Etching & Intaglio Printmaking (May 2017)

Intaglio Printmaking is a family of printing techniques in which marks are incised into a metal plate. Using a fine point needle and various other tools, drawings and images are transferred through a thin protective ground to expose copper. With the help of a chemical bath, marks and images are etched into the metal with a remarkable amount of detail.

Working more spontaneously, artists can scratch images directly on the plate, transfer textures onto the plate, or paint directly on their plates with resists and mordants.

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 who do have intaglio experience can revisit the foundational skills with a more nuanced understanding of the process, and move on to independent projects.

Screenprinting Explorations (May 2017)

Most people are fans of screenprinting whether they know it or not. Screenprinting is an art form known for its bold graphics and versatility. 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 successfully translate to print. By the end of the class, students will know their way around the print shop, and be well equipped to continue printing independently at Spudnik Press Cooperative.

Working with Woodtype

This intermediate letterpress class investigates woodtype and the aesthetic and creative possibilities that it offers printers. Students will look at the history of woodtype design as well as contemporary production and use.

Bolstered with a rich understanding of woodtype, students will learn woodtype design shortcuts and experimental printing techniques like flat printing, pressure printing, and paint printing. Getting to use type from both Spudnik’s collection and the personal collection of the instructor, students will produce three unique projects: A collaborative type specimen poster, an experimental texture print, and a completed edition of a poster.

This fast-paced class offers a great experience for students to enhance their printing skills and design abilities, increase their familiarity with Spudnik Press facilities, and to gain inspiration through creative projects and collaborating with fellow printers.

Working with Woodtype will not meet on Saturday 5/27 due to Memorial Day. The final session will be held on Saturday 6/10.

T-Shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop (May 2017)

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!

Students will bring to the workshops with a bold black and white drawing, a high-contrast photo, or a digital design. While .AI or .PSD files are great, we welcome students to bring anything from text typed in Microsoft Word to photocopies. After students refine the artwork (as needed) to be “print-ready”, student will use a pre-coated photographic screen and mix their own custom ink color. Everyone is asked to bring 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 all work great. Leave with a sample for an Etsy store, a surprise gift for a friend, or an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags!

Spiral Tunnel Bookbinding Workshop

Tunnel books are great examples of how artist books can be sculptural objects. Expanding like the bellows of an accordion, tunnel books expand and contract to display an image, a setting, or a scene on a series of cut out panels. Looking through an opening in the cover, “readers” can take in the three-dimensional scene. With the addition of a spiraling element, spiral tunnel books have movement and interaction between the layers and inspire the same playfulness that pop-up books are known for.

A perfect workshop for visual artists who want to work narratively, dimensionally, or in a book format, this bookbinding workshop will invite participants to cut up and reimagine their own test prints, scrap paper, and sketches or to improvise with various found prints and papers found at the studio. Students will learn to work with bookbinding materials including PVA glue, glue brushes, bone folders, book cloth, and brads. In addition to learning how to plan for movement in the spiral book, students will hone hand skills by cutting a custom viewfinder into the book cover, then cleaning and professionally wrapping the book board to create a durable hardcover book.

All are welcome to enroll in this workshop, regardless of prior bookbinding experience.


Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type

Letterpress printing has been making quite an impression since about 1440 when Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type. Using type, cast from metal or carved from wood, and a mechanical press to crisply transfer ink to paper, letterpress printing leaves a tactile and invited debossment on paper. This “punch” makes this art form a popular choice for greeting cards, business cards, invitations, broadsides, and a wide range of printed ephemera.

While letterpress has historically been a commercial process, these days artists, designers, typographers and illustrators are continually finding new ways to approach the art form. Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type uses a range of projects to familiarize students with letterpress printing, typography and the history of these art forms.

Spudnik Press Cooperative houses over 120 drawers of type, a Vandercook press, a Line-o-scribe proofing press, and three platen presses, all of which are available for students to use during class (and to continue to use after class as graduates).

Students will jump in on day one by browsing Spudnik’s unique collection of type and using a composing stick to hand set their first line of type. From there, projects will increase in scope and introduce more advanced project planning, technical considerations and creative approaches to printing. Students will learn new fun vocabulary words like reglets, quoins, chases, leading and more. After setting type, students will become familiar with our printing presses and learn to lock-up type, set pressure, mix and modify ink and safely operate our printing presses.

Throughout the class students will acquire the technical skills needed to continue printing independently at Spudnik Press and the creative skills to produce inventive and alluring prints for years to come.

