not simply because I would miss producing my own work. We need to use, understand and be passionate about the materials we sell if we are to genuinely be of support to our customers’