Posts Categorized: Tuesday

Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type

Letterpress printing has been making an impression since 1440 when Gutenberg invented movable type. A. 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 prinitng a popular choice for greeting cards, business cards, invitations, broadsides, and a wide range of printed ephemera. While letterpress printing began as a commercial process, artists, designers, typographers and illustrators are continually finding new ways to approach the art form.


Letterpress I: Wood & Metal Type introduces a range of projects to familiarize students with letterpress printing, typography and the history of the art form. Spudnik Press Cooperative houses over 120 drawers of type, two Vandercook presses, a Line-o-scribe proofing press, and three platen presses, all of which are available for students to use.


Students will develop foundational skills by using a composing stick to hand set lines of types to produce business cards or letterhead. From there, projects will increase in scope to introduce more advanced planning, technical considerations and creative approaches to printing. Students will learn new fun vocabulary words like reglets, quoins, kerning, spacing, and leading, and will begin to understand how these terms inform and relate to “desktop publishing”. In addition to setting type, students will gain an understanding of the mechanics of our presses and learn to lock-up type, set pressure, mix and modify ink and safely operate the 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.

Screenprint Explorations

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 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.

Monotypes & Collographs

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 typically begin from a piece 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.