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WPS Studio Guidelines

Below are guidelines for using the Print Studio in ManlyVale, Sydney. This covers the basic safety and management guidelines to be adhered towhee in a class or workshop, covering some of the equipment used. As this is a professional print studio, the following guidelines have been developed to maximise your use of the Studio and to minimise conflict with other users. Please act responsibly & cooperatively by adhering to these few simple rules and procedures. Please help out when you can.


The Warringah Printmakers Studio reserves the right to deny access to any member who consistently ignores these guidelines. 


Emergency: Phone 000 for Ambulance, Police Station or Fire Station. 

Dee Why Police Station – Ph: 9971 3399 

Manly Police Station – Ph: 9977 9499 

Northern Beaches Council Emergency plumbing, power or security – Ph: 9942 2111 

Fire extinguishers are situated in both the Studio and in the kitchen. Please familiarise yourself with the location and how to use the equipment. The doors between the Studio & the hall are fire doors – close them immediately if a fire breaks out. If required to evacuate the building, leave immediately - do not pack up belongings. Evacuation plan is on the wall over the water tray. 



See the Privacy Policy on the website. 


A First Aid box is available. First Aid kit contains bandaids, antiseptic & eye wash facilities. Always wear rubber gloves if assisting with an open wound. 



Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are located in a folder at the front desk. Please familiarize yourself with the contents. 



Printmaking classes operate on the following days:- 

Monday - 9.30am - 12.30pm 

Tuesday – 9.30am – 12.30pm and 6.30pm – 9.30pm 

Wednesday - 9.30am - 4.30pm 

Saturday - 9.30am - 4.30pm fortnightly (schedule may be varied) 

Workshops and other press uses may be held at other times. 

The studio is to be vacated by 10.30pm because of leasing agreements with Northern Beaches Council and OH&S requirements. 



The Studio is committed to a policy of safer printmaking practice. Chemicals not approved by the Management Committee must not be brought into the Studio. 

Members accessing the Studio must take responsibility for their own safety. 

Therefore, please: - 

▪ Do not bring friends, family, children or pets onto the premises during classes or access. Only those authorised by the WPS committee or Warringah Council are permitted access to the premises. 

▪ Wear gloves, aprons & other protective items such as goggles & masks as required. Nitrile gloves are recommended - other disposable gloves may still transfer some substances to the skin. 

▪ Wear appropriate clothing and enclosed, sturdy shoes at all times. 

▪ Tie back long hair - it may get caught in the presses. 

▪ Ensure hazardous substances are stored in the appropriate location - either the storeroom or the lockup cupboard provided. 

▪ Do not use any equipment or print process that you are not familiar with or if under the influence of alcohol, drugs or some medications. 

▪ Food and drink should be consumed in the kitchen or outdoors. 

▪ Never clean printmaking equipment in the Council kitchen. 

▪ Take care when using blades, cutting tools and the guillotines. 

▪ Always correctly label containers and do not put potentially harmful substances into food or drink bottles. 

▪ Communicate with others working in the studio regarding locking up and turning off switches so that everyone is aware of their role at the end of a session. 

▪ Keep mobile phone usage to a minimum – it can be very distracting. 

▪ Empty bins before it gets dark and ensure that the doors to the toilet, the outside storeroom and kitchen are locked. 

▪ Do not leave outside storeroom, toilet or kitchen open while working. 

▪ Report to teachers or Committee if you are affected by any of the materials in the workshop or if you or anyone else has had an accident. 

▪ Etchants - Please use copper sulphate, ferric chloride or Edinburgh Etch. To be used with teacher supervision. 

▪ Aquatint - Please use spray paint or the airbrush gun with Badger aquatint spray in the fume cupboard. Clean airbrush thoroughly after use. To be used with teacher supervision.

▪ Solvents – Vegetable oil and VCA (vegetable cleaning agent) replace solvents such as mineral turpentine, methylated spirits and kerosene. 

▪ Chemical Waste - containers for spent chemicals (copper sulphate, ferric chloride & VCA) are located in the in the guillotine room. Dried copper sulphate, which has etched aluminium, may be transferred to the rubbish bin for safe disposal. Please do not pour spent chemicals down the sink.

▪ Treat each other with respect. WPS is a member run, volunteer led Artist Run Initiative. Please help out when you can.




1) Full Membership 

A full member may: - 

▪ Vote at the annual general meeting 

▪ Be eligible for nomination to the Management Committee. 

▪ Be considered for exhibitions & projects organised by the Studio. 

▪ Become an assisted access member (see Conditions of Access). 

▪ Participate in classes, workshops, lectures and demonstrations. 

▪ Receive Newsletters, mail-outs and exhibition invitations. 

▪ Apply for website space to promote private printmaking exhibitions. 


2) Full/Concession - all the rights of full membership apply (senior’s cards not accepted for eligibility). 


3) Associate Membership 

An associate member is a non-access & non-exhibiting member who may: 

▪ Do classes and workshops. 

▪ Receive newsletters, mail-outs and exhibition invitations. 




▪ The presses and blankets are very expensive pieces of equipment and should be treated with due care. Blankets should be flat & straight; hands should be clean when using the press. 

▪ Do not over tighten the press – the rollers & bed may be damaged, teacher or technician will set the press. 

▪ Never put any hard or sharp objects through the press. It is always best to check your collagraph plate to ensure it will not cause any damage to the blankets or the presses. 

