We’re not shy when it comes to shouting about good people doing good things so when we heard about Printed By Us we decided to sit down for a chat with Mark Musgrave to find out who they are and what they do.
So, we’ve heard that Printed By Us isn’t your run-of-the-mill screen printers, what makes you folks special?
Well, we run screen printing workshops for homeless and vulnerable people in Sheffield who want to learn new skills and move forwards toward employment. We create artwork in collaboration with some of Sheffield’s finest designers. We print artwork. We sell the prints. We run more workshops.
What do you hope service users will gain from being involved in Printed By Us?
Screen printing is a really analogue, creative and hands-on process so we hope people will enjoy doing the printing itself and have the satisfaction of learning a new skill. The experience of working as part of a team and creating great artwork is a fantastic achievement and really good for building confidence.
We ran our first printing workshop in October and it was amazing to see Hugo, Danielle and James picking up the printing technique so quickly, working together as a team and really enjoying themselves.
After the workshop, James confessed that in the morning he had been trying to think of an excuse not to come because he doesn’t really like doing new things, but he was so glad he came and wants to continue being a part of Printed By Us.
The idea is that Printed By Us is run by service users, so the printing, packing of orders, customer service and marketing is all done by them. We have now packaged up the pre-orders and posted them out to customers around the world in America, Holland, Belgium, Italy… and of course, Sheffield.
Homelessness is a really complex issue and everyone’s story is different. We know that Printed By Us won’t solve homelessness but we do believe it will make a positive difference to the people involved and that they will grow in confidence and develop employability skills from being involved in running this business and working as a team.
Where will people be able to buy the prints, and what will the profits from the artwork be spent on?
People can buy our prints from printedbyus.org and we will hopefully be getting them into some Sheffield gift shops very soon.
Printed By Us is a non-profit social enterprise owned by the Cathedral Archer Project, so all the money goes back into funding Printed By Us, paying for more printing workshops and funding materials for art classes which take place at the Archer Project.
How can people support the project?
We’re a super tiny new-start project and no-one has heard of us so our biggest challenge is letting the people of Sheffield (and beyond!) know about what we do. It’s a huge help when people tell their friends and family about us and share the love via social media. Buying our prints is of course a huge help because it means we can fund more workshops and art classes and get more service users involved.
There are a number of charities in Sheffield who provide amazing services and support for homeless and vulnerable people, such as The Cathedral Archer Project, Roundabout, Ben’s Centre and Emmaus. They’re always looking for new volunteers and are always very grateful for any donations – be it clothing or money.
What are your hopes for the project once the pilot stage is complete?
We’re working with some more amazing Sheffield artists to create new designs and hope to run our second printing workshop in the next few weeks, and we also have some plans for some other exciting printed niceties – so watch this space.
Interview by Felicity Jackson
Images courtesy of Printed By Us