Relief Printing & Repeat Patterns (June 2017)

Relief printmaking is a graphic and versatile type of printmaking. Relief carved block have been used for centuries to create repeat patterns for garments, decoration, wallpaper, and more. Today, relief printmaking remains a user friendly and non-toxic way to produce patterns.

This block printing class introduces the essential skills needed to conceptualize a design or motif, to transfer and carve that image into a block with a set of gauges, and to print the image in a variety of ways to create various patterns on paper and fabric.

Student with or without prior block carving experience are welcome, and participants need not be expert draftsmen. Working with abstractions, silhouettes, and various mark making styles, students will learn approaches to reduce images to their essential elements to exploit line, shape, contrast, and texture. Students can then use and reuse these blocks to create various tessellations printed with various color palettes.

Printing with both a press and by hand and on a mix of paper and fabric, students will be able to produce lush prints on a variety of materials, ultimately creating a variety pack of prints, wall art and functional objects.

Letterpress Refresher

The Vandercook is an eloquent machine, an irreplaceable piece of equipment and Spudnik’s more popular printing press. Yet, many printers feel a little uneasy when it comes to daily maintenance, diagnosing printing issues and making minor adjustments when needed.

Platen presses are simple machines that can produce lush prints with the perfect kiss of ink. However, they are also powerful with the capacity to smash pins and destroy lead type. Without truly understanding the mechanics of the machine, printers can harm their prints and the press.

With a focus on printing, this refresher workshop will review setting up the presses, ink, adjusting pressure, proper packing, registration and all-around best practices. Students will improve their mechanical understanding of the press and how wear and tear can be reduced through actively listening to the press, using a keen eye to spot and identify issues, and taking notice when the press doesn’t quite feel right.

We welcome printers that are 1) feeling out-of-practice, 2) are new to Spudnik’s letterpress facilities, or 3) would like support working through a particularly complex project or reoccurring printing issue. Through this workshop, students will not only brush up on old skills and have the opportunity to become authorized to print at Spudnik, but are sure to walk away with new morsels of useful information regarding the art of letterpress printing.

Plus, to help ease each participant back into printmaking, students are invited to return within the week (free of charge!) to put their refreshed knowledge to use.

Risography 101 (June 2017)

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.

Handmade Paper: Adventures with Pulp, Embedding, and Laminating

Papermaking can be used as a catalyst for bookmaking, printmaking and drawing, as well as an art form all in its own. During this workshop, lead by Spudnik Press Fellow, Yasaman Mousavi, participants will learn to make unique handmade paper sheets using recycled paper scraps and natural fibers as pulp. After forming basic sheets of paper with a mould and deckle, students can explore paper texture through couching their sheets on various surfaces.

In the second part of the workshop, everyone will be able to customize their project by adding “inclusions” to their sheets. Scraps from prints, photographs, drawings, petals, thread, and more can all be embedded and laminated into paper as it is being made. Through this and “pulp painting,” the sculptural element of papermaking can be pushed.

Everyone will leave the workshop with a set of 3+ sheets of handmade paper and a foundation in low-tech non-toxic papermaking that is infinitely expandable, required limited access to special facilities, and can be incorporated into classrooms with children.

This is a very wet process, so dress down for this workshop, and please bring along some bits to embed in your paper

Paste Papers (Plus Accordion Books!)

Bookbinders have been using handmade paste papers as decorative book covers and elegant endpapers for centuries. Sometimes referred to as “faux paper marbling,” paste papers are one of the oldest types of decorative paper. By building up layers of methyl cellulose-based paste and pigments onto thin sheets of paper, artisans (like you) can create rich 2 and 3-dimensional patterns.

For the first half of the workshop, students will use a variety of combs, brushes, and mark-making tools in combination with hand-mixed pigments to create a layered surface focusing on repetitious patterns, surface textures, and color layers. Through working reductively, students will use tools to scrape away layers exposing colors and patterns underneath.

During the second half of the workshop, students will learn to bind a hardcover accordion book using the paste papers that they have made. By piecing together a long sheet of paper, students will create a folded landscape that will become the “guts” of their books. Covers will be wrapped with the freshly made paste papers with each student creating a totally unique book.

This workshop is ideal for anyone interested in learning cost effective and fun ways of experimenting with materials to create decorative papers. Making paste papers is fun and addictive, so you need not be a printmaker or bookbinder to find artistic inspiration in this process. All are welcome!

Screenprinting Camp: Apparel Production

This all-day workshop is perfect for people who have textile 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 apparel 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.