Spotlight: Raubdruckerin - Beauty Hidden in the Unexpected


It's been something of a slow burner for me; I went to the inductions and I know the fundamentals of various techniques, but it's never been something I've been hugely interested in because I was always more drawn to the ephemerate or spontaneous mediums and printmaking always struck me as rather too planned and laborious. 

However, In recent months I've found my eye drawn to handprinted textiles and have been having a play with some lino cutting and the rather more primitive art of potato printing! I've absolutely fallen in love with it, and (despite a wayward lino tool gouging several chunks out of my hands!) I am now firmly aboard the printmaking train! 

During a recent browse, I came across 'Raubdruckerin' which translates rather pleasingly to 'consuming print.' It's an experimental printmaking project that uses found urban surfaces to create striking graphic prints on clothing, bags and paper - think brass rubbing with a wax crayon taken to a whole different level! 

The father and daughter team behind Raubdruckerin call their process 'exploring the surfaces of cities' to find the often overlooked beauty in apparently mundane objects. It reminds me of the time I went 'colour hunting' in London and saw the city as though I was looking through brand new pair of eyes! They're currently working in Berlin, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Paris but are hoping to tour Europe, and one day explore the surfaces of Japan! 

The nature of their technique: printing live, on site and with minimal equipment makes the audience part of the process in a way that could never happen in a studio, and (contrary to my old feelings about the medium) creates opportunities for 'communication, exchange and spontaneity. Of course, an initial print could be taken from the surface itself then re-prodcutions made at a later date, but the magic of Raubdruckerin's pieces is that they are all printed on site, from the surface and directly onto the item that will eventually be used. 

Add to that the anti-mass-production ethic, with all 'blanks' carefully chosen and minimal materials and equipment used, plus the fact that the pair also run street-printing workshops, bringing their technique to the attention (and ultimately fingertips) of people from all age groups and backgrounds, and I reckon they've got a pretty good thing going! 

I feel really inspired to take the camera, and maybe some paper and wax crayons out into the city and practice the art of looking - really looking, at what's going on around me! 

You can read more about Raubdruckerin here and shop their pieces here! All images are from 

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