Friday, 14 February 2014

Oxford University Museum of Natural History: Exhibition Opening

FEnland Expert Curt Lamberth adds the finishing touches to athe audio/visual exhibition of Art+Science from Wytham Woods curated by Robin and Rosie

Post by Robin Alexander Wilson.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Printmaking at Marley Fen (Wytham Woods)

For more images of my latest effort concocted from sunrise sketching at the University of Oxford's Marley Fen where Dr. Curt Lambert, one of the fenland researchers, is working with us on the forthcoming art+science exhibition at the OU Museum of Natural History, which re-opens to the public on February 15th.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


We will open the studio in Wytham Woods between 11.00 and 4.00 on Sunday, when we will be printmaking and selling our current collection of linocuts and hand printed cards.  If you come up to see us you don't need a visitor's permit for the woods.  There is ample free public parking and the studio is about ten minutes walk from the car.  Do wear wellies!

If you get lost in the woods, or need any further information, call Robin on: 07946 597316. 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Gilded Linocut Christmas Cards

Hand-printed cards made from original linocut blocks. We're selling these at our Flash In The Pan exhibition in Oxford's Summertown and directly from the Wytham Studio for £3.95 each. Email me if you would like to order some.

Gilded Linocut Christmas Cards

Thursday, 21 November 2013

@THE WYTHAM STUDIO: Oxfordshire Artsweek 23/24 November

23/24 November 11.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
Robin and Rosie will have their WYTHAM STUDIO open this weekend instead of being at their usual home, The Strawbale Studio in Duns Tew (which will be closed).  I think this is contrary to what we had originally advertised. We will certainly be at Wytham this weekend making prints for our forthcoming exhibition in London.  The woodburner will be on and we'll have some mulled wine going all day.  Do come up and join us, where we'll be printmaking and selling cards, pictures and  taking bookings on our forthcoming courses.  

If you haven't been to us before, the studio is not next to the car park.  We are a good ten minutes walk into the centre of the woods from the public car park.  There will be maps on all the pedestrian gates into the woods and leaflets for you to talk that show the paths.  Take this rare opportunity to visit the Oxford University research woodlands without the need for the customary walking permit.

If you have any difficulty in finding us, telephone on: 07946 597316.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


COURSE DATES FOR EARLY 2014 are as above.  We are running other courses, but these are already booked.  For those who don't know, each course is taught by both Rosie and Robin jointly and has a maximum of three students to ensure you get the maximum of attention.  Unless you email us with specific requirements, we assume that you have no prior printmaking experience and will teach you from scratch all of the techniques you need to be able to go home and make linocut images of your own. 

We specifically avoid using expensive or specialist equipment and presses: everything we use can comfortably be carried in a satchel, which makes this course ideal for people just starting out and unsure whether this is the art form for them.   In two days you will make a black and white image and a large multi-colour image using the reduction method.  We cover all of the materials, papers and suppliers and provide ongoing contact and advice with our former students as they progress after the course.  If you want to come back for an intermediate level course, or are already a printmaker, then we can tailor courses to meet those needs just as easily.

Courses cost £195 per person for two days, with lunches and materials included, and are held in our idyllic Wytham Studio in the heart of the University of Oxford's Wytham Woods.

For booking or more information, contact Robin on:

BCI Gallery London

Here's the poster for our upcoming BCI Gallery Exhibition, which opens on 8th December in London in conjunction with National Glass Centre Sculptor Goshka Bialek.  This will be a bit out of our usual range. Goshka is very much into conceptual and public art.  We overlap in a range of combined pieces, notably glass scupltures with printed inclusions and printed flat art turned sculpted installation.  Its a bit of an experiment, and if it proves successful, we are already talking about a sculpture exhibition at Wytham.

The Jam Factory Exhibition

Pictures taken by the Oxford Times for the launch of our September-October Exhibition in Oxford's Jam Factory Arts Centre Gallery.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Exhibition: Oxford Jam Factory (Sept 25 - Nov 5)

Robin & Rosie at the Jam Factory, Oxford
During the time we were in Romania, The Tube Gallery installed an exhibition at Oxford's Jam Factory  entitled: Wild Britain.  That show featured a mix of British wildlife artists, and we put in about six of our recent images from Wytham Woods.  Yesterday that show came down and we installed a solo show in the same space (a strange coincidence) - this time featuring some of new Scilly Isles images taken from the recent summer fieldwork on St. Martin's, some newer work from the Wytham Studio, and one or two images from our Lycian travels last summer.

The Jam Factory Exhibition is open between Sept 25 and Nov 5. Its free, and there are three other exhibitions by other contemporary artists in different parts of the building.  Also the coffee and cakes are both excellent.

