Posts Categorized: Special Topics

T-Shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop (December)

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!

Pre-Press Workshop: File Prep for Stress Free Printing (January)

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 “non­techy” 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.

Artwork Documentation Workshop: Copy Stands, Batch Edits & Color Correcting (Jan)

As a visual artist, the importance of high-quality art documentation cannot be over stated. To help empower our community have the best slides possible, Spudnik Press has added a professional camera, copy stand, and light kit to our shared resources available through Open Studio!

Not sure how to use these fancy tools? This workshop will bring you up to speed on how to use a DSLR camera (or your phone), copy stand, and Adobe Lightroom to efficiently and effectively document your own work.

We’ve invited Adam Schachner, professional photographer, and Latitude’s Lab Director, to educate artists on the ins and outs of how to document their own work, be it flat or dimensional.

Students will learn how to use the copy stand coupled with a digital camera “tethered” directly to a computer with Adobe Lightroom. In Lightoom, you will learn how images can be batch edited to adjust for color balancing, warping, sharpness, and more. Typical and simple Adobe Photoshop techniques for doing more local image adjustments will also be shared.

The hands on workshop will review simple hardware and software trouble-shooting as well as how the copy stand’s continuous lights can be used for documenting books and zines.

Participants will work collaboratively to take high-quality digital photographs of their own artwork. Each student should bring about five artworks, and expect to leave with 1-2 edited images ready to be published online or included in a grant or residency proposal.

Papermaking: Pulp, Sculpt and Print (February)

Papermaking can be used as a catalyst for bookmaking, printmaking and drawing, as well as an art form all in its own.  Beginning with the scrap papers that so constantly accumulate in our print studio, student will turn these left overs into precious pulp. In addition to using recycled materials, students will make unique handmade paper sheets using natural fibers like abaca.

After forming basic paper with a mould and deckle, students will explore texture, paper casting, and layering paper to create sculptural pieces or installations.

With the printmaker in mind, the class will also address how to incorporate imagery into and onto handmade paper. “Inclusions” like fragments of prints, organic materials, or thread can be integrated into the paper. Plus, students will learn ways to add photographic imagery to their papers through alcohol transfers and cyanotype processes.

Students will graduate from the class with an understanding of papermaking terminology and history. They will be able to make and dye pulp, create large and small flat sheets, and craft paper-based artwork that incorporates collage, photography, pulp painting, and sculptural elements.

Papermaking at Spudnik Press is a low-tech non-toxic process that requires limited access to special facilities, and can be incorporated into classroom settings. This is a wet process, so dress down for this class.

Illustrative Lettering (February)

The unification of written language and visual language can create powerful communication. When done well, illustrative lettering leads to impactful poster design, cards and invitations, advertisements and artwork. Building from one’s natural drawing style, this workshop will amplify hand-lettering skills and focus on techniques to combine text with illustration.

Students will gain inspiration and ideas from looking at several illustrations by a wide range of artists. Using various prompts, students will practice transforming letterforms into image and experiment with readability, layout, shape, and style. After developing sketches using a wide range of techniques and tools, everyone will have the opportunity to focus on a final illustration that incorporates skills learned throughout the session.

Screenprinting on Textiles (March)

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 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.

Graduates of Screenprinting on Textiles are encouraged to continue printing at Spudnik Press through our Open Studio or Keyholder Program.

Letterpress Pressure Prints

By combining stencils and low-relief collages with letterpress printing, artists can make textural images reminiscent of rubbings and collagraphs. Variation in the thickness of cut paper, string, plants, netting and other relatively two-dimensional items effect the amount of ink transferred by the cylinder of the press to the paper and leave a rich nuanced image on the page.

Students will work individually and collectively to create a variety of stencils, then experiment with the stencils, composition and the printing process to tell a story, create a mood, or build an illustration. Students will also be able to experiment with hand inking to create one-of-a-kind compositions. Throughout the workshop, students will create a series of up to 10 multi-layered monotypes as big as 19” x 25”!

For the technically inclined, the class will also address how to adjust cylinder packing and form height to achieve various printed results and to read and use a micrometer. Letterpress printers, both new and experienced, as well as artists and illustrators who like to work with monoprinting, stencils, or cut paper, will benefit from this class. Letterpress experience is helpful but not required.

T-shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop (March)

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!

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. 

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.

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!

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.