Posts Categorized: Intermediate/Advanced

Letterpress Authorization Workshop

The Vandercook is an eloquent machine, an irreplaceable piece of equipment and Spudnik’s more popular printing press. 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. To ensure that these tools remain in great condition for everyone that prints at Spudnik, we need to ensure that every authorized printer is comfortable with not just printing, but understanding how to minimize wear on our machines and leave the press ready for the next printer.

With a focus on printing, this workshop will review setting up the presses, ink mixing and application, adjusting pressure, proper packing, registration and all-around best practices. Students will review 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 ensure everyone to put their refreshed skills to use, students are invited to return within the week (free of charge!) to put their refreshed knowledge to use.

Screenprinting on Textiles

Knowing how to print on fabric opens up a slew of opportunities. Designing custom apparel, making gifts, stocking an Etsy store, making unique yardage for sewing projects, and manufacturing your own kickstarter rewards are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to potential fabric printing projects!

Screenprinting uses a stencil to transfer ink onto a flat surface. The process is approachable and fun to learn. Students will create prints from both hand drawn and digital images. Through weekly demonstrations, students will be learn about ink mixing, color and pattern relationships, repeat patterns and printing with multiple colors. This class is well suited for first-time screenprinters as well as printers who have only printed on paper. Student will some experience will add to their repertoire a better understanding of how different fibers and weaves affect printing, and how screen coating, exposure and wash out, printing, and ink mixing is adapted with textile printing.

Because we know each student brings unique ambitions, the syllabus has the option to incorporate additional discharge printing, basic fabric dying, or hand sewing demos. Graduates of Screenprinting on Textiles are encouraged to continue printing at Spudnik Press through our Open Studio or Keyholder Program.

Pre-Press Workshop: File Prep for Stress Free Printing

Not everyone needs to be a digital expert. With that said, there are many benefits of understanding how Adobe creative suite can be used to ensure successful printing. Our one-day workshop will arm even the most “non­techy” person with digital arsenal of skills needed to prepare their drawings, photographs, and designs into a press-ready file for screenprinting, letterpress printing or risography.

For example, students will better understand color modes and when to use each of them (CMYK, Greyscale, Bitmap and Duotone). Students will learn tricks for separating an image into multiple layers and adjusting contrast, levels and curves to create high-contrast black and white images from scanned drawings. Students will learn how to add trapping to their artwork and how to create an on-screen approximation of what their artwork might look like as ink on paper.

Through hands-on file editing, students will practice using a variety of tools to help plan and visualize multilayer prints and create crisp darkroom-ready stencils. The class will focus on Photoshop, but address when and how to use Illustrator and InDesign.

Students will use their own computers with Adobe Creative Suite*. This workshop focuses on digital pre-press file editing. Students will not be creating prints during the workshop.

*Please email staff prior to registering if you do not have a laptop with creative suite. A limited number of students may be able to use onsite computers.

The Artist Book: Design & Construction

The Artist Book is fundamentally an interactive sculpture. While artist books are often based on traditional of sewing and gluing techniques, they typically depart from the everyday paperback by incorporating non-linear narratives, tactile and playful elements, illustrations, unexpected juxtapositions, and a close attention to material details.

 

During the first weeks of class, students will learn or refresh core bookbinding skills including sewing, gluing, folding, cutting, and measuring. Students are encouraged to bring short quotes, poems, scrap prints, found images and other elements to help incorporate content into these practice projects as well as the final independent project.

 

Class discussion and friendly critiques will help peers select and plan a unique book project that integrates form and function with their personal aesthetics. Working individually and as a group, students will brainstorm ideas, sketch, and develop a project plan. The lessons in the second half of the class will be driven by the artistic visions of the students and may introduce paste papers, raised and recessed surfaces, hinges, multi-signature bindings, box construction and more.

 

Those with advanced experience will have time to tackle more ambitious techniques. Those newer to the medium can develop a project that best aligns with where their abilities. Students are encouraged to incorporate printmaking processes they are already familiar with into their artist books, however additional printmaking processes will not be taught in class.

Self-Publishing Offset Apprenticeship

Our self-publishing apprenticeship program includes 20+ hours of individual instruction. Students will become fully authorized to operate the ABDick Offset press through printing their own artwork or writing, leaving with a completed large project or multiple smaller projects. Classes cover everything from file prep, alternative plate making, double-sided printing, registration, overlays, etc.

Students will meet for eight weeks for 2- to 3-hour sessions, at which point they should be able to become authorized, or continue taking lessons to gain confidence printing solo. Upon completion, authorized press operators can continue printing independently through our keyholder program, open studios, or hourly rental.

Email info@spudnikpress.org to schedule a meeting for more information. Please include basic availability and a preferred date to begin classes. We suggest visiting the studio prior to registering for this opportunity.