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Start the Presses
RISD Provost Jessie Shefrin and Printshop Manager Morgan Calderini 07 PR
Before Movable Type was a blogging platform, it was a
technology breakthrough in its own right, allowing printing to become a
widespread way of disseminating information, not unlike blogging in its effects
on culture and society.
Though there may be endless debate these days about whether
or not print is dead, it is alive and well at AS220’s Printshop which recently held an
open house for its newly expanded facilities on the Mercantile Block in
RISD alumni, faculty, area artists and arts supporters
turned out in large numbers to celebrate the opening and the addition of the
RISD-donated Takach Etching Press which, at 10.5 x 4.5 feet, is one of the
largest etching presses ever built.
Morgan Calderini 07 PR,
Printshop Director and the catalyst who brought RISD and AS220 together on this
project, recalled that as a student at RISD, she had seen the press in
storage. After graduating, she and
fellow RISD Printmaking alumni started
the Printshop, then housed in the Dreyfus building, to have a place in Providence to continue
making art. She later
approached Printmaking Department Head Henry
Ferrera and RISD Provost Jessie
Shefrin to offer the press a home where it would be put to good use.
In addition to offering classes on everything from letterpress
printing to silk-screening to offset lithography, the Printshop is available
for local artists and non-profit organizations to rent time on the presses for
a fraction of the cost elsewhere, and also provides a space for artists to come
together and share ideas on works-in-progress. They even offer a print camp for
kids during school vacation week!
The new space brings the Printshop together with other
facilities for artists including a photography lab (both darkroom and digital)
and a Fab Lab, where kids and adults alike can learn to use tools such as laser
cutters and 3D printers to make almost anything.
People bring their own experience and interests, says Fab
Lab coordinator James Rutter. For example, past participants have included a doctor
who wanted to learn how to fabricate medical prototypes and artists who want to
learn how to incorporate electronics into their work.
facilities are available to all artists and printmakers regardless of skill
level,” says Calderini. “Never before has one print shop been equipped the way
AS220 is. We are thrilled that one can spend an afternoon using vintage type
from our collection or creating their own on the Fab Lab laser cutter. Thanks
to RISD’s support, the AS220 Printshop offers unparalleled opportunities to
students and members of the community alike.”
Photos from the Open House on Flickr
RISD Department of Printmaking
, partnerships + collaborations
, public engagement