Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type (March 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 lead type. Students will then continue to acquire the technical skills and creative approaches to print through independent and collaborative projects.

Our 12-week format*, longer than the typical introductory class, allows students to print on both our platen presses and our Vandercoook, set lead and wood type, distribute type, color match ink, finesse pressure, practice multi-color printing, and of course master the most efficient way to clean and care for our presses.

*Because this is a long commitment, we have designed the class to allow for occasional planned absences. Students will sign up for time slots to use the presses, spending time between print sessions setting type, mixing ink, distributing type, and otherwise falling in love with the time-honored art of letterpress printing.

Saturday Morning Comics Club

Saturday Morning Comix Club is an opportunity to explore the expansive world of comics and zines. Teaching Artist, Leila Abdelrazaq, approaches alternative comix as a medium for storytelling and community building, and invites her students to do the same.

This class is ideal for people who have dabbled (or have wanted to dabble) with comics or zines and are ready to explore story telling, illustration, personal style, page layout, inking and reproduction with a group of peers. Saturday Morning Comix Club encourages artists maintain a weekly drawing habit, provides a forum for conversation about their artwork, and creates a avenue for turning a sketch or a concept into a finished project, ready for distribution.

Using the theme of “sacred stories” as a jumping off point, the class will emphasize the use of symbolism in comics and zines and help each participant develop their own visual vocabulary. Participants will leave with 20+ copies of their very own self-published project.

NOTE: This class will NOT meet on April 2. The last week of class will be held on Saturday, April 30.


Screenprinting 201: T-Shirts & Textiles

Knowing how to screen print on fabric opens up a slew of opportunities. Designing custom apparel, creating gifts for friends, family or Etsy, making unique yardage for sewing projects, and manufacturing your own kickstarter rewards are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential fabric printing projects!

Students will apply their skills and experience printing on paper to printing textiles and learn how the fiber and weave of a fabric affect printing, what alterations need to be considered when designing for fabric, plus tips for coating, exposing and washing out screens. The class will cover two styles of printing and registration: tabletop printing and printing with a carousel t-shirt press.

Printing with water-based fabric inks has specific limitations as well as some benefits. Through this class, students will learn the difference between water-based and plastisol inks, advantages and disadvantages for small and large projects. Plus, students will have the opportunity to share projects and ideas with peers in order to push their artwork in new directions!

Print Your Own Business Cards: From Vector to Vandercook

Need business cards? Already have a design? Love letterpress? Not ready for a 12-week class? We’ve got you covered.

Our Print Your Own Business Cards workshop is a great way to see what letterpress printing is all about through rolling up your sleeves and making a set of personalized business cards. Teaching Artist, Ryan Basile of Double Trip Press, will share his vast knowledge of letterpress printing and his contagious enthusiasm for the art form. Students will then be able to select or mix an ink color and set up their plate on a press. Students will work in teams of two, assisting each other at the press and learning from each other’s project. Students can choose from a selection of white and cream paper designed specifically for letterpress printing. This workshop is perfect for graphic designers or anyone who is comfortable designing a vector file with Adobe Illustrator.

Here is how this works:

1) Sign up for the workshop by 2/21/16. Staff needs time to make a custom letterpress plate for each student.

2) Email a 2 x 3.5” vector file info@spudnikpress.org. Download our File Guidelines to make sure you send us what we need.

3) Attend the workshop and print up to 100 business cards with your custom design. Students may take home their plate as a souvenir or to print again in the future.

This workshop is limited to 6 participants. Please note that registration closes two weeks prior to class.

Screenprinting Explorations (March 2016)

Most people are fans of screenprinting whether they know it or not. Screenprinting is an art form known for its bold graphics and its usefulness. A close cousin of stenciling, screenprinting is easy to learn, yet hard to master. Our eight-week class provides adequate time for new printers to complete a range of projects on paper and fabric, gradually increasing in complexity and nuance.

With the ongoing support of a pro to help trouble-shoot along the way, students will be familiar with dark room exposure, mesh count, screen tension, ink consistency, and registration. In addition to developing A+ printing skills, this class will help students develop their imagery, be it hand-drawn illustration or digital files, to work best as a print. By the end of the class, students will know their way around the printshop, and be well equipped to continue printing independently at Spudnik Press Cooperative.

Etching & Intaglio Printmaking

Intaglio Printmaking is a family of printing techniques in which drawings and images are incised into a metal plate. Using a drawing needle, images are transferred through a thin protective ground to expose copper. With the help of a chemical bath, their image is etched into the metal with a remarkable amount of detail. Working more spontaneously, artists can also scratch images directly on the plate, transfer textures onto the plate, or paint directly on their plates mordant.

