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.

Community Workshop: The Exquisite Risographic Flip Book!

This three-in-one Community Workshop combines three very addicting components:

  • Test your animation skills by completing a “Morph Loop”!
  • Make and take a collaborative flipbook!
  • Witness the allure of Risography printing!

Flipbooks are an early, approachable, and addictive form of animation. While the field of animation has grown much more complex than a typical flipbook, this simple art form showcases the techniques that are still used across all types of animation. In this collaborative workshop, attendees will contribute to a surreal “exquisite corpse” narrative. The project will then move to the production phase, where attendees will learn the fundamentals of Risography and how to approach reproduction and pagination when making books. Everyone will head home with a copy of the collaborative flipbook and an understanding of the persistence of vision.

Led by Spudnik Press fellows, Rob Kelsey and Matt Wead, this workshop is a great way to see what Spudnik Press is all about. With donation-base tuition, all are welcome to come dabble with a new skill, including educators looking for new ideas, first-time artists, professionals, and everyone in between. We suggest $20 when able, but are happy to accept whatever amount works with your budget.


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.

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.

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.

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.

DIY Gifts: Handmade Notebooks

Looking ahead to the holidays, we present a special workshop with new years resolutions and gift giving in mind. Make your own set of artful notebooks by combining two handmade crafts: bookbinding and relief printmaking.

Using a few paper folding tricks, our electric paper-cutting guillotine and a butterfly stitch, each student will be able to fashion their own personalized notebook design.

Moving onto the printmaking portion of the workshop, students will learn how to transfer a graphic image onto a linoleum block, carve the image in relief, and print. Iconic imagery, silhouettes, geometric shapes, or simply abstract doodles all are great starting points. This workshop will introduce a variety of ways to rotate, overlap or tessellate images to achieve a variety of looks. With the option to also mix your own ink, you can decide how bold, wacky, subtle, or classy to make your set of books.

Each student will assemble and print a set of 5 soft cover notebooks and will be able to take home their carved block for future project.