Link to Image Gallery Here:
Jam Factory Opening

Sketching Fieldwork in Maramures, Romania

Maramures is one of the most beautiful and fascinating of the many mountainscapes in Romania.  The area is dotted with icon-painted wooden churches that date from the medieval period right up to the present.  The current enthusiasm in Romania for Orthodox monasticism means new wooden monasteries popping up in ever increasing numbers.  Our walk took up from the Pasaul Gutai above Mara to the Creasta Cocosului, Breb, Botiza, Budesti and so on - alternating high mountains and low orchard scenery.  The teams were out scything the last of the hay fields and the apple picking and palinca stills were boiling at full capacity.  For some reason we encountered more flocks, shepherds and their sheep than we usually do in this area. The cheese-making was in full swing and we managed to fill our sketch books and notebooks with images and recorded conversations with the people we met.  

The purpose behind this re-visitation was to pass more slowly through the landscape than we usually manage when we lead groups in the mountains.  On this occasion we had no itinerary as such, so we paused where it seemed appropriate to do so, and pushed on when the climbing or the weather seemed to warrant it.  Needless to say, at some point in the near future we will be working the sketches and text up into an exhibition of finished pieces.

Link to Photos:
Maramures, Romania: Sketching Fieldwork.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

We have a selection of pictures in at the Tube Gallery "Wild Britain" show, which is at the Jam factory in Oxford and opens on Tuesday night.  Do go along to the PV if you are in Oxford.  The show runs until 24th September and has a great range of artists.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


with Robin & Rosie

To book places email:

Robin and Rosie open their studio every second weekend of the month for bookbinding or printmaking courses depending on demand. Both two-day courses (which include lunch and all materials) cost £190 per person/course and each caters for a maximum of three students at a time.  Courses can be run either at The Wytham Studio in Wytham Woods or at The Strawbale Studio in Duns Tew.  Because places on the regular courses are limited, it is sometimes possible to add additional courses during weekdays.  If the course you want is already booked, we are always happy to discuss potential alternative dates.

The Wytham Studio
University of Oxford
Sawmill Yard

The Strawbale Studio
Flagstone Press
53 Duns Tew


by Robin

I presume that the Facebook galleries that I set as references do actually work? Blogger doesn't seem to have a good gallery feature.  The two sets of pictures below are taken from our recent and very hectic week at Art in Action, which is the annual gathering at Waterperry House in Oxfordshire of an invited crowd of artist/craftspeople from all forms of media.  Last year we were in the woodcutting tent.  This year we were pro/de-moted to the printmaking tent where we caused havoc among the masses by getting the rollers and blocks out and letting everyone have a go at making their own prints.  By the end of each day we had between 50 and 100 new prints drying on the lines behind us, and had spread ink over every visitor who strayed inadvertently into the tent.  Alongside us were old friends Ian Phillips and Laura Boswell, and also new colleagues: Julian Meredith (huge planks and whale prints), Sophie Layton (very contemporary monotypes) and Vladimir Vorobiev (coloured etchings).  We had the huge loaned Albion Press in action and Vladimir was i/c the etching press, which he ran throughout the week.

If you don't know about Art in Action then you really have missed out.  Take a look at this year's website HERE and make sure you go along next year.



Friday, 28 June 2013


by Robin & Rosie

Strictly speaking our annual trip to St. Martin's is 'holiday' rather than 'work'.  That said, we always take sketch books and usually end up a few months later with a proportion of our finished collection that represents our time in Scilly.  This year was very much like other years: we had a mix of sun and rain, we read a lot, sailed a lot and sketched here there and everywhere.  In the past we've ended up with linocuts of Hell Bay, Steve's fishing boat, Old Quay on St. Martin's and a range of rowing gig pictures (which particularly fascinate me because in the past I rowed in the gig Dolphin and still manage to thrash about in river VIIIs in the Isis).  This year differed from previous years in that someone has clearly got to hear that we make art as a living.  Word came to us to visit the North Farm Gallery on St. Martin's, and as a result we've been asked that any relevant parts of our forthcoming collection be exhibited there next year.  Neither of us needs any excuse at all to visit Scilly more often, so we jumped at the chance of being more involved in an island that I've been visiting since the early 1970s.  Watch this space!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


by Robin and Rosie

Similarly to the Printmaking Courses that we run, the two day bookbinding course assumes no prior knowledge of the subject.  In two very full days, we take the student from little or no previous experience of bookbinding up to the standard of having produced a hard-backed casebound book of their own.  If you want to come to us and learn more than this, then we also run intermediate courses which take this a stage or two further.

