Stencil solar lithography with Mary Dalton

Ref: SLW09762


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About this course

Stencil solar lithography uses photo-sensitive plates and is the perfect printmaking medium for those who enjoy free form stencil making, bold graphics and strong forms.

Course Description

Lithography is a branch of printmaking unlike any other. It is a planographic method that relies upon the principles of oil and water resist. It has the capability of producing beautiful layers of colour that can have both graphic and gestural form. Solar lithography uses an aluminium plate coated with a photo sensitive emulsion to create positives and negatives.

During this course you will be using daylight as your method of exposing the printing plate, which in itself is fun and a wonderful learning curve. It also enables the method of printmaking to be continued at home without the need of a photographic exposure unit.

You will be using stencils to create positive forms to build up layers to create an image. The stencils can be made from basic paper or be more explorative and integrate found objects, textiles, organic matter. You may use anything that blocks the sunlight from reaching the plate. Working initially in monochrome you will learn the lithographic process and the use of the presses. This also enables you to understand which objects work as stencils and which ones may be less successful, thus building up an individual tool set for expressive language within the medium.

Colour will be introduced as the course progresses when you feel confident with the exposing, inking and printing of the plates. The use of colour within lithography is a powerful expressive tool, especially when combined with varying stencil forms.

The aim of the course is to establish a confidence for all students within lithographic printing and further, within this specific branch. Mary will equip students with an ability to develop their own language within the method and how to integrate monochrome and colour for string results.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials including photo lithographic plates and associated chemicals, lithographic sponges, plus a selection of materials to use as stencils.
  • The College will supply some of the materials including paper, tissue paper, inks and gloves.

What students need to bring

  • Any materials suitable for potential stencils and any inspiration if you wish.
  • Old clothes/apron.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Printing paper, tissue paper, stencil material.
  • Inks, general drawing materials, sketchbooks


Mary Dalton

Mary trained at the Royal College of Art, graduating with an MFA in Printmaking. She has been teaching since 2008, including running the lithography studio at the famous Curwen. Her work is in the collections of the Imperial War Museum and the Tate Library as well as international museums.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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