AFICIONADOS of etchings, screen printing and lithography were in their element this bank holiday weekend when printmakers from around the UK showcased their work in Ulverston at a leading festival.

Printfest returned to the Coronation Hall on Saturday and Sunday and was busy with art fans - some of whom even queued at the doors to get in.

The crowds were treated to works of landscapes, scenes of the natural world and quirky humour - something for every wall for different tastes.

Printfest Printmaker of the Year, Jason Hicklin, created a dramatic Lake District etching, Coniston Water from Low Water End, commissioned for the festival.

The artist, who was making his first visit to Printfest, said: "It's terrific. There's a great number of people coming through; it's very positive, well organised and well attended. There is something for everyone."

Speaking about capturing the Lake District landscapes, Mr Hicklin said: "For me it's that confrontation, that clash of water and land, light and dark. It's a place of huge contrasts, smooth and rough textures of the landscape and its history, going back to the romantic poets, they never leave you. The landscape changes so quickly as the sun rises and sets. These lakes are big mirrors to the sky. There is lots to respond to in the Lake District and a great atmosphere."

Katie Edwards, of Newby Bridge, won The Founders' Award with her quirky screen prints which focuses on conceptual ideas, symbolism and metaphors.

Miss Edwards said: "Printfest was the first art show I ever did and I really enjoyed it and I wanted to come back. It's so friendly, well organised and all the customers and are really interested in your work, they want to know about the process."

Scout Phoenix, of Kendal, said: "I'm involved in an art group in Kendal and we have started printing and I thought Printfest would be a good thing to come to, plus Ulverston is lovely. I'd love to try etching and some courses have caught my eye.

"I love the variety of work. I really liked the quirky work, particularly Chris Salmon, his work makes you smile; it's amusing."

Sally Bamber, chairwoman of Printfest, said: "I'm stunned. In the first three hours we had more than 300 people through the door. It has just been so busy.

"I think a lot of people want to learn about printmaking because it's a fascinating process, there is a lot of science as well as art in it. It's a way of looking at the world back to front. It's also about creating a democratic way of haring an image. Printmaking makes art affordable.

"Printfest is a lovely experience of making a purchase. You get to talk to the artist, hear the story behind that piece of work, and they get to hear why you have responded to it as a visitor."