As usual, we charge £180- per person for a two day workshop in which all materials and food is supplied.  Usually we use our home studio at Duns Tew (North Oxfordshire), but in the coming months we will increasingly use our studio at Wytham Woods, thus allowing us to complete the improvements to the Strawbale Studio that we have been intending for some years to make.

If you are interested in our Bookbinding Courses, which run throughout the year, then email Robin to find the next available dates to:

Thursday, 30 May 2013


At just about every exhibition or demonstration we organise, we are asked about what tools, equipment, paper, techniques and so on we use, and in response I always do my best to help. As I also say, do feel free to contact us if anything comes up at a later date.  Feel free to email questions to Robin at:

Wednesday, 29 May 2013



by Robin & Rosie

The Wytham Studio was not by any means a finished product when we opened it this year for the first time for Artweeks.  We still lacked insulation, wind-proofing, water-proofing, a door, lighting, any printing equipment, name it, we lacked it.  Despite the possibilities for disaster, we hung the pictures, lit the log-burning stove and relied heavily on the barrel of local cider, a constant supply of victoria sponge and the cold weather to drive the art viewing public into our arms.  As the map above shows, we are not located close to the Wytham Woods car park, which is itself located along a track conveniently labelled "Private Property". Nonetheless, plenty of people found us and day after day we were rather overfilled with people.  And it was quite wonderful to see you all.  Next year, when the surroundings are no longer churned up by the heavy machinery we had to import to do the construction work, we hope the clearing where we are located will be filled with bluebells at this time.  The map above shows exactly where we are.  You can come to see us at any time - whenever we are working the gate to the studio will be open, so do feel free to come in to see us. Ordinarily you need a permit to wander at liberty in the woods.  If you follow the marked tracks however, you are welcome to visit us in any case.  I do advise that you telephone or email beforehand if you are planning a special visit. Rosie and I are often working elsewhere in the woods or outside of Oxford, so do make sure that we are likely to be there when you arrive.

Email Robin on:

Monday, 27 May 2013

by Robin and Rosie


During 18th-27th May we opened the Strawbale Gallery in Duns Tew to exhibit our latest collection of linocut and woodcut images.  Click on the link above to see more pictures from that show, which as usual featured our large original prints as well as cards and hand-bound books.  Every year we promise we will actually finish the studio for next year....and this year was no different.  The beaten earth floor is still degenerating into a chicken-induced dust bowl and the tin roof is still a bit leaky during winter storms.  The cats still get into the studio when we're using it as a gallery and get cat fur on the fabrics and chairs.  Next year we'll have all this sorted out........

Sunday, 26 May 2013


by Robin

With about ten minutes to go before we opened the Studio for Oxfordshire Artweeks, I caught Rosie taking it easy in the [just] finished exhibition space, which when finished will be our working studio.  Not that we have any big presses or anything to go inside the building, but as you can see we still lack insulation and an organised interior.


Saturday, 25 May 2013


by Robin & Rosie

The Exhibition in Harris-Manchester College marked a triumph of organisation and subtle persuasion.  We took down the portraits of bishops and filled the college with contemporary prints by Ian Phillips, Laura Boswell and Susan Wheeler, as well as by Rosie and me.  Everyone's work was mixed in together.  My aim was to to achieve an equality of impact by distributing the pictures as they best spoke to each other and fitted with the structure of the college.  Throughout the exhibition one or other of us was always demonstrating our printmaking, linocutting or frame-making.  Laura's husband, Ben contributed a set of huge display panels that between us we constructed at the University Sawmill in Wytham and transported to college courtesy of Martin Fairfax-Cholmeley and his old VW van.  At some point in the past hundred years, the old picture hanging system in college had been removed.  All the old metal bars from which pictures formerly had hung at some point became recycled into tanks or guns, or were removed in some kind of modernization programme.  With much frantic, last minute and midnight activity Rosie and I managed to reinstall the old hanging system, and so effectively bring the main quad back into use as a potential art space.

During the exhibition, we encouraged visitors to have a go at printing from some of our blocks, and Ian carved a vast single-block lino of flying geese, which he then proceeded to print by hand in a marathon of hard physical exercise.  Thanks go to all members of the College for their support and help in this exhibition, in particular to the Principal Dr Ralph Waller, The Librarian-Fellow Susan Killoran and our two college maintenance gents without whose ladders and help we would not have been able to run the exhibition.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013



As usual, we continue to run our usual Printmaking and Bookbinding courses at our Strawbale Studio in Duns Tew.  Click on the link above to go to a small gallery of pictures taken on one of the courses in April this year.  As you can see, we only every take two or perhaps three people on each course to ensure that you get the amount of tuition necessary to learn a lot of new techniques in a fairly short period of time.  On the particular course show, neither of the students had ever done any linocut before, so it was a steep learning curve to be able to produce a reduction method colour image before the end of the second day.

