Letterpress I: Wood and Metal Type (Oct 2016)

Letterpress printing uses moveable type, cast from metal or carved from wood, and a mechanical press to crisply transfer ink to paper. Since the advent of letterpress printing in the mid-15th century, printers have been enamored with the process of hand-setting lead and wood type. Today we remain fascinated with this tactile process. Artists and printers continually find new ways to approach the art form.

Letterpress I uses a range of projects to familiarize students with the history and practice of letterpress printing and typography. Learning through doing, students will build confidence not only printing, but also understanding the vocabulary around letterpress printing. The class will begin with hand-setting linear type to print business cards, a short poem, etc. Students will practice setting printing pressure, adjusting ink, and will gain a respect for our antique presses and our collection of type. Students will then continue to acquire the technical skills and creative approaches to print through independent and collaborative projects.

Etching & Intaglio Refresher

Open to anyone with prior intaglio experience, this fast-paced refresher class will revive rusty skills and renew confidence in the printshop with the ultimate goal of inspiring a new body of prints. The class will focus first and foremost on bringing printers up to speed with etching and intaglio printing at Spudnik Press. Each student will be provided two small copper plates, encouraging participants to hone a variety of techniques. From these experimental plates, students should feel well prepared to begin a substantial independent project that will continue beyond the brief four-week class.

Specifically, the class will begin by reviewing basic plate making techniques such as degreasing and filing plates, applying ground, mark making, etching, dry point and aquatinting. Moving on to printing press, students will deepen their understanding of inks, additives, and all-around best practices for inking and printing copper plates. Students will also have the opportunity to learn how to plan for and print multiple-plate images. In addition to plenty of demonstrations and hands-on time to work, students will be able to consult with staff on plans for any current and planned print projects.

Bookbinding: The Coptic Stitch

Originally used by the early Christians in Egypt (the Copts) some 2000 years ago, the coptic bound book is characterized by its strength and attractive chain-link stiches across the spine. Coptic bound books lay flat when opened, making them the ideal platform for journaling, sketching, and a variety of artist book concepts. Students will become familiar with bookbinding tools, materials, and terminology, as well as sewing skills that will allow students to complete a coptic bound book from start to finish. This includes skills such as folding signatures, gluing paper and book board, and sewing multiple book block sections together.

This short format four-week class allows students to delve into a particular bookbinding structure, learn variations to the structure, and ultimately design and create their own customized book. Students will explore how to consider content and functionality when determining the binding style and aesthetics of the book. These classes are great way for experienced bookbinders to refresh or hone skills and new bookbinders to experiment with a new craft.

Risography 101 (Oct 2016)

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 201: Textiles

Expand your screenprinting know-how with this concentrated class focused on fabric printing. Week one will include an overview of the full process, including crucial tips for selecting, coating, exposing and printing screens best suited for fabric printing.

In the following weeks, students will have the opportunity to:

–       Practice making a variety of repeat patterns using handmade stencils or Adobe software.
–       Experiment with tiling layers to build larger compositions.
–       Measure and plan for printing yardage.
–       Mix ink and consider color and pattern relationships
–       Print on padded tables without hinges.
–       Use padded table printing yardage or wall-sized hangings.
–       Explore how different materials and types of fabric absorb ink and pigment.

Through completing a variety of small starter projects, students will have developed the skills they need to embark on comprehensive projects ranging from producing yards of fabric for sewing projects to printed canvases for 2-d or 3-d art projects. By capping the class to 4 to 8 students, everyone will have plenty of individual technical support for whatever their ultimate printing goals are.

Interested in T-Shirt Printing? Consider enrolling in a 1-day workshop or Screenprinting Camp: Apparel Printing.

Modern Calligraphy

Calligraphy is a timeless art form that relies on a very basic set of tools, craftsmanship, composition and an interest in fanciful typography. Join artist and calligrapher, Grace Calderone, in an exploration of letterforms, quill pens and india ink.

Beginning with foundational skills like properly holding a calligraphy pen, varying line weight with pressure, and avoiding ghastly ink sploodges, students will develop the core skills needed to master calligraphy. From there, students will become familiar with how letters are formed through practicing the alphabet, writing short phrases and experimenting with swashes.

The final portion of the class will consider composition, improvisation and personal style. How can calligraphers move beyond copying letterforms to developing a style all their own? How can calligraphers not only write fanciful letters, but also compose these letters on a page? How can calligraphers aim for perfection, and as needed, modify plans as they draw?

In addition to completing many studies of various letterforms and styles, students will create a final composition of a favorite quote or saying ready to frame, digitize or perhaps print on a set of notecards. Rumor has it that even those with questionable penmanship can do remarkable things with an oblique pen and a zebra nib!

