PETER FIRMIN - engraver & printmaker

About Us 
After studying at Central School of Art in the 50s, I worked in studios creating stained glass and then advertising
design until I decided to freelance in 1957. This was a limited success. I did some illustration and always continued a small amount of engraving and lino-cutting, for which I was fortunate to be able to use the Albion Press of my tutor Gertrude Hermes across the river in Chelsea.
Joan was a bookbinder and a fellow student. We married in 1952 and were living in Battersea with three girls when Oliver Postgate came looking for an artist to do a lot of drawings for a live series of animated stories about some mice and their king Alexander. Oliver inspired me with his brilliant writing and as everyone now knows, we worked together, moved our families to Kent and made many films using my barns as our film studios. The list of our work includes "Ivor the Engine", "The Saga of Noggin the Nog", "Pogles Wood", "Pinny's House", "The Clangers" and best known of all, "Bagpuss".
We jointly created these films. Oliver came up with Ivor, The Clangers and The Pogles. I had the idea for Noggin and Bagpuss. But in all of them Oliver was the producer and animator, he wrote all the scripts and chose the cast and music. I made all the sets and puppets, and did the drawings, backgrounds and cut-outs for the animated stories.
 I was helped in much of this work by Joan and my six daughters who have their own creative talents.
Sadly, Oliver died in December 2008, and his work is being continued by one of his sons Daniel.
 I returned to my craft and was fortunate to get commissions to illustrate books such as the "Land & the Garden" by Vita Sackville-West and "Swanbrooke Down" by Rosamund Richardson among others with engravings on vinyl. This was a beginning of a renewed career in printmaking, with exhibitions in Whitstable, Canterbury, Saffron-Walden and Aldeburgh. When Hannah and I occupied the large Horsebridge Gallery in Whitstable I started to produce some larger prints in a mixture of wood and lino, and some abstract designs.
It was at one of my exhibitions' that I heard about the 'Jublilee Sailing Trust' and started sailing on their tall ships. This led to the prints of ships and sea-shells which are on this site. 
I have put some of the earlier work on this site and will be adding to it from time to time.
 
 A new book about our work called "The Art of Smallfilms" was published by Four Corners Books in October 2014.

Phone & Fax 01227 471239
Find out more on Peter Firmin on Google
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