Wolverhampton School of Art

Mr Jim Abernethy

Principle Technician - Print

Jim Abernethy Picture
Email address: J.A.Abernethy@wlv.ac.uk Phone number: 01902 321615 Location: MK Building, MK210 Faculty: Arts School/Institute: Wolverhampton School of Art Areas of expertise: Printmaking


My background has been print based since finishing art college in 1989.

During my studies at Chester Art College I worked at the 'Chester Chronicle' newspaper printing factory between '88 and '89. I worked on the factory floor rather than in the pre-press studio. This gave me a valuable insight to the workings on an industrial scale. Their lithographic presses were still being used from the 1940's. Following this traditional machinery was the method by which it was being set, by hand using lead type and skillfully trained typesetters. The factory was updated and moved the year after I left the factory.

I moved to Wolverhampton and studied Graphic Design at the then Polytechnic between '89 and '91.

After graduating I studied on a business and marketing course and set up a silk screen printing business with friends, this venture lasted two years. I then became self employed offering my services as a graphic designer/desktop publisher.

After another year I was offered the opportunity to work in 'Kall Kwik', a small printing business set up in town as their sole designer.

This position quickly changed to working in a team of designers for a large printing company 'Lion Press' in West Bromwich. The company printed for a large range of clients including premier division football clubs. Lion Press ran a 24hour factory which offered a range industrial scale presses to cover the programs throughout the season. As a designer I had to submit proposals for how a program would look in the season ahead. A few of my program designs won contracts for the company and were used throughout the years of my employment there. This position gave me valuable insight to dealing with clients from initial concept through to on screen design, printing to lithographic film via imposition software and producing the lithographic plates to be loaded onto a multi-colour press.

I have been employed at the University of Wolverhampton as a Print Technician since 1998. The school had a specific Printmaking Course which was updating from dark-room generated film for photographic transfer of imagery over to computer based. This is where my position began, producing colour separations onto lithographic film for the various print methods on offer. I was also producing digitally generated prints on one of the first large format printers. The printmaking course was later evolved under Fine Art. Digitally generated artwork has become more popular in world of the artist, our students and in industry, this natural progression led both the traditional and digital print areas to become open resources to all subject areas within the school. The Digital Printmaking room has followed the advances led by industry and has now a breadth of printers that is unsurpassed by other universities. These resources and the technical support offered has helped countless students generate a professional standard of portfolio.

I completed a Masters in Fine Art Printmaking in 2002 and have steadily generated artwork over the years. I have exhibited my work at home and abroad and will carry on upskilling myself and sharing this knowledge with our students.


  • 2002 Masters in Fine Art Printmaking.