Letterpress II: Polymer

This class will allow students to continue to build broad letterpress printing skills while added polymer platemaking to their repertoire. Polymer plates allow artists to print illustrations, digital type, and even photographs, and if desired, can be combined with traditional typesetting. The class will cover all aspects of printing with polymer plates, including design, pre-press, printing films in-house with our Epson 4800 printer, hand developing plates, and printing. This class will also investigate multi-color registration, double-sided printing, basic press maintenance and other skills that arise based on each student’s projects. Students will graduate from the class having versatile knowledge of letterpress printing, and the ability to seamlessly move between lead and polymer printing.

Wearable Prints: Screenprint Your Own… (Oct 2015)

Convert your own drawing or design to a collection of hand-printed wearable items in this energetic and informative one-day workshop. Printing small runs of t-shirts, totebags, and the like is practical, gratifying and not to mention fun!

Arriving with a simple black and white drawing, a high-contrast photo, or art designed in Illustrator or Photoshop, students will have time on site to refine the artwork as needed to be best suited for screenprinting. Each student will get to use a screen that has been pre-coated with a photographic emulsion and mix their own custom ink color. Bring five items of your choosing to print. As long as they are fabric and flat, we will help you print on it! T-shirts are fantastic, as are tote bags, tea towels, bandanas, and thrift store jean jackets. Leave with a sample for an Etsy store, a surprise gift for a friend, or an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags!

Screenprinting Refresher

Open to anyone with prior printing experience, this refresher workshop will assume that students already understand screenprinting, but are feeling out-of-practice or fuzzy regarding the finer points of the process. Students should have already completed a one-day workshop or full class, although it need not have been at Spudnik, or even in the recent past. We also welcome printers that would like support working through a particularly complex project or reoccurring printing issue.

Spudnik Press staff will review an assortment of skills such as: selecting the best mesh count, applying the perfect coat of photo emulsion, troubleshooting and identifying the source of exposure and printing issues, ink mixing, registration, and screen reclamation.

Students should come ready to work on a personal project. This can be either a modest print that can be completed within the week, or the beginning of larger or ongoing project. To help build confidence printing at Open Studio sessions, students are expected to return the next day (free of charge!) to continue printing and put their freshly-acquired knowledge to use. Through this workshop, students will not only brush up on old skills and become authorized to print at Spudnik, but are sure to walk away with a few new morsels of useful information regarding the art of screenprinting.

Personal Branding

How could a personal brand help distinguish your artistic practice for your audience? How can developing a unique look for your website, newsletter and business cards help advance your artistic career? Can your artistic practice be represented through a logo? Join artist and designer Craig Hansen for this opportunity to investigate the role of branding as it pertains to your own personal practice through actually developing your own personal logo.

Given the fact that artists, just like any other professional, benefit from understanding their business and being able to communicate this understanding to their audience, this class brings students through the process of writing their own design brief. From there, the class will address approaches to naming, simplifying form and selecting appropriate text and font choices. Pulling from individual and collaborative brainstorming, quick sketching exercises and historical examples of brand identity on web and in print, students will develop an iconic logo as well as how they visually communicate the core of their practice or business.

Laptops are welcome but not required. Students can design their logos digitally or with analog materials (Adobe CS will not formally be taught in this class).

The People’s Pamphlet Pamphlet-Making Workshop

The pamphlet is a timeless publication. Pamphlets can act as advertisements for things as disparate as an historical landmark, a world fair, or a new gadget, public safety information, or biographical information. Regardless, they are usually free and available for wide and impartial distribution.

Building off the energy and underpinnings of current exhibition, The People’s Pamphlets, this workshop introduces the pamphlet as a unique type of publication that defies digitization. With guest artist and publisher Kyle Schlie, participants will play with visual communication, text and image, form and function to produce a pamphlet relating to a topic of their choosing.

Participants will produce original pamphlet then reproduce a complete photocopy or risograph edition of their publication. True to the nature of pamphlets, the workshop will end with a pamphlet exchange and additional copies will remain in the gallery for free distribution.


Pronto Plate Lithography

Polyester plate or “pronto plate” lithography is a quick and effective method of printing that requires no harsh chemicals or complicated processes. Using basic drawing materials and a standard laser printer, polyester lithography is ideal for illustrators, photographers or artists looking to easily and inexpensively produce hand-printed artwork. Pronto plates are unique in their versatility and excellent for experimentation.

In this workshop, students will learn the basic fundamentals of polyester lithography and the potential of working with pronto plates. Students will learn and practice how to transfer images onto the plates, as well as direct drawing methods, and finally, how to ink and edition the completed plates. Students can bring along drawings, photos, found images, scraps, objects to scan, etc.,  as well as ideas for drawing directly on a plate. Students will each leave with a small print edition of either their own image or a collaborative print.


