Papermaking Basics (March)

This hands-on workshop introduces foundational papermaking skills like pulling, couching, pressing, and drying pulp to create rectangular sheet of cotton paper. Through making their own paper, students will also learn the basic history and science behind papermaking and the role of the beater, cellulose fiber, and hydrogen bonds. 

Papermaking at Spudnik Press is a low-tech non-toxic process that requires limited access to special facilities, and can be incorporated into home studios or classroom settings. In additional to fans of handmade paper, this workshop will benefit artists, printmakers, and art appreciators who want to better understand how paper is created.  

Each student will create about three unique sheet of cotton paper, embellished with pulp painting. This is a wet process, so dress down for this class. Paper will be ready to be picked up two days following the workshop.

Advanced Bookbinding: Artists’ Books (March)

This class is designed for people with beginning to intermediate bookbinding experience to delve into more advanced techniques and integrate content into their books, and to investigate “Artists’ Books” as an art form.

Projects and exercises will explore:

Approaches to marrying technique, material, and content.

Material exploration to expand artistic expression.

Various hand skills needed to strengthen book arts practices.

Looking to Johanna Drucker’s The Century of Artists’ Books, the class will reference historic and contemporary examples of work to investigate how our own creative practices can respond to books as containers for our artistic expression.

The class will begin with a focus on traditional codex forms such as decorative variations on stab bindings, complex sewing and folded structures including Secret Belgian and Blizzard bindings. The second half will integrate more sculptural forms, altered books, as well as several transfer techniques for adding content.

Bonus: Students will have the option to attend an additional session at the about” Joan Flash Artists Book Collection at SAIC!

Monotypes & Collographs (March)

Monotypes and collographs are two forms of printmaking that favor organic, gestural, textural, and ephemeral marks and imagery. They are also incredibly immediate, playful, and multi-faceted type of printmaking, and therefore well suited to first time printmakers and artists who typically work with paint, mixed media, and sculpture.

Monotypes usually begin from a sheet of plexiglass as the foundation. Through working additively and reductively with ink, crayons, water or solvents, and stencils, students can capture a huge range of aesthetics from subtle tonality to gritty textures to minimal formal forms. Collographs are similar but incorporate elements of relief by collaging things like fibers, sandpaper, and acrylic mediums directly to the plate. The plate is then inked similarly to either a relief or intaglio print.

If these options are not enough, Teaching Artist, Jessica Christy, will also introduce a method of incorporating photographic imagery using our darkroom to expose plates!

Throughout the class, students will develop new ways to build images while learning about the properties of ink, paper, pressure, and how they interact to create a broad range of aesthetic possibilities. Students will be able to make many prints to learn and test these processes before moving on to a project that combines various methods and showcases her or his own personal style or vision. Students will leave the class comfortable using our etching press and authorization to continue printing at Spudnik after the class.

Clamshell Boxmaking (March)

Clamshell boxes are ideal for housing a portfolio of prints, photos, artist books, memorabilia, or tools. This style of box features a durable tray that safely holds the contents in place with a hinged drop spine lid that allows the box open like a book and lay flat. This sturdy little box can be scaled to accommodate just about any content.

During this workshop students will construct a 6″x8″ box and build comfort and confidence in a variety of bookbinding skills: measuring and cutting book board, using a glue brush, wrapping boards with paper and book cloth, and planning for hinges that allow the box to easily open and close.

To allow everyone to create a box that suits his or her style, we encourage students to bring along two sheets of decorative paper to cover their box with.

Printmaking Foundations (April)

For anyone who wants to be creative through printmaking, our foundations class introduces first time printers to the wide variety of printmaking processes, equipment, and resources at Spudnik Press Cooperative. Students will experiment with three unique types of printmaking 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. A relief print is made by carving an image into wood or linoleum with gauges, inking the surface, and transferring the image onto paper. Etching, also known as Intaglio [in-tal-yoh], is a family of printing techniques in which an image is incised into a metal plate. Artist can directly scratch into plates with needles, or they can draw through a ground and etch the image into a plate using a chemical.

Together, these processes range from experimental to exacting, bold to subdued, and unpredictable to calculated and can open new possibilities for artists, writers, and anyone who wants 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.

Risography 101 (April)

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 (April)

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 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.

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.

Screenprinting Explorations (April)

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 relatively 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 (April)

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!

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!

Letterpress: Movable Type + Polymer Plates (April)

Letterpress printing has been making an impression since 1440 when Gutenberg invented movable type. Letterpress printing creates a tactile and inviting debossment in paper by using a mechanical press to prints from metal or wood type. This “punch” makes letterpress a popular choice for greeting cards, business cards, invitations, broadsides, and a wide range of printed ephemera. While it began as a commercial process, artists, designers, typographers and illustrators are continually finding new ways to approach the art form.

Letterpress: Movable Type + Polymer Plates introduces both traditional handset type AND polymer plates. Polymer plates allow artists to print from digital designs (illustrations, text, and even photographs) and can be made in house or ordered online.

Students will develop foundational skills by using a composing stick to hand set lines of types. From there, projects will introduce more technical considerations as well as creative approaches to printing. Students will learn to learn to lock-up type, prepare digital files for print, create polymer plates, set pressure, mix and modify ink and (maybe most importantly) safely operate our machines.

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.

Screenprinting Explorations (May)

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 relatively 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.

Photopolymer Intaglio (May)

Photopolymer Intaglio plates can capture every nuance of a continuous tone photograph, as well as direct drawing on transparent media. Using digital or handmade positives in combination with an aquatint screen, artists can easily simulate the look and feel of classic copperplate photogravure, montage, a variety of drawing techniques, or experiment with new directions. This class will benefit photographers and print artists looking to extend the tonal and textural possibilities of their artwork.

Students will work on a variety of plates to create a small series of prints. Through these projects, students will test out tools and materials to determine optimum exposure and ink density for various approaches to image making, film output and plate processes. During the printing portion of the class, students will refine their inking and plate wiping techniques for controlled and consistent printing from intaglio plates.