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21st February 2024

Surf Cerrito print workshop review: a mini artistic outlet

Miss getting your hands dirty? Explore the artistic opportunities Manchester has to offer, starting off with MMU Surf x Surf Cerrito print workshop. A print workshop, sale and social all in one.
Surf Cerrito print workshop review: a mini artistic outlet
Photo: Erin Botten @ The Mancunion

Growing up, I was ‘artistically gifted’. I.e., I received various art and craft-based Christmas gifts for the majority of my childhood. Now, a few years into adulthood, with my Art Textiles GCSE being a distant and ever-fading memory, it feels like I’ve joined the rat race.

Adults don’t really do art… at least not on a non-professional level. Instead, they sit curating Instagram feeds, and maybe adding a pop of colour to their makeup routine – that’s as arty as modern life tends to get. This weekend was different, however. This weekend, I got my hands dirty with Surf Cerrito x MMU Surf Club’s print workshop.

Run by MMU Surf Club ambassador, Honor Hill-Norton, the print workshop was set up as a fundraiser for Surf Cerrito. Run by Honor’s sister, Surf Cerrito is a Peruvian charity, teaching kids how to surf; “empowering the young people of Cerrito de la Virgen through surfing.” The fundraiser consisted of a semi-hands-on workshop, a lino-printed T-shirt sale, and Surf Cerrito merch including stickers and prints. With the extra consideration that the event was held in Sandbar, an eco-friendly and independent cafe bar, there was a lot to do.

Photo: Erin Botten @ The Mancunion

On arrival, I was nervous. I came alone, which potentially was a mistake. Everyone was friendly for sure, yet unbeknownst to me it was pretty much a society event. Do I surf? No. Am I an MMU student? No. It’s fair to say that, alongside my introverted anxiety, the odds were not in my favour. That being said, I wasn’t the only lone attendee drawn to the event, craving an artistic release. Despite guests mainly consisting of MMU (and a few UoM) students, in the time I was there, it drew a range of ages to participate – something that’s rare to see at a student-run fundraiser.

The merch was a testament to the talent of Honor and those who helped print them. Each lino print was crisp and professionally executed, creating a variety of styles from a few limited lino designs. The designs were also done by Honor, depicting Keith Haring-style surf scenes, alongside funky Surf Cerrito typography. Once printed, whether that be on paper, card or fabric, they looked incredible.

Photo: Erin Botten @ The Mancunion

Now, down to the workshop. Initially, the workshop was very intimate. In my head, I had expected a big group of us to sit down and be walked through ink lino printing – sort of like WIM 2023’s collage workshop. The world would be your oyster in terms of printing potential, stencilling into lino based on whatever your heart desired! That wasn’t the case. Instead, guests were invited by Honor to pick a t-shirt or page, select a colour and pre-made stencil, and print.

I had been hanging back for a bit once realising this was more of a socialising event than a workshop, and I didn’t really know anyone to have a proper conversation with. Everyone knew each other to some extent and had a deep passion for surfing – shocking for a surf society. So, after a few minutes, I eventually crept over to the merch and workshop table to see what was on offer.

Photo: Erin Botten @ The Mancunion

It’s undeniable that Honor is very talented. As mentioned, the art prints and T-shirts were really well done, with Honor’s Instagram revealing some prints took a year to make. She’s also very patient, walking each individual through the tips and tricks of lino-printing. I think that’s where my artistic ambitions got the better of me – I was down to get inky and dirty. However, due to the limited supplies Honor was able to borrow from MMU, my ambition was limited. But, once I carefully pulled out a page (it’s very hard to decide between three shades of white/ beige and page thickness levels okay!) and settled on a design, I was quietly raring to go.

After selecting my preferred design and colour, Honor quickly got me ready. She rolled together a vibrant orange (guests could choose between light-dark blue, red, and orange), and passed the roller over to me. This is what I’d been waiting for, going to town, carefully covering the lino evenly with ink, and flipping it over to print.

The results of the workshop were pretty good, demonstrating Honor’s teaching skills. One girl produced a cool long-sleeve white tee, complimented by the rich blue hue she chose to print with. Some opted for black T-shirts and acid-style print shades.

Overall, it was a fun fundraiser. Everyone got involved and despite my anxieties, the social element was nice. It made it feel like a community event. I’d happily attend any future events run by Honor or MMU Surf, but would recommend bringing a friend. It’s a nice way to release some of the stresses of university and adulthood, by just spending an afternoon exploring art, whether from a distance or being directly involved in making your own.

To donate and learn more about Surf Cerrito, check out their LinkTree or follow them on Instagram: @surfcerrito.

Credit: Honor Hill-Norton @ MMU Surf X Surf Cerrito

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