Relief Printmaking

Relief printmaking is a graphic and versatile type of printmaking that dates as far back as 500 BC. An image is carved in reverse onto a block, which is then inked and sent through a press. The tools are basic but the possibilities are expansive.

Relief Printmaking empowers students (both first-time printmakers and experienced printmakers) to plan, carve, and print relief blocks. After looking at lots of examples, both historical and contemporary, students will begin their relief printing adventure with a playful low-pressure “Speedy-Cut” block. Throughout the class, students will move on to carving both linoleum and wood with a variety of carving techniques that exploit line, shape, contrast, and texture.

On the press, students will learn how to mix ink, handle paper, register multiple colors, and finesse pressure to produce a set of prints that utilizes the skills built throughout the class. Graduates are welcome to continue printings independently at Spudnik Press through our Open Studio program.

Screenprinting Explorations (Friday Morning, September)

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 has many facets to explore and 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.

T-shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop (September)

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 should bring five items of their choosing to print. As long as they are fabric and flat, we can help you print on it! 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!

Letterpress Pressure Prints

By combining stencils and low-relief collages with letterpress printing, artists can make textural images reminiscent of rubbings and collagraphs. Variation in the thickness of cut paper, string, plants, netting and other relatively two-dimensional items effect the amount of ink transferred by the cylinder of the press to the paper and leave a rich nuanced image on the page.

Students will work individually and collectively to create a variety of stencils, then experiment with the stencils, composition and the printing process to tell a story, create a mood, or build an illustration. Students will also be able to experiment with hand inking to create one-of-a-kind compositions. Throughout the workshop, students will create a series of up to 10 multi-layered monotypes as big as 19” x 25”!

For the technically inclined, the class will also address how to adjust cylinder packing and form height to achieve various printed results and to read and use a micrometer. Letterpress printers, both new and experienced, as well as artists and illustrators who like to work with monoprinting, stencils, or cut paper, will benefit from this class. Letterpress experience is helpful but not required.

Risography 101 (October)

The Risograph is an automated duplicator from Japan that efficiently produces offset-like prints in a variety of saturated colors. 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.

While students gain authorization to continue making risograph prints at Spudnik Press Cooperative, attendees are encouraged to round out their riso know-how by taking a Risography 102 workshop and/or returning to use Open Studio shortly after taking the workshop.

Risography 102: Bring Your Own Files (October)

Risography 102 reinforces the skills introduced in Riso 101. Each student will bring their own project to set-up and print during the workshop.

To ensure smooth and efficient printing, best practices for imposition or layout for zines and books will be reviewed as well as tips for color separation and digital file set-up.

Through creating a small run of prints during the workshop, students will get a refresher on how to make masters from digital files, how to troubleshoot paper jams and other typical print errors, and how to replenish ink and masters. Lastly, students will have the opportunity to use our guillotines to trim their prints.

This workshop is limited to just four students to ensure that everyone can print their own imagery and log time operating the machine independently. Students who take this workshop will be well suited to print and use guillotines unsupervised during Open Studio.

Printmaking Foundations (October)

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.

Illustrative Lettering: Combining Word & Image

The unification of written language and visual language can create powerful communication. When done well, illustrative lettering leads to impactful poster design, cards and invitations, advertisements and artwork. Building from one’s natural drawing style, this workshop will amplify hand-lettering skills and focus on techniques to combine text with illustration.

Students will gain inspiration and ideas from looking at several illustrations by a wide range of artists. Using various prompts, students will practice transforming letterforms into image and experiment with readability, layout, shape, and style. After developing sketches using a wide range of techniques and tools, everyone will have the opportunity to focus on a final illustration that incorporates skills learned throughout the session.

Screenprinting Explorations (October)

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 has many facets to explore and 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.

Risography 101 (November 6)

The Risograph is an automated duplicator from Japan that efficiently produces offset-like prints in a variety of saturated colors. 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.

While students gain authorization to continue making risograph prints at Spudnik Press Cooperative, attendees are encouraged to round out their riso know-how by taking a Risography 102 workshop and/or returning to use Open Studio shortly after taking the workshop.

Bookbinding 101: Hardcover Books

Bookbinding is a traditional art form that uses a basic set of techniques and tools to transform paper, book board, thread and glue into unlimited variations of handmade movable structures. Handmade books, from blank journals to intricate artist books, depend on the same foundations skills and craftsmanship that has been tried and true for centuries and will be taught in this six-session survey of book arts.

In this class, you will create your own hand-sewn, hardcover books from scratch and build a fitted box to contain them. Three distinct and popular styles of binding will be taught that each boast attractive hand-sewn spines: keyhole case binding, classic stab binding, and the always-elegant Coptic binding. Students will then create a custom box with a fitted lid to house these three book projects and elevate the skills acquired throughout the class.

The goals of the class are to two-fold: First, this class will empower students with the essential technical skills and bookbinding vocabulary needed to continue making books for years. Second, through considering the relationship between content, materials, and structure, students will boost their creative practice.

DIY Greeting Cards: Screenprinting

Screenprinting is one of many processes at Spudnik Press that can be used to print your own set of greeting cards. This is a quick and fun introduction to printing on paper allows students to dabble with a new process while making personalized cards for their friends and family.

Students will bring to the workshop their own one-color digital or hand-drawn designs. Not a design expert? No problem! Any bold black and white image will work, and students will be able to finesse their design after learning the strengths and limitations of the process. While Illustrator or Photoshop files are great, students can bring anything from text typed in Microsoft Word to photocopies.

Throughout the workshop, you will learn to use our darkroom to expose a design onto a screen. Everyone will be able to mix their own ink color, and then, most importantly, print, print, print! After printing and cleaning up supplies, students will be able to score their cards if needed. Students will walk away with a set of 20 handmade greeting cards for friends, family and coworkers.

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