Blackstack Studio is a fine art printmaking studio, established in 2011. We are located in No. 42 Parliament Street, on the Medieval Mile in Kilkenny, opposite Rothe House and beside the Smithwicks Brewery. The studio was set up by a group of five volunteers who worked with the assistance and guidance of The Kilkenny County Council Arts Office to address the need for access to print facilities in the South East.
The studio supports artists, craftspeople and designers from Kilkenny and surrounding counties by providing access to silkscreen and intaglio printmaking facilities. The studio received assistance with some of the start-up costs from Kilkenny County Council Arts Office, the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and ArtLinks.
We advocate and promote the use of environmentally friendly printmaking techniques and materials. We are among a growing number of Green studios worldwide that exclusively uses non-toxic methods. The motivations for non-toxic printmaking have been twofold: to eliminate health hazards for the artist and to make less of a toxic impact on the environment. World-renowned expert Prof. Friedhard Kiekeben, of Columbia College, Chicago, assisted us in 2011 with a series of workshops and mentoring. Since 1990 Kiekeben has pioneered the development of viable and safer alternatives to traditional toxic printmaking processes.
Blackstack Studio provides both emerging and established artists with the opportunity to become members of the studio, to make and exhibit their work and to be part of a network of artists where skills and information can be exchanged. We facilitate training programmes to allow artists to advance their artistic careers by expanding their knowledge of different printmaking processes and introducing them to the most up-to-date non-toxic methods. We aim to promote and support the development of the visual arts and to raise awareness of printmaking as an accessible, unique and innovative artform through workshops and classes with various groups within the local community.
Through the Print Network, Blackstack Studio is engaged with other printmaking studios throughout Ireland furthering the development and promotion of printmaking by forging links and creating opportunities for future projects and collaborations.