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.
Fab Lab Plymouth
Fab Lab Plymouth is our 'fabrication laboratory' part of the international network of FabLabs and based at the heart of our city centre campus. Our Fab Lab is for the use of our students across all programme areas and all levels of study.
Our Fab Lab, 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 Fab Lab 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 innovative 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 to the Fab Lab website 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
Papercut Refund policy
When you leave the College, you can request a refund of the remaining balance in your Papercut account. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org quoting your student reference number.
A refund will only be made if the balance on your account is above £5.
A request must be submitted within one month of leaving the College.
Refunds will only be made to the original payment card.
Digital Print Bureau
The Digital Print Bureau offers professional and quick print services to all staff and students, including wide-format or solvent printing, photo printing, vinyl cutting and finishing. All the services offered by the Digital Print Bureau are competitively priced, and in some instances free to use as long as you have undertaken an induction for the equipment.
Our range of industry-standard printers include a 42 inch sublimation printer, a Mimaki fabric printer, and a solvent printer, and we can print and process a range of media, such as acetate, wallpaper, PVC banners, silk and cotton. With wide format printers that allow you to create prints up to 42 inches wide, the only size limitation is the roll length (25 metres to 30 metres).
The Digital Print Bureau is staffed by a team of knowledgeable and experienced technicians with backgrounds in creative and photographic practice. They can help you to achieve highly professional results across all kinds of printing, print finishing, and mounting.
Additional services include sublimation printing for digital transfers, a Dry Lab photo printer for instant photo prints, Risograph printing, xerox facilities, and a digital plotter to cut vinyl stickers. A suite of professional print finishing equipment also allows you to scan, bind and laminate, and there is a large, fully equipped area for trimming and cutting prints.
You can find the Digital Print Bureau in our Charles Cross building, on the first floor next to the Textiles studio (directly above our Fab Lab).
Services and facilities offered by the Digital Print Bureau include:
- 2 x Dry Lab Epson D700 for instant printing up to 12x8”
- 2 x Epson SureColor SC-P9000 wide format printers (up to 42 inch width) with 10 ink high quality printing for photographic & graphic work across 9 paper types.
- 1 Sublimation printer (up to 42 inch width) for creating prints that can be heat transferred onto synthetic fabrics.
- 1 printer for wide format acetate/tracing paper prints (up to 42 inch width) for creating prints that can be transferred onto screens for screenprinting.
- 1 Solvent printer for printing onto Adhesive vinyls and banners.
- 1 Mimaki printer for printing directly onto silk, cottons and other fabrics.
- Direct to board printing (up to A2)
- Vacuum mounting & laminating - Up to A0
- Pressure mounting & laminating - Up to A0
- Paper shop
- Vinyl Plotter
- Large cutting area
- Round the clock support
- Large format scanner for artwork reproduction, scanning fabrics etc.
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.