Wee things – how print workshops embody the magic of everyday efforts

Too cold, smelly, messy, busy. But if you know what to look for, you’ll see that print workshops exemplify the magic of small everyday efforts.

Print workshops are very considered places, even if they don’t look like it on first glance. Each press, table, storage place, bottles, all have a specific purpose and location. Things are used, reused, and made better. Often times these things are physically very small things.

For example: the offcuts of prints being left for the next printer to tear smaller to use as smudge protectors for your fingers when handling clean paper.

Consider the little block of wood screwed into the countertop to wedge your silkscreen against when spreading the UV emulsion.

These wee improvements to the communal workspace are hard earned through experience and group input. They are solutions to problems, no matter how small. Most are punched up on the fly. Most are made from scrap.

The 1% principle

These are the sorts of small meaningful actions that carry over into our individual lives. The 1% principle isn’t new, but sometimes its hard to see implemented in such a physical way. One persons everyday effort to create a useful tool for themselves ends up benefiting everyone exponentially.

When the space is useful and welcoming it builds a community. Each person in the community has the opportunity to add 1% more value to it, creating growth exponentially. This care fosters goodwill, support, learning, creativity and experience.

The 1% principle is really effective in our personal lives too. If you actively take even the smallest steps to make things better in your own life it carries over to the community of people around you. Like us as individuals, print workshops don’t have to be the most up-to-date, beautiful, well organised, pristine spaces to be wellsprings for creativity and community. It’s about the care given.