Collaborative printing

I have been reading a book I bought recently, Critical Mass, printmaking beyond the edge by Richard Noyce, in it he says “Printmakers tend to get together for the purpose of sharing workshop space and equipment and through projects, exhibitions or print exchanges. It is equally true that, because of this, printmakers are perhaps more likely than the painters or sculptors to be gregarious, gathering together at conferences and symposiums to share knowledge and learn from each other, or meeting up at the social events that accompany major print festivals and competition exhibitions.” I found this statement interesting because I had already previously mentioned that printmaking is quite an expensive hobby to undertake alone and access to a shared workshop is invaluable to a person who does not possess the necessary equipment at home.

I would like to investigate this theory further to establish if this is something that is unique to printmakers or if it also applies to other artists. Is it not true that artists from art movements such as Expressionism or Impressionism or Surrealism would gather together and exchange ideas, even publish manifestos? Is this the same or slightly different? I think with printmakers their shared knowledge is being used slightly differently, they take away the techniques or materials they like and integrate them into their own practice thus pushing print forward. It doesn’t remain stagnant but on the other hand it keeps traditional techniques such as monoprinting, etching and lithography alive. This links in quite nicely to the concept behind my FMP last year, passing on traditions.