Pre-Xerox Copier Technology + DIY Publishing

with Rich Dana
Saturday–Sunday, June 17 & 18; 10am–4pm CT

Before there was social media, even before photocopied zines, marginalized artists and writers found ways to publish their creations using stencil prints (mimeographs) and dye-transfer prints (hectographs). Developed for copying documents without the use of a printing press, these quick and cheap techniques have been used by outsider artists and poets, political dissidents, and underground publishers since the 1800s. This in-person workshop explores pre-Xerox copier technologies and how contemporary artists and writers can use them to publish small editions of zines, chapbooks, prints, and flyers.

We’ll begin by examining the history of office copying technology and how marginalized creators have adopted these techniques. Next, we’ll jump right into exploring the hectograph—a marvelous homemade gelatin pad printer that uses aniline dye instead of ink to produce up to 50 multicolored copies. We will also use a “spirit duplicator” or “ditto machine” which uses the same dye transfer principle to create even more copies, faster! Then, we’ll focus on the mimeograph, or stencil printer, a close relative of screen printing and the Risograph, which creates exquisite and detailed copies that can be made with or without a machine. 

The focus of day-one is on demonstrations, hands-on tutorials of making master sheets, operating vintage copiers, and creating your own simple copiers from off-the-shelf materials. On the second day, participants will have full access to all of the materials and equipment to create their own editions with guidance from the instructor.

All skill levels welcome
Certificate: 12 hours, Category D

$313/participant (10% discount for MCBA members) + $18 materials fee
$157 for BIPOC/Financial scholarship participants (10% discount for MCBA members) + $18 materials fee
MCBA offers two scholarship types for workshops—Financial Hardship Scholarships and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Scholarships—to honor equity and increase access and artistic opportunities for those who have historically been underrepresented in the book arts. For individuals to whom these scholarships do not apply, register at the “Adult” rate and, if you are able, consider making a donation when registering to support MCBA’s efforts to make scholarships available.

Masks are strongly recommended for program participants working close to others in MCBA’s studios. See our Covid Safety Guidelines for more information.

Please note: Registration closes 6/12 at midnight (CT).