The Book and the Box: Two-Tiered Box & Coptic Book Intensive

Note: This two-session workshop meets Saturday & Sunday, October 24-25, 1-5pm each day.

The art of bookbinding and box making employ the same skills. Using book board, glue, paper, and simple tools like rulers, exact-o knives, thread, and bone folders, book artists are able to construct numerous styles of bindings and containers. In this two-day workshop, students will learn to make a complex box that includes both a sliding drawer and a compartment with a fitted removable lid as well as a hardcover Coptic stitch book.

This weekend workshop is well suited for artists that are interested in creating their own sketchbooks, artist books, or protective storage cases for works of art. The Coptic book makes an ideal sketchbook since it is durable, lays flat, and can incorporate many types of paper. Plus, after completing the advanced box project, students will be able to apply the same methods to building custom portfolio cases.

Collaborative Teaching Artists, Elise Forer and Nicolette Ross, are both talented printmakers that have years of experience incorporating book arts into their professional art practice. Together, they will be able to share their expertise tackling custom book and box projects and will work side-by-side with students each step of the way.

Some prior bookbinding or box making experience and familiarity with the materials is suggested. However, beginners ready to roll up their sleeves are welcome.

Bookbinding (Fall 2015)

Bookbinding is an art form that relies on a respect for fine craftsmanship a basic set of techniques, tools and materials. Once foundational skills are mastered, bookbinders can add creativity, content, and design to create unlimited variations of handmade books. In this class, students will create their own books from scratch, and will even be able to design their own paste paper covers and endpapers! Students will learn pamphlet, “perfect”, coptic, and stab bindings, as well as modifications of these traditional binding styles. Projects will focus on creativity, design, and craftsmanship with the goal that students are able to experiment with variations and incorporating content within the book through writing, simple printing tricks, and customizing paper for covers, inserts, or end-paper. Students will leave with a small library of hand-bound books to fill or use as templates to make even more books.

Print Your Own Postcards

Postcards, once regarded as a quick and easy way for individuals to communicate with each other, are now rarely sent in the age of technology. Led by Spudnik Press fellows Bruno Suarez-Bango and Emily Culbert, this workshop aims to revive the act of sending letters by providing students with the knowledge and materials necessary to print their own postcards using relief techniques. Students will carve images into linoleum blocks, and transfer these images to paper to create their own postcards. Each participant will leave with three one-color relief-printed postcards: one for themselves, one to send to a loved one, and one to trade with the class. This workshop is perfect for those interested in relief printing, and reviving the art of snail mail.

Letterpress Your Own Cards (11/8/2015)

Print your own greeting cards using Spudnik Press’ traditional printing presses. The tactile quality of ink pressed into paper will surely leave an impression on the lucky recipients of your handmade cards!

To warm up and become familiar with the shop and the presses, everyone in the class will first print and share gift tags. Then, students will be able to set their own short saying or phrase and combine it with vintage relief blocks featuring festive illustrations (if desired). This workshop combines an overview of letterpress printing and history with hands-on art making, and it is a great way to try out a new hobby before taking a longer class. Students can bring any blank cards they desire (so everyone can pick out their favorite size and color). Taking turns, each student will lock up their type and independently print with our platen presses. Students will each make about 20 cards and are encouraged to make a few extras to trade as well! The class is limited to six students so that everyone has time to run a press independently.

Risography 101 (Nov 2015)

The Risograph is an automated duplicator from Japan that efficiently produces offset-like photocopies. Though not originally intended for artistic application, the machine has recently gained traction (and notoriety) in small-press culture for its distinct footprint and efficiently as well as being rather finicky.

This workshop will walk students through the fundamentals of Risograph printing for making books and fine art prints, and familiarize students with techniques to best reproduce their imagery. Students will become acquainted with the mechanics of the printer and learn basic maintenance, including how to change the master roll and a drum’s ink tube. Lastly, students will learn how to best design for the Risograph, taking into consideration ink drying time, ink density, paper options, registration, and patience. Everyone will leave with a three-color collaborative print produced throughout the workshop and authorization to continue making Risograph prints at Spudnik Press Cooperative.

Screenprinting on Canvas: Make Your Own Wall Art

Screenprinting has a graphic aesthetic all its own that cannot be replicated with any digital printing service. Leave Kinko’s behind and create your own unique handmade ready-to-hang artwork featuring a favorite photograph, a line drawing, or any high-contrast image. This all-afternoon workshop allows students the time they need to perfect their own design in class, as well as learn the process of exposing a screen, mixing inks, and printing. Durable unbleached canvas is provided, as well as tips and tricks particular to printing on this heavier fabric. After printing, students will choose to wrap the print around stretcher bars or add grommets to complete their artwork.

Students are asked to bring a one-color 10” x 10” 300 dpi digital image. Please call us if you have any questions on the best way to prepare your design.