Posts Categorized: 1 Day

Screenprinting Refresher

This refresher workshop will assume that students understand screenprinting and have previous experience, but are feeling out-of-practice or fuzzy regarding the finer points of the process. Students should have already completed a one-day workshop or full class, although it need not have been at Spudnik. We also welcome printers that would like support working through a particularly complex project or reoccurring printing issue.

Spudnik Press staff will review an assortment of skills such as selecting the best mesh count, applying the perfect coat of photo emulsion, troubleshooting and diagnosing exposure and printing issues, ink mixing, registration, and screen reclamation. Equally as importantly, we will address how to consider these technical factors and limitations when designing a project for printing.

During the workshops, each student will expose a screen, and work with peers to print a two-color image designed to hone nuanced printing skills. Students are welcome to bring specific questions about their next project.

To help build printing confidence at Open Studio sessions, students are invited to return within the week (free of charge!) to put their freshly acquired knowledge to use. Through this workshop, students will not only brush up on old skills and become authorized to print at Spudnik, but are sure to walk away with new morsels of useful information regarding the art of screenprinting.

Calligraphy Crash Course

After taking a calligraphy workshop, you’ll never look at a letter the same again! Join artist and calligrapher, Grace Calderone, in an exploration of letterforms, quill pens and india ink. We welcome first-time calligraphers! Rumor has it that even those with questionable penmanship can do remarkable things with an oblique pen and a zebra nib!

The workshop will take a close look of the composition of letters, and how letters connect to other letters to form words and phrases. Students will get used to assembling the nib and holder, controlling the pen’s reservoir of ink, and varying line width with pressure. From there, students will become familiar with how letters are formed through practicing the alphabet, writing short phrases and experimenting with swashes.

Everyone will get to take home their own pen and nib and a printed guide to help them keep practicing on their own.

Letterpress Print Your Own Cards (Jan 2018)

Please join us for an afternoon of printing your own greeting cards using Spudnik Press’ traditional printing presses. The tactile quality of ink pressed into paper will surely leave an impression on the lucky recipients of your handmade cards!

Students will each set their own short saying or phrase using metal and wood type. They’ll combine it with vintage relief blocks featuring festive illustrations. This workshop combines an overview of letterpress printing and history with hands-on art making, and it is a great way to try out a new craft. Students are encouraged to bring 20 blank notecards of any size and color. Each student will lock up their type and get to operate a printing press to produce their own design. Plus, students can trade with peers to take home a variety pack of cards.

T-Shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop

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!

DIY Valentines: Screenprint Your Own Cards

A handmade valentine is always a thrill to receive, regardless of how romantic one feels about the holiday. This Valentine’s Day, impress friends, family, and coworkers with a clever or charming hand-printed valentines featuring your own design.

Students will each bring a one-color design that they would like to transform into a stack of greeting cards. Designs can be a black and white drawing, text-based, a Photoshop or Illustrator file, or found imagery.

Students will learn how to make their image “print ready” and will expose their image onto a screen using photographic emulsion in our darkroom. Everyone will mix their own custom ink color, register their image onto cards, and then print, print, print! Students will be able to make 20 valentines and are encouraged to swap cards with their classmates to bring home a DIY variety pack of cards.

Relief Tester & Refresher

Relief printmaking (aka block printing) is a graphic, versatile, and timeless form of printmaking. Starting with a block of wood, linoleum, or rubber, artists use gouges to carve away the negative space. Relief prints can be as simple as geometric stamps used to create repeat patterns or as complex as a complex as one’s ambitions.

This workshop invites people to test out a new craft or to refresh skills from a prior class or printmaking experience. Students will learn how to visualize and create a design that will stylistically work well as a relief print. Students will then move through each step of the relief process from image transfer to how to select the right gouge, hold the gouge, and carving an image in reverse.

Lastly, the ink, brayers, presses, and paper come out! Everyone will produce an edition of their prints. Students with prior intermediate experience are encouraged to use the last hours to address questions related to setting up the press, multiple plate registration, planning more complex plates, even and consistent inking, etc.

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.

Make Your Own Wall Art: Chicago Edition

Do you love Chicago architecture? What if you could make your own Chicago wall art featuring your personal favorite photo? Ditch the stock photo of Navy Pier in favor of your favorite neighborhood marquee, the Chicago skyline from your own rooftop vantage point, or seasonal foliage along the 606.

With the support of Spudnik Press artists, create your own unique handmade ready-to-hang artwork featuring your own Chicago photograph. Students will learn tricks to transform their personal photograph into a bold and graphic screenprint on canvas. This afternoon workshop introduces the process of using a darkroom to create a screen from a digital image, mixing a custom ink color, and printing a design onto fabric.

After printing, students will choose from two finishing styles, either stretching the canvas around stretcher bars or add grommets to complete their artwork. Students are asked to bring a black and white 10” x 10” 300 dpi digital image. Durable natural canvas and all other materials are provided.

Pro Tip: Grab your camera and take some photos of your own. It’s not cool to download copyright-protected photographs.

Risography 101

A 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 and authorization to continue making Risograph prints at Spudnik Press Cooperative.

T-Shirts & Totebags Screenprinting Workshop

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!

DIY Letterpress Coasters

DIY Letterpress Coasters is an opportunity for people new to letterpress printing to experiment with the art form and experience the satisfaction of pressing ink to paper. A coaster is the perfect foundation for printers to play with the art form. Students will get to make their own mixed and matched coasters featuring the debossed “punch” that makes letterpress printing so popular.

Students can make coasters from variety of “type high” blocks: wood type to produce abstract shapes and textures, antique borders to create decorative patterns, and various contemporary designs by local artists cast as magnesium plates. Students can make a dozen unique coasters, or settle on a favorite look to create matching sets. Spudnik Press will provide the option of beginning with coasters made from thick cotton paper stock or cork. Students simply need to come to class ready to sift through type cases and dabble in the centuries old process of letterpress printing.

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.