Valma Cheffins


I became interested in etching whilst training as a teacher, this interest developed at Barking Technical College and Redbridge College. These classes were taken by the late Harry Eccleston OBE, then Master Designer for the Bank of England. I was fortunate to attend courses run by Micheal Rothenstein and Valerie Thornton. Mastering the way in which the image is drawn on the zinc plate and then printing from the plate continues to be the challenge.

I used to use a Victorian press of mixed pedigree, sold on to me from a ‘rag and bone man’ who thought the press too good to break up! My second press is of modern Danish design and used on a day to day basis. Etching enables me to make multiple impressions of each work of art, making prints more affordable. Each print is either an Artist’s Proof or a numbered print in an edition. I design and print these etchings myself.
The process has a quality of its own, giving effects that are not available with painting or drawing.
Recurring themes in my work are the decorative aspects of architecture and the natural world. These elements are a constant source of inspiration and reflection.

I first exhibited in London in 1974. I have shown my work with the Printmakers’ Council and the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. My work has also been exhibited in Japan, and with other women artists in an exhibition sponsored by the United Nations.
My prints have been sold to private and to corporate buyers, around the world. My work is regularly shown in Essex. I have exhibited in several magazine fairs and have had a one man show with the National Trust. My etchings have appeared on Harlech Television and on East Anglian Television.
My work has been shown at the Mall Galleries with the Society of Women Artists both in 2009 and in 2010, and I have recently been in a group show in Shepherd Market, Mayfair.
I continue to produce new work each year, and aim to show more in London.