Beginning with basic line etching, students will learn and practice traditional plate making and printing processes. Through chine collé, aquatint, dry point, soft ground, and experimentation, student will add tonality, color, and varied marks to their images. While no prior printing experience is needed, students that do have intaglio experience can revisit the foundational skills with a more nuanced understanding of the process, and move on to independent projects.

Screenprinting 201: CMYK & Photographic Prints

A little digital knowledge can go a long way in terms of aesthetic control and quality screen making for screenprinting. Screenprinting photos (and designs with photographic elements) is a tricky task that deserves a little specialized knowledge.

Printers who sign up for this workshop will learn the basics of Adobe Photoshop for screenprinting and color separation, including monotone, duotone, or 4-color CMYK print. Students will learn how image resolution and halftones work in tandem, and an array of Photoshop tools that every printer should be comfortable using. Once stencils are printed, the class will focus on how to leverage screens, inks, and spot colors for a variety of printed affects. Each student will leave with their own small edition of prints using an image they bring with them to class.

Wearable Print: Screen Print Your Own… (March 2016)

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 use a pre-coated photographic screen 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!

Risography 101 (March 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.

Student Debt Suicide Letters

Student Debt Suicide Letters is a one-time workshop and letter writing social lead by collaborators Julia Arredondo and Vanessa Viruet. Student Debt Suicide Letters invites attendees to write suicide notes to their debt collecting companies. Attendees will produce an original letter, and then we will reproduce the letter in the shop (while providing postage) in order to bombard these companies with our feedback on what it feels like to be in immense student debt. The environment will be positive and encourages attendees to open up about the debt experience. We want to share our thoughts while giving the student loan companies a taste of their own medicine.

This donation-based workshop is offered in conjunction with Julia Arredondo’s solo exhibition, Spatial Collage: Getting Wacky Wit It.


Letterpress Finesse (April 2016)

After completing a Letterpress I and/or Letterpress II, students can elevate their skills by devising a larger project to focus on throughout this eight-week course. This class is designed to push each student from concept and design through to a much more extensive end result than Letterpress I or II projects. An example of a project could be, but not limited to: a small book of bound poems, a calendar, a collection of greeting cards, a series of gig posters, or a suite of wedding invites. The first day kicks of with a class discussion to allow peers to brainstorm ideas, sketch, and develop a project plan.

Following weeks focus on setting type, design, plate making, printing technique, and basic press maintenance. In progress critiques will push the work to remain on target, and be smart, aesthetically interesting or beautiful, and engaging. Students will graduate Letterpress Finesse with a better understanding of typography, honed printing skills, and professional craftsmanship. Enrollment is limited to 6 students.

Private Lessons: Wedding Invitations

Spudnik Press offers a package for those wanting to letterpress print wedding invitations. Not only will students have the satisfaction of printing wedding invitations, they will also learn how to operate a Vandercook Printing Press.

Working with one of our expert Teaching Artists, students will learn the process of letterpress printing, independently print their own invites and will become authorized to use Spudnik’s equipment and facilities upon completion of their project. This package includes up to 12 hours of one-on-one private lessons as well as 2 complimentary e-mail consultations with the Teaching Artist.

Consultation & Authorization Lesson……$200
We begin a project of this scope with an initial consultation with the Student and Teaching Artist (at least two months prior to the mail date of the invites). Please allow Spudnik staff at least one week to schedule this initial consultation. Students must complete an initial 4-hr press authorization lesson, which includes a 1-hr consultation.

Consultation with Instructor Includes:
+ Selecting Paper Stock
+ Review of design for printability
+ Adapting design for letterpress printing
+ Setting timeline based on mailing date
+ Dimensions and number of invites
+ Estimating Cost

Planning and Production Sessions…..$550
We estimate that printing a basic invite will take 12 hours with one-on-one instruction and support. In this phase of the project students will become fluent in Letterpress terminology printing techniques, ink and color mixing, registration and paper trimming. Depending upon the size and scope of your invites, you may need more time to complete your project. If you need more than 12 hours of instruction, additional lessons are charged at the normal private lesson rate of $45 per hour.

Additional Notes:
+ Students should plan to bring a copy of their design to the authorization lesson for review
+ Discovery will happen! Give yourself ample time to get accustomed to this process and allow for potential setbacks along the way
+ Only one color can be printed per session; multiple color cards will require multiple work days
+ The cost of these private lessons does not include the cost of paper or polymer plates. It is the student’s responsibility to order these supplies:
– Estimate around $70 for 100 cards and envelopes (A7 size)
– A minimum order for polymer plates is $35/plate

Please Email info@spudnikpress.org to schedule a lesson.