If you would like to attend any of our courses or find out more about out Printmaking, then please email Robin on:

Monday, 6 May 2013


by OxfordToday

Oxford Today magazine is distributed as a paper copy to all alumni of the University.  It turns out that they also make films about researchers and other bodies within the Uni that may be of interest to the wider community.  If you click on the link above it will take you to Part IV of a short film they recently made about the Wytham Studio.  Other than some voice over by Rosie and I, there is a good sequence of events from the construction of the studio up until the Artsweek show in Harris-Manchester which ties up the woodlands-based production of images with their later exhibition.  My favourite parts are the appearance of Keith Kirby who features in one of the earlier Wytham programmes and the shots of Nigel Fisher the Conservator of Wytham who expends a great deal of energy not to allow his image to be reproduced (for fear of we know not what).


Thursday, 2 May 2013


by Jane Stillwell

AS almost 1,000 artists prepare to open their doors to the public for Oxfordshire Artweeks, photographer Jane Stillwell has gone behind the scenes to discover what inspires some of the painters, sculptors, designers and potters taking part.  Mrs Stillwell, of Great Rollright, said: “I took my camera out into the villages around Banbury and Chipping Norton to discover the activities that provide the inspiration for our local designer-makers.

“All the artists were delighted to be involved – although taking photos on the hoof was quite a challenge at times.  I photographed over 40 local artists in their own environments. When I went to meet many of them I didn’t know what to expect when I got there. I hadn’t met many of them before and then, from a quick chat, had to capture their passion and inspiration with a sense of fun and that twinkle in their eye.”

As a result, artists are captured doing everything from riding a hobby horse to hugging trees and cows and wearing masks.

The complete project can be viewed online at:

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Rilievo Printmakers Exhibition

FIVE RILIEVO PRINTMAKERS: EXHIBITION AT HARRIS-MANCHESTER COLLEGE, OXFORD.  Under the guise of Oxfordshire Artweeks, Robin and Rosie have organised an exhibition of contemporary British Printmakers Ian Phillips, Susan Wheeler and Laura Boswell.  All five printmakers will be intermingling their art on the wall of the college, which again has generously allowed us to strip it of Victorian bishops and former fellows of the college in order to display over 100 contemporary woodcuts and linocut images.  

As usual with Artweeks, entrance to the exhibition is free and the works will be for sale.  The printmakers will be demonstrating their work throughout the week, which is intended as an opportunity for the public to ask questions and see the artists at work.   

Saturday, 23 March 2013

HARRIS-MANCHESTER COLLEGE, OXFORD is hosting our work throughout 2012 and 2013 in its main quad and library.

With the kind permission of the Principal, Dr. Ralph Waller the college has taken down its traditional pictures and will display a selection of the ongoing linocut and woodcut images made during the period of Robin's Residency.  Although the college is open to the public for chapel services on Sundays, it is normally necessary for the public to obtain permission to enter the college.  To arrange to visit the exhibition, call the college bursary on: 01865 271006

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


THE WYTHAM STUDIO LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THE WOODS. In the run up to Oxfordshire Artweeks in May we have completed the studio at Wytham.  At least in structure.  Internally the building remains an unglorified wooden framed construction lacking all facilities other than tables and chairs enough for us to spread out our simple printmaking equipment on.  The Oxford Artsweek show will be the first time that the studio is used for its ultimate purpose, but it won't actually be finished until later in the summer when we have time to fully draft-proof, decorate and complete its studio furnishings.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

"Wadham Bump in the Gut" (linocut)

This image of an VIII racing on the Isis in Oxford comes from a composite drawing that for once I had to make from several photographs.   For one reason the boats move so fast its hard to get a good sketch from life, and for another, I'm sat in the boat myself.  This recalls the Torpids races in March 2012 when the Wadham Old Boys boat, known as MBeer had a good year. For more of the latest linocuts from Robin, click the LINK to the album.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Artist-in-Residency, Oxford

Most of the latest images from our artist-in-residency at Wytham are now up on Facebook HERE, which will take you to a list of albums containing the latest pictures from our joint work at Wytham Woods, from Robin's residency at Harris-Manchester College, Oxford and from the progress (or lack thereof) of out new studio at Wytham.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Exhibition: Anatomy of a Print

For anyone who is in Oxford and curious about how we make our linocuts, I have just set up a small exhibition called Anatomy of a Print, which is in the Tate Library of Harris-Manchester College on Mansfield Road.  Unfortunately the library does not have general public access, but admission can be sought from the Librarian-Fellow Sue Killoran with whom it is possible to arrange visits. For her address and contact details, email me and I will be happy to provide them or to arrange a visit.

