Posts Categorized: Other

DIY Letterpress Coasters (Dec 2017)

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.

Hand Lettering

Focusing on the illustrative quality of written words, this introduction to hand lettering will encourage students to amplify their natural drawing or handwriting style by experimenting with mark making materials and the elements of art and design.

The spacing, slope, texture, sharpness, roundness, rhythm, irregularity and repetition within a word or phrase alter its impression. Students will explore various styles of hand lettering and how letterforms can mirror, expand or alter the meaning of text. Projects will incorporate the use of lettering markers, pens, brushes, ink and other common art supplies.

Once tools have been tested, and personal styles are explored, the class will look to layout and composition to combine text with image. Current and aspiring screen printers, calligraphers, illustrators and designers of posters, apparel, greet cards, and various printed ephemera will all be able to apply new skills to their craft.

The class culminates in students producing a final artwork ready to be hand printed, framed, or digitized.

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.

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.

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.

Papermaking: Pulp, Sculpt and Print

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.

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.

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.

DIY Screenprinted Tea Towels

This is a fun opportunity to make a snazzy set of tea towels featuring any image you choose! Bring your own design, hand lettering or illustration and we’ll provide the ink, screens, and tea towels. You’ll spend an afternoon learning the basics of screenprinting on fabric and leave with a set of kitchen towels to gift or keep for yourself!

This hands-on workshop encourages each student to customize their project by choosing the size, placement, and color for their image. The best part of printmaking is making multiples, so each student gets five all natural tea towels to experiment with. We welcome brand new printmakers as well as those who have some experience and would like to learn to print on different materials.

Bold line drawings, silhouettes, geometric shapes, monograms or hand lettering all are great starting points for designs. Whether you are gifting this package to a culinary friend, family members or yourself, these handmade items will be sure to bring joy to their recipients!