Risograph Zine-Making Workshops
We offer risograph zine making workshops at our new studio space at Edinburgh Palette! These introductory workshops take you through how to make a single-side printed cut and folded booklet with the option to print up to two colours from the five our riso has which are red, black, sunflower yellow, blue & fluro-pink and we have a selection of uncoated coloured sugar paper and recycled cartridge paper for you to choose from (you can even do one of everything we've got if you like!) All materials are provided and included in the cost of the workshop along with 20 copies of your zine. Zines mean a lot of things to different people, and it may be you want to keep yours as something very personal or for close friends and family only, but we also offer the opportunity of pitching your zine for sale in the bookshop, and offer advice on how to go about pricing and approaching retailers with your work.
This is Lyra the Risograph Machine - more than just a photocopyer!
What is RISO?
You'll find more information on the Printing page of this website, but it's effectively an electronic screenprinting machine which uses ecologically friendly bran oil based inks to print on uncoated paper. Our machine is called Lyra, and she prints on A3 paper - the wee folding zine we teach in our workshop is made from a single A3 sheet. We can send black and white images in pdf format to the machine and it will cut stencils* and attach them to the ink drums, but for the workshop we're usually making these images by drawing, using our typewriters to create text which we glue to an original which will then be scanned straight into the machine to make the stencils. We've got a light-box so you can draw two black and white layers and line them up (ish!) to add an extra colour. In the workshop you'll be guided through how the machine works, and we'll give you tips and tricks for designing for riso ( for instance some things, like big colour blocks, are not necessarily a great idea because of the stickiness of the ink!)
What are Zines?
Zine is short for "magazine" or "fanzine" and the word has its origins in the music culture of the 1960s, where dedicated fans would create unofficial magazines about their favourite bands. Through the 80s and 90s counterculture music became increasingly politicised and so too did zines. Today zines can be political, but it's a broad church and this is only a small element of zine culture - they can be funny or wistful, modern chapbooks are often called poetry zines, they can incorporate elements of cartoon and comic book culture, some are more like artist books, and indeed some are still closely linked to the grass roots music scene like this one we recently published featuring lyrics from Nicole Cassandra Smit. You should have a think in advance about the sort of zine you'd like to make. While the workshop is based around making a cut and fold booklet zine, should you wish to make a simple A3 print instead that's completely fine - we're led by what you want to get from the experience.
A sample of the sort of zine you might make at one of our workshops!
What do I need to bring?
Just yourself - we'll provide pens, typewriters, and bits and bobs for putting together the image that will form the finished stencil. HOWEVER you might want to bring images with you - things you've cut out and want to encorporate, images you want to use or prefered pens, brushes, or other media. Remember however everything should be in black and white for best results, though the machine will register a colour photo you need to think about how it would look in black and white - is there enough light and shade for it to look good in monochrome?
Cost and Booking Information
You can check availability and book workshops on our online mini-shop, or by emailing email@example.com When you buy workshops on the website they are for specific dates, though you can also buy a friend a letter of credit for a workshop at an unspecified time. Workshops currently run on Tuesdays 6pm-8pm and Saturdays 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm and we currently only offer three slots per session. Our studio is number G18A at Edinburgh Palette, St Margarets House, 151 London Road