Harris-Manchester College, Oxford

This view of the Tate Quad is the second in a series of linocuts from Robin which will document the college as it is at the moment, focussing particularly on the new building work we are having done: a stunning new clock tower designed by architects Yiangou, on which work has begun this week.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Linocut: Harris Manchester College, Oxford

Despite being one of the smallest and youngest of the colleges of Oxford University, Harris-Manchester is one of only five currently to have an artist in residence. While older, wealthier colleges have large art collections assembled over many centuries, Harris Manchester is actively supporting and exhibiting the work of its resident artist.  The linocut above, by Robin shows the chapel, main quad and Principal's lodgings of the college, which was originally founded in 1757 as the Warrington Academy and was incorporated as the thirty-seventh college of the University of Oxford in 1996.

To start the exhibitions in college during 2013, the main quad contains a small selection of linocuts and woodcuts from the Wytham Exhibition, which has now finished at the Natural History Museum.  On March 14th I will open a show of architectural linocuts (of which the example above is one) with my invited guests Tim Wilson and Necati Zontul whose architectural drawings are used as backdrops in animated films.  Following that, in May, I will be hosting a linocut show for five British artists including myself: Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley, Sarah Wheeler, Ian Phillips and Laura Boswell, who will be filling the college with their pictures during the Oxfordshire Artweeks period.

For more details about the forthcoming exhibtions email me at:

For more about the college, see the website:

Exhibition: West Ox Arts December 2012

Some of the more recent linocuts went into the Vesey Room at Bampton recently as a solo show for West Ox Arts to start off the new year. 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Give a Printing Course as a Christmas Gift

Courses make an ideal gift for yourself and others.  We run our printmaking courses from our Strawbale Studio in Duns Tew, Oxfordshire, where we will teach you how to make your own linocut images from start to finish showing you all the techniques and tools you need to create you own pictures and cards.  We don't use any expensive equipment, so once you've learned the basics, this is something you can go on and do at home without the need for expensive presses or specialised equipment.

We will be running one and two-day courses throughout the year. Places are limited to three students on the two-day courses, which aim to teach multi-colour linocut technique.  On the one-day course we will teach you how to make simple but effective printed images.

For more information, email us on: or call Robin or Rosie on 07946 597316. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

A finished set of Christmas Cards.

Christmas Cards Set

The set of cards illustrated above is one of the designs commissioned for 2012. To create a two colour image of the owners house, I have used original photographs and sketches as the basis for a design which uses two carved lino printing blocks.  The block which I print from first is the coloured background layer, onto the top of which I print the second inked block, which in this case is black, and contains most of the the detail of the image.

In this instance, I have used the two lino-blocks to print thirty cards and two limited edition, mounted images. The cards are titled and signed in pencil, blank inside and come with envelopes and a protective plastic sleeve.

Although these cards are intended for Chritmas, Rosie and I undertake commissions for cards and images at any time of the year of for any occasion.  Prices start from £40 per block, which includes the image design.

For further information email us on:
Bretforton Hall

Bloxham Church
Wytham Woods0

Christmas Angel

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Flagstone: The Pressless Press

Burnishing the inked lino block
We were asked recently about the type of press we use for our images and cards.  The answer is that we don't use a press at all.  Unlike many printmakers we have neither an Albion or a Heidelberg and don't have to worry about creating space in our studio for heavy or expensive equipment.  The pictures we have recently exhibited are all the product of burnishing the reverse side of the paper after it has been placed on the inked block, as in the photograph above taken last during the process of printing cards for Bretforton Hall.  All of our prints are made in this way.  If the paper or card we are using is thick, such as for the Christmas cards, then we use a spoon (EPNS seems to give the best results).  If the paper we are using is finer or more absorptive, such as a the Japanese ho sho, then we will use a Japenese baren of the type shown below.

The texture of the leaf-wrapped baren and the knotted string spiral allow the ink to be transferred from the inked block to the carefully positioned (registered) paper that is placed upon it.  The spoon works in a similar manner, using physical pressure exerted by the printmaker to burnish a thin layer of ink onto the finished picture from the inked block beneath.   Both methods are time consuming and physically demanding, but the end results are as near to perfection as could be wished for.

That said.  If anyone has an old Albion Press going to waste somewhere, we would be happy to give it a good home.  The silver plate is wearing off the spoon, and it doubles up its functions at mealtimes.