Some say that true craftsmanship is no longer to be found in the world of handmade things. The tendency is for the traditional crafts to lose their place in the bigger scheme of things, if only because they take up lots of floor space and need specialist teaching and dedicated technical staff.
Plymouth College of Art is bucking the trend. Here we continue to invest heavily in new studios and workshops that redefine the relationship between media, fine art, digital technology and handcrafted traditions.
And it's not just about crafts. We provide space, equipment and – crucially – the technical help to make full use of this for students across Painting, Drawing and Printmaking, Photography, Film, Graphic Design, Games, Illustration, Fashion, and more.
And we are firm believers in an open door policy. Students across all areas of the College can use equipment across campus. We encourage fashion designers to work with photographers; film-makers can collaborate with costume; and lots, lots more.
Have a nose at just a sliver of some of the facilities and resources open to our students across all programmes and throughout all areas below.
Get a more in depth and visual breakdown of some of our facilities on our 'Studios' board on Pinterest here.
FabLab Plymouth is our 'fabrication laboratory' part of the international network of FabLabs and based at the heart of our city centre campus. Our FabLab is for the use of our students across all programme areas and all levels of study.
Our FabLab, one of over 250 across 30 different countries, is filled with the latest in digital design technology – including our 3D scanner, 3D printer, CNC milling machine, laser cutter and more.
FabLabs are seen as a place to learn, experiment and create and FabLab Plymouth is no exception. Fashion students can create 3D-printed accessories for garments they're making. Animation students can 3D scan objects and manipulate the 3D digital images of them. Graphic Design students can design, print, and cut vinyl for use in innovate displays. The opportunities are endless.
The facility provides our students with access to the very latest in digital technology and affords them an opportunity to innovate.
Head here for more information.
Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops
Formally opened with Sir John Sorrell in November 2014, our Craft Design and Fabrication Workshops house our Jewellery studios, Printed Textile Design workshop spaces, our Glass-blowing house, our Ceramics space, our Illlustration area, and our new FabLab.
Kitted out with the latest in design and making technology and with ample room for all of our students to experiment, explore, and make, our £8m workshops demonstrate the College's continued dedication for and belief in the importance of physical facilities in arts education.
Students have access to glass-blowing furnaces, ceramics wheels, 3D scanners, a Mimaki digital textiles printer, a wallpaper press – and more.
Equipment Resource Centre (ERC)
Our Equipment Resource Centre (ERC) houses around 6,500 items available to our students ranging from up to the minute digital to classic analogue devices within the fields of moving image, sound, games and animation. As our skilled technicians are experts themselves in a broad range of disciplines they will provide advice and guidance to ensure you have the technology you need to make all your projects successful.
All equipment can be loaned free of charge by staff and students following an induction and workshops are regularly available so that you can build your technical skills base in a wide range of equipment to build your technical skills base. Our loan system also enables students to take equipment off site for location and project work.
For example, the ERC can supply small-scale digital compact cameras to high-end Nikon DSLRs and industry standard medium format digital backs (Phase one). Analogue camera formats are also available supporting, 35mm, 6x6, 6x4.5, 6x7, 5x4 and 10x8. Our wide range of lighting equipment from Tungsten to flash with a broad range of attachments and portable lighting will allow you to be creative with your projects.
With regards to moving image the ERC provides video equipment catering for 3 chip mini DV, Sony Z1 HD cameras to Arri SR2 super 16mm, super 8mm and 8mm Bolex cameras. Associated accessories such as cranes, dolly & dolly tracking and glide steady cam support systems are readily available.
Crammed full of specialist information on design, visual arts, crafts and the media, Plymouth College of Art’s library is an enviable resource offering students over 20,000 specialist books and subscriptions to more than 130 different magazines, journals and newspapers to support and inform their studies. The aim of the library is to support the breadth and depth of courses offered at the college.
Our comprehensive online web catalogue system can be accessed from home or the College, as well as many other online databases such as JSTOR, ArtSource and Oxford Art Online.
Library and IT helpdesk opening times:
Monday-Thursday: 8.30am - 8pm
Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Saturday: 10am - 1pm
The Print Lab
The Print Lab is a professional printing service open to all staff and students – offering competitive pricing to what you would find on the high street and run by our team of competent technical staff with backgrounds within art and photographic practice.
The facility houses three wide format 44" ink jet Epson printers that offer a wide range of paper types to cover all your creative needs, allowing you to submit photographic imagery or artwork up to 42” wide, with the only limitation being the roll length (25m – 30m).
It also offers a mounting and finishing service to enhance your artworks presentation, with a wide range of finishes and mountable surfaces, such as Dibonds, Foamexs and mount boards. All artwork can be mounted onto all these materials up to 25mm thick and 52” wide. To submit images for print, you can find The Print Lab on the third floor next to our Equipment Resource Centre. There is also Photographic Minilab to facilitate instant prints.
Take a look at The Print Lab website for more information.
The College Shop
You can find our College Shop in our Equipment Resource Centre, the shop stocks basic art materials including;- paper, card, board, tracing paper, mount board, sketchbooks, workbooks, pens, pencils, glue sticks, sticky tapes etc. There is also a range of digital storage including CDs and DVDs. Specialist art and design materials can be ordered from the college shop along with reprographic services, scanning and binding.
These facilities are also open to the public subject to availability.
All students and staff have full access to lynda.com's incredibly helpful, informative and definitive catalogue professional video tutorials.
The College has a full campus licence meaning students can access lynda.com's thousands upon thousands of videos – from developing specific PhotoShop skills, how to get the most out of InDesign, and much, much more – across multiple devices and from in College or at home.
Students find lynda.com incredibly helpful in developing niche, expert skills and – alongside guidance from tutors and technicians – assisting to specific direction of their own learning across business, design, web, programming, photography, video, 3D and animation, audio, education, and CAD.