The mighty Riso

Katie had ambitious plans for us during this session!

One group began by selecting from last weeks’ artworks to create a showcase of the processes and ideas they had explored. Each member had their own individual  publication that documented their outcomes from the previous week. As a group they worked together to design a collaborative cover which was then printed on the Risograph using coloured paper and the ‘Riso’ trademark fluro inks. Georgia de Buriatte (Saturday Club assistant and BA Printmaking 3rd year student) shared her bookbinding skills with the group, showing us how to fold and saddle stitch the pages so we all had our own finished book.

The other half of the group became an editorial team; selecting images and developing text about the Saturday Club projects this year, which will become a publication for us to keep and share. Katie talked about working with Studio 3015 at Winchester School of Art and the process of designing in a team to create books, magazines, posters, prospectus and all kinds of printed matter. She showed us some examples of the projects she has worked on and how different printing methods, binding and paper choices all affect the visual message of the content. The publication team annotated and edited text about each workshop session and chose from the stock of photographs taken each week to showcase both the outcomes as well as the materials and methods used.

Half way through the morning we swapped around so everyone got a chance to use the mighty Risograph, make their own book and have their input into the publication.

The WSA Saturday Club year book will also be printed on the Risograph, when it is finished we will share on the blog so keep your eyes peeled…

Here is bit more about the Risograph:

“The Risograph is an environmentally friendly and cost effective printer, which uses soy-based inks to produce unique outcomes. Each stencil (master) is made from thermal sensitive paper and unlike offset printing it only takes a single print for the screen to be fully inked and ready to print thousands of copies. The Risograph is extremely energy efficient and generates a minimal amount of waste.” – Hato Press

Process led printing

This morning was all about print with Andy Reaney, Printmaking technician. Andy gave us a short introduction to the ideas around process led or rule bound making and showed the group artworks created by instructions set out by artist Sol le Witt as a starting point.

One wall of the room had laser cut offcuts in a range of different shapes, patterns and sizes. These random found ‘plates’ would be all we would be printing with for the session. We then got straight into the ‘games’ that Andy had set up to further constrain our decision making and get us to focus on the process as much as the outcome.

We threw dice to select the shapes we would use to relief print from, again to decide the colour ink we would use and again to locate where on the paper the plate would be positioned. Each member of the group took it in turns to print on the same piece of paper creating random layered shapes and colours which created some really playful effects.

The second ‘game’ involved the first person simply choosing which corner of the piece of paper to print their ‘plate’ and the rest of the group following their lead and over printing in the same place. The group worked away creating a whole wall full of collaborative prints.

The second half of the session members could use any plate, colour and composition they wished and everyone made a one off print. Having been introduced to the materials that we had to work with and the basic relief printing process there was no stopping us now that the constraints had been lifted. Some people chose to continue the abstract pattern making theme whilst others chose a more narrative approach, using the pre cut plastic shapes to make an image that told a story.

It was a really productive morning and everyone should be very proud of the fantastic work they created in just 3 hours. It was a brilliant introduction to printmaking but also to how limiting decisions can be a very creative process.