Printmaking Foundations

For anyone who wants to be creative through printmaking, our Foundations class introduces first time printers to the wide variety of resources and equipment at Spudnik Press Cooperative. Students will experiment with three unique printmaking processes throughout the six weeks. With each printing process inducing its own aesthetic, this class offers abundant opportunities to elevate sketches and designs through print and to understand the basic concepts that bridge the many types of printmaking at our studio.

Screenprinting is a form of stencil making that is used to print fine art as well as posters, cards, t-shirts, and more. Relief prints are created by carving an image into wood or linoleum, adding ink to the surface, and transferring the inked image onto paper. Etching, also known as Intaglio [in-tal-yoh], is a family of printing techniques in which the image is incised into a metal plate. Artist can scratch into plates with needles, or can draw through a ground and etch drawings into a plate.

Together, these processes range from experimental to exacting, bold to subdued, and unpredictable to calculated and can open new possibilities for artists, writers, and folks who want to learn a new way to make art. Printmaking Foundations can act as either a general introduction to everything Spudnik has to offer, or a refresher course for artists who have previous experience.


Screenprinting Camp: Apparel Production

This all-day workshop is perfect for people who have screenprinting ambitions that exceed their experience. This one-day screenprinting camp will fill in the gaps between a basic understanding of screenprinting and the technical understanding of the process needed to successfully produce a larger-scale fabric printing project.

You want to start a clothing line. Your dream is to print professional-quality jerseys for your softball team. You plan to construct 50 flyable kites using three different color-ways as part of your next installation. Basically, you want to level up your knowledge and skills while minimizing costly trial and error. Smart move.

This workshop covers:

– How to design and plan a successful fabric printing project.
– Best practices for printing on dark or bright fabrics.
– How to select the best mesh count and squeegee durometer for the job at hand.
– Common challenges for apparel printing such as printing on hoods or mesh garments.
– Setting up carousel presses.
– Assessing when, why and how to outsource projects or use plasticol ink.
– Vendor options and other apparel printing resources.

In the workshop, students will troubleshoot hypothetical designs. The class will collaboratively design and print a project that puts to use newly acquired technical skills. By the end of the workshop, students will have produced a three color t-shirt and will feel comfortable embarking on more ambitious projects in the future.

Wearable Prints: Screen Print Your Own…

Convert your own drawing or design to a collection of hand-printed wearable items in this energetic and informative one-day workshop. Printing an assortment of t-shirts or totebags is practical, fun and incredibly gratifying!

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 (if needed) refine the artwork to be best suited for screenprinting. Each student will use a pre-coated photographic screen and mix their own custom ink color. Everyone is encouraged to bring about five items of their choosing to print. As long as they are fabric and flat, we can help you print on it! T-shirts, tote bags, tea towels, bandanas, and thrift store jean jackets, will work great. Leave with a sample for an Etsy store, a surprise gift for a friend, or an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags!

DIY Greeting Cards: Letterpress Printing (Nov 2016)

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!

Students will be able to set their own short saying or phrase and (if desired) combine it with vintage relief blocks featuring festive illustrations. 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.

Basic white 5×7” flat cards are available for students who do not bring their own folded cards.

Screenprinting Photos: Halftones and Found Images

With an emphasis on resourcefulness, this fast-paced class encourages photographers, beginning and intermediate screenprinters, designers, zinesters, and internet archelogists to leverage the process of screenprinting photographs. By working from personal photos, drawings, found images or source material mined from the internet, students need not be an advanced photographer to make amazing screenprints.

Working digitally, students will be introduced to the Adobe Photoshop tools frequently used for collaging images, color separation, and stencil printing as well as technical guidelines for image resolution and halftones.

Students will jump into printing two projects. First, a “full-color” CMYK project will review the mechanics of screenprinting and the technical demands of printing fine photographic details. The second project pushes students to test out alternative approaches to printing photos by using monotone or duotone color palettes, spot colors and more.

By the end of the four weeks, students will have honing their understanding of the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of screenprinting while learning specialized tools and tricks to produce thoughtful and sharp photo-based images.

Bookbinding: The Long Stitch

The long stitch is a classic binding style that can employ a range of visually dynamic sewing structures. A combination of long straight stitches and braided link stitches adorn the spine of the book. This open-ended structure allows plenty of room to experiment with sewing patterns on the spine of the book. For those looking to hone their technique, the exposed spine encourages binders to perfect the tension and direction of their thread. Since this style of binding typically needs a softcover, learning the long stitch is a great opportunity to experiment with leather, faux leather, or felt as a binding material.

This short-format four-week class allows students to delve into a particular bookbinding structure, learn variations to the structure, and ultimately design and create their own customized book. Students will explore how to consider content and functionality when determining the binding style and aesthetics of the book. This class is a great opportunity for experienced bookbinders to refresh or hone skills and new bookbinders to experiment with a new craft.