Pavement Plebs

19 Jul


After getting a soaking with The Plebeian Scribblers last Saturday at the Troublemakers Festival I went back for more on Sunday with The Plebeian Printmakers. We worked the High Street, inking up manhole covers and other bits of pavement and road metal and took prints from them. Luckily, the rain had stopped by the time we were ready to get stuck in.

I wanted to print up some fragments of beautiful Khadi papers, maybe to use in collage like the ones below, but we also made prints in all sizes and on different types of paper and fabrics. We used child-friendly, non-toxic water based printing inks from Seawhites of Brighton that were easy to wash off.


The Plebeian Printmakers are Patricia McKenna-Jones, Chris Harrendence, Lynne Bebb, Hannah Lawson, Nathan P-J and me. Filmmaker Melvyn Williams filmed us so I’ll post that as soon as he’s edited it.



For a limited period I am putting a new drawing from my recent sketch books on my Artfinder gallery every day.  If you’d like to check them out, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

13 Responses to “Pavement Plebs”

  1. artsofmay July 22, 2017 at 15:14 #

    What a great project. I feel energized just looking at these prints.

    • Rosie Scribblah July 22, 2017 at 22:18 #

      Thanks 😀 I can’t stop looking at manhole covers now

  2. Leonie Andrews July 20, 2017 at 12:09 #

    I have stacks of photos of Japanese manhole covers. I wouldn’t consider trying it there. 😂

    • Rosie Scribblah July 20, 2017 at 19:03 #

      Bit busy lol 😁

      • Leonie Andrews July 21, 2017 at 03:43 #

        Yes, and most people are rather more concerned about acting in ways contrary to what is expected.

    • Rosie Scribblah July 21, 2017 at 10:47 #

      The street was closed to traffic because of the festival so people were aware of the mayhem all around them 😀

  3. anna warren portfolio July 20, 2017 at 08:45 #

    What a great idea! I have a friend who photographs manhole covers wherever she goes (Japanese ones are fabulous) but this is taking it one step beyond. Love the colours.

    • Rosie Scribblah July 20, 2017 at 19:02 #

      Thanks. It was easier than we were anticipating 😀

      • anna warren portfolio July 21, 2017 at 02:32 #

        Did you have to clean them off after? Or use water based paint and rely on rain …

    • Rosie Scribblah July 21, 2017 at 10:46 #

      We used water based printing ink, non-toxic for use in schools and had a bucket of water and big sponges to clean the ink off. It was surprisingly easy….

  4. Leonie Andrews July 20, 2017 at 06:44 #

    I love this. I saw some German? printmakers doing likewise. I’d love to give it a go. I thought I might find something in my neighborhood to start with. I think I have dire middle-class phobias about being ‘caught’ doing something like this. 😂

    • Rosie Scribblah July 20, 2017 at 07:30 #

      Hahahaha 😁 Yes, the Raubdruckerin Collective in Berlin, but they didn’t respond when I asked them what inks they used and for any tips so we made it up as we went along and managed fine. Next time we’ll try with fabric inks.


  1. Taking A Break | scribblah - September 4, 2017

    […] set up a window display of prints at Volcano on Swansea’s High Street today, with my fellow Plebeian Printmakers. We took part in the recent ‘Troublemakers Festival’, making prints from manhole covers […]

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