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News > VISITING ALUMNI > Ralph relives his art lessons!

Ralph relives his art lessons!

Having found some beautiful printing blocks, Ralph Montagu joined the Art activity one Saturday morning.

1953 Coronation print by Ralph Montagu
1953 Coronation print by Ralph Montagu
Ralph Montagu, who was at school here in the 1970s and a Governor until recently, relived his happy memories in the Art Department by spending a Saturday morning with us in February.

Whilst doing some turning out he had found a few old lino and wood printing blocks which belong to his mother, who sadly is suffering from Alzheimer’s and remembers very little. Ralph was intrigued to know how the blocks would print so got in touch with our art department to try them out. He arrived with four blocks; one lino design, commemorating the Coronation in 1953 and several beautifully detailed wood blocks.

First of all, we set up our Albion Press to print from the woodblocks, which needed a little bit of twiddling and trying out different thicknesses of packing. We usually use the press for lino, which is much thinner. The blocks printed well with our water-based inks to show the very detailed carving of his mother’s. Then we moved onto the lino, which was a little trickier as it was not completely flat. We eventually decided to use a thicker, oil-based ink and a dabbing technique to apply the ink, rather than the roller. It took several attempts but the last print was the clearest and almost printed all of the areas.

Ralph reminisced whilst in the department, that when he first started a the school, he used to have double art on a Saturday morning with ‘Mrs.B’ (headmaster John Bradfield's wife, Jackie Bradfield) and it felt like a full circle to be back in the department again. 


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