▪ Centre the bed before releasing the pressure and cover with the dust cloths provided. 


Light Exposure Unit: Do not use the light exposure units without a teacher assisting. 

▪ Clean the glass with soft cloth and glass cleaner

▪ Use the dot screen before exposing your artwork – this will keep the dot screen clean. 

▪ Don't use objects which may scratch the glass inside the vacuum frame. 

▪ When post exposing put your plate on top of the vacuum frame with a piece of paper or plastic underneath to protect the glass from scratches. (Olec) 

▪ Clean your hands before touching the unit. This is to keep the control panel clean and free of inky fingerprints. 

▪ Do not leave the machines running for an extended length of time. 

▪ If you turn it off, ensure it has completed its shut down cycle before turning back on. 

▪ (Olec) After use, switch off the unit at the 'Power' button, and not at the wall switch beneath the unit. If the exposure unit is turned off at the wall switch, all the settings will be lost. 


Photocopier: Supervision by a teacher or committee member is required to use the photocopier, unless otherwise approved. Please provide your own transparencies. Note price list for copies. 


Storerooms: The outside storeroom houses the metal guillotine, chemical recycling etc. The inside storeroom houses the photocopier, items needed for Studio administration, exhibitions, stores and other sundry equipment. To avoid disturbing other hirers of the community centre when the hall is in use, please enter the storerooms by walking around the building, not through the hall. Outside storeroom must be accessed with a teacher, management committee member or technician.

Metal Guillotine: The guillotine in the storeroom can be used to cut copper, zinc, aluminium, photopolymer plate and other metals in full supervision by a teacher, management committee member or technician. Only users who have been inducted to use the guillotine may do so. 

Please pick up your scraps & place in the bin provided. 

Studio Guillotine: The Ideal Trimmer may be used to cut paper, cardboard & photopolymer plate. Please exercise caution when using the guillotines. 

Inks & Other Consumable Items: Class and workshop Students may use the studio inks under supervision of the teacher. Other users of the Studio are expected to provide their own inks, paper, gloves, sponges, tarlatan and rags.

Paper, Plate & Tarlatan: Printing paper, photopolymer plate and tarlatan are kept for the convenience of Studio users and may be purchased (please check price list). Occasionally, woodblocks, aluminium plate or copper plate may be available for purchase, but please do not rely on the availability of these items. 



Always wear gloves when using cleaners. 

Instructions for using VCA:

1. The VCA will remove ink, asphaltam, traditional hard and soft ground as well as the acrylic based grounds – anything formerly removed by turps - but it may take a little longer. Immerse metal plates, spatulas & brushes in VCA and leave for a minute or so. 

2. Scrub the surface gently with a soft brush. 

3. Remove the plate, letting drips fall back into the Estasol container. 

4. Rinse the plate in soapy water. 

5. Dry with a clean rag. 


Metal Plates & Tools: Use either VCA or vegetable oil to clean metal plates & tools. 

Acrylic Grounds & Stop-Out Varnish: To remove from plates, mix ½ cup of soda ash with 750ml of hot water and place into a tray. Put plate into the solution and rub with a soft brush until the stopout completely dissolves. 

Other Grounds: Use VCA or Home Stripper for BIG. 

Photopolymer Plates: Use vegetable oil to clean off etching inks. 

Paint Spray Cans: Clear by turning upside down and spraying. 



▪ Remove as much of the ink from the roller as possible by rolling on scrap paper. 

▪ If using VCA, put a few drops on a clean cotton cloth and gently wipe the roller clean. Wipe surface of the roller with a damp soapy rag. Dry thoroughly. 

▪ If using oil (vegetable or baby oil), put a small amount on a clean cotton cloth and gently wipe the roller clean with a cotton rag. Dry the roller with a clean, cotton cloth removing all the oil. 

▪ Always put rollers away in the correct manner. The rubber surface should not rest on a hard or sharp surface or the roller will become misshapen.



1. Remove as much ink as possible with a spatula; wipe over with vegetable oil. 

2. Degrease with spray cleaner & dry with a clean cloth. 



Before leaving the Studio after a printing session, the teacher may ask you to assist with pack up: 


▪ centre bed of press and raise rollers above bed

▪ hang blankets over cross brace to dry out 

▪ Cover the press with a dust sheet. 


Print Room Safety: 

▪ Put away any chemicals you have been using and lock the chemical cupboard. 

▪ Turn off the fume cupboard & the extractor fans. 

▪ Turn off the hot plate, the hairdryer & any fans or heaters after using & unplug. 

▪ Ensure the exposure unit has been switched off. This should be done as soon as all plate exposures are completed. 

▪ Switch off air conditioners when leaving. 


Studio Cleanliness: 

▪ Empty water from the photopolymer developing tray. 

▪ Empty water from paper soaking tray. 

▪ Hang up the towels to dry or take them home to wash if they become dirty during use. Return them next session. 

▪ Bring in rags or pre-cut rags for the next studio user. 

▪ Clean the table tops, and put any oil or solvents back on the cleanup table. 

▪ Put away all the equipment you have used. 

▪ Rollers must be cleaned thoroughly & put back in the correct way to avoid flat spots & dents. 

▪ Put ALL rubbish in the outside bins. 

▪ Unless it is very dirty with ink, recycle as much paper as possible by placing in the blue lidded bins outside. 

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