Risography 101

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 look 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 ink. 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.

Please note that class fees cover tuition as well as many consumable studio supplies and most materials that students will use throughout the class or workshop. Please see student material list for additional supplies.

Studio Access Training: Relief & Monoprinting

This authorization will cover both relief and monoprinting with a focus on press safety. While these are two unique mediums, they share the same presses and typically the same inks and cleaning processes.

Within relief printmaking, this session will address the basics of block carving with a focus on the tools and resources available at Spudnik Press and how various carving styles or approaches might affect the printing process. While printing with a press will be reviewed in detail, printing by hand will be addressed on request.

Within monoprinting, this session will address using plexiglass as a matrix, working with water- and oil-based pigments, and mark-making and stencil-making tools on site.

Moving to the printing process, this session will address setting pressure, blanket care, registration methods, paper selection, working with wet paper (water baths and damp packs), and drying/flattening prints. Regarding ink, this session with review modifiers, ink care, and cleaning expectations.

As with all our Studio Access Trainings, we will also cover equipment available to check out and press reservation policies.

Screenprinting Explorations

Most people love a screenprint whether they know it or not. Known for its bold graphics and versatility, screenprints are a staple for many famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Shepard Fairey. Screenprinting is relatively easy to learn, yet has many facets for further exploration and mastery.

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 become familiar with dark room exposure, mesh count, screen tension, ink consistency, and registration.

In addition to developing A+ printing skills, this class will teach students how to build their imagery to best translate into the printed medium. 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.

This class typically fills 2+ weeks in advance. Early registration is suggested.

Please note that class fees cover tuition as well as many consumable studio supplies and most materials that students will use throughout the class or workshop. Please see student material list for additional supplies.

Studio Access Training: Nu-Arc Platemaker

This authorization will cover the basics of operating the Nu-Arc Platemaker for a variety of printmaking purposes such letterpress polymer plates, cyanotypes, and photo intaglio plates. We will review our guidelines for setting the exposure time, initiating a strong vacuum, safely releasing the vacuum, and using krene film to increase the quality of the contact between the film and the plate. We will also address how to politely share the darkroom with screen printers, plate and film resale, and tools available for check-out.

In addition to reviewing the functions of the exposure unit, we will review the basics of a variety of processes that rely on the machine (cyanotypes, photo intaglio, and/or letterpress polymer plates). Skills to be reviewed, based on the interests of those attending the workshop, include coating paper with cyanotype chemicals, printing inkjet film negatives and positives, pre-exposing plates, using aquatint screens, and washing out exposed plates.

T-Shirts & Tote Bags Screenprinting Workshop

Convert your drawing or design into the highlight of your very own wearable item in this energetic one-day workshop.

Students will bring a bold black and white drawing, high-contrast photo, or digital. While .AI or .PSD files are great, we welcome students to bring anything from text typed in Microsoft Word to photocopies. After students refine their designs with the assistance of a professional teaching artist, students will transfer their image to a pre-coated photographic screen and mix their own custom colors. Everyone should bring five flat, fabric items of their choosing on which to print. Examples of acceptable items include shirts, tote bags, tea towels, bandanas, and even thrift store jean jackets. Leave with a sample for an Etsy store, a surprise gift for a friend, or an eco-friendly tote bag!

For those who love this introduction to screenprinting, our 8-week Screenprinting Explorations class will round out your skills and allow you print independently through our Open Studio program!

This class typically fills 2+ weeks in advance. Early registration is suggested.

Please note that class fees cover tuition as well as many consumable studio supplies and most materials that students will use throughout the class or workshop. Please see student material list for additional supplies.

Risography 102: Bring Your Own Files

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

Best practices for imposition or layout for zines and publications will be reviewed as well as tips for color separation and digital file set-up. Smart file set up is step #1 to ensure smooth and efficient printing!

Then, 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, log time operating the machine independently, and be authorized to use our guillotines.

Students should come ready with a 2-3 color project–either a single-sided print to be completed in the workshop or a longer project to be finished during open studio. While PDF files are great, students are welcome to bring anything from text typed in Microsoft Word to photocopies.

Please note that class fees cover tuition as well as many consumable studio supplies and most materials that students will use throughout the class or workshop. Please see student material list for additional supplies.

Letterpress Printing 102

This class invites students with basic letterpress experience to become proficient on Vandercook and platen presses while creating a self-directed project. A key goal for the class is for students to acquire the skills needed to print and troubleshoot independently. Students will review roller height adjustments, changing the tympan, single- and double-sided registration, and proper inking and cleaning of the press.

Additionally, students will explore the making of books! Sequence and narrative, page layout, image and text interplay, typography, and other considerations that go into book production will deepen student’s understanding of letterpress printing and it’s many uses and capabilities.

Throughout the class students will acquire the technical skills to be authorized to print independently at Spudnik Press and the creative skills to produce inventive and alluring prints for years to come.

Please note that class fees cover tuition as well as many consumable studio supplies and most materials that students will use throughout the class or workshop. Please see student material list for additional supplies.

Studio Access Training: Intaglio

This authorization will cover the intaglio processes and skills that are most essential for printers to be able to make and print intaglio plates. The workshop will review a variety of techniques used by intaglio artists with a focus on personal safety, care and maintenance of tools and supplies, and best practices for working with intaglio printing at Spudnik Press Cooperative. This hands-on workshop will include discussions, demos, and hands-on projects that will allow staff to assess each participant’s experience level.

The workshop will include plate prep, grounds, etching with a vertical ferric chloride bath, setting up our presses, paper soaking, inking and printing plates, cleaning, and finally, flattening prints.

Participants must be independent with the full intaglio process, from plate prep to printing. However, we understand that each studio has different equipment and welcome people who have yet to use an airbrush or Akua hard ground for aquatint or a vertical bath for etching. While participants should not expect to make substantial progress on any project; they are welcome to bring a plate to work with or to seek feedback and guidance on.

*For those wishing to print photo plates, this workshop can provide authorization to use our press. The Nu-Arc Authorization should also be completed to address platemaking.

Risography 101

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 look 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 ink. 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.

Please note that class fees cover tuition as well as many consumable studio supplies and most materials that students will use throughout the class or workshop. Please see student material list for additional supplies.

First Impressions: Ally Hembree | Linoleum Block Printing

Guest Artist: Ally Hembree
Featured Project: Linoleum Block Printing
6:00 Happy hour | 6:30 – 8:30 Artmaking 

Ally Hembree is always inspired by the environment in which she creates. Her linoleum block printing project will encourage attendees to also seek inspiration from their surroundings and the Chicago cityscape. Guests will be able to try their hand at relief printing by carving and inking an image from a linoleum block.

Make ONE project between TWO people:
Use coupon code 2for1enroll to enroll two people for $50

First Impressions is an event series dedication to introducing our community and the public at large to local artists who are members of our studio. Join us on friday nights for our happy hour combined with making and learning alongside our artists. First Impressions occur every other month and feature a guest artist and a unique project that relates to their artistic practice.  Red and white wine will be provided, and guests are welcome to bring other beverages. No previous experience is necessary. Whether social or creative, we promise that an impression is sure to be made.