Kate Desforges – Creative Careers Week

Our second career spotlight today is Kate Desforges. Kate is an artist, printmaker and our print studio coordinator here at WYPW! 


Who are you and what do you do? 

My name is Kate Desforges, and I’m an artist, printmaker and Print Studio Co-ordinator at West Yorkshire Print Workshop – a creative space for artists and designers, we offer specialist facilities for artists and designers to learn and practice printmaking. We also have artist studios and an exhibition space. My role is largely technical – maintaining our specialist equipment and helping out members to make prints. I am also on the tutor team for our programme of short courses in print.  

Did you study a creative subject? If so, what and where? 

Yes, I got my degree in Fine Art from Kingston University in 2005, and before that studied art and design at GCSE, A-Level and Foundation. Since then I have undertaken further training and professional development through artist residencies and fellowships. 

What printmaking techniques do you work with? 

As a technician I am required to have a good grasp of pretty much all printmaking processes, so I can turn my hand to most things, however my first love is etching – I love working with metal and there was a smell and feel about the etching workshop at Uni that just clicked with me. I learned it on a module from a brilliant technician, (who inspired me to become one myself). After Uni I continued to hone my etching skills through an artist residency at Intaglio Printmaker in London, and since then I’ve spent a year and a half learning stone lithography at Leicester Print Workshop, and 5 weeks learning woodblock printing in Japan. 

What inspires you? 

Helping others, learning new techniques from other artists, and experimenting with print processes to push boundaries and figure out what is and isn’t possible. Also making prints using multiple print processes – mixing things up! The feeling you get when you pull a good print. 

Name 3 great things about your job. 

I get to work with a brilliant team and a really diverse range of artists, I get to have nerdy technical conversations with other printmakers, experiment, and pass my skills onto others – as my job! 

What top tip would you have for a young creative?  

Practical experience is so important in the field of printmaking, and sometimes formal education isn’t always enough – look out for volunteering opportunities, internships and residencies which will gain you invaluable skills and experience.