Posts Categorized: Special Topics

Polymer & Paper Lithography

Plate lithography is a variation of traditional lithography and relies on the hydrophobic (water-fearing) and hydrophilic (water-loving) properties of a sheet of plastic or paper. Plate lithography offers an immediate and non-toxic printing process that can incorporate photography, digital designs and hand drawn illustrations. This process is low-cost, versatile, and playful process ripe for experimentation.

Plates can be made using an everyday laser printer, then reworked or added to with a variety of tools like ballpoint pens, crayons and markers. The plate is then carefully inks with oil-based ink and ran through a press.

In this workshop, students will learn both monoprinting techniques and how make an edition with polyester plates. Digital file preparation will be taught as it is necessary for working with photos. However these processes also lend themselves to hand drawn imagery, and the computer can be bypassed completely with the use of a photocopier.

By the end of the workshop, students will produce two images using a mix of techniques on 11” x 15” paper. First time printers as well as artists with photography and drawing experience are both well-suited for this workshop.

Bookbinding for Comics and Zines

This workshop focuses on styles of bookbinding that are low-cost yet dynamic, and can be used to bind a full edition of comics or zines. Students will complete a variety of “b-stitch” bindings using a needle and thread as well as a perfect bound book using our thermal binder. Attendees will also learn a more involved binding, Japanese stab binding, which can turn an every day comic into a limited edition collectible.

The properties of each binding variation and the possibilities for image and text layout will be addressed to help artists choose the right binding for the project. To put final professional touches on their books, students will learn to trim their books with our guillotines.

Six 4” x 5.5” sample books will be produced during class. Through these projects, students will hone their folding, cutting, gluing, and hand-sewing skills. There are unlimited variations to the basic bookbinding techniques, so attendees will be able to adapt these foundational skills to their own comic and zine projects. Students will graduate authorized to attend Open Studio to use our bookbinding supplies, guillotines, and thermal binder.

Botany of Blue: Cyanotypes after Anna Atkins

In 1843, a botanist and photographer named Anna Atkins self-published her first book of cyanotype photograms. Anna Atkins, who is often cited as the first woman photographer, has inspired many with her collection of images that are both scientific and artistic. Cyanotypes are contact prints on light-sensitive paper, bridging photography and printmaking. UV light hitting treated paper triggers a chemical reaction that forms an intense blue dye. This workshop commemorates the work of Atkins by sharing the art form and process of creating cyanotypes.

After looking at historical examples of cyanotypes and the work of Anna Atkins, students in this workshop will explore the process through creating their own botanical prints. Working out of doors, students will use sunlight to make images from native flora, flower shop clippings and hand drawn transparencies. No previous experience necessary for this explorative, and playful process.

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 “non-­techy” people 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, and Bitmap). 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 also address when and how to use Illustrator. Students should come with basic understanding of Photoshop as the class if focused on tools for printmakers, not teaching the program from the ground up.

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.

Clamshell Box Making Workshop

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 drop spine and hinged 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.

Between steps, as glue dries, students will also create a “perfect bound” sketchbook to fit inside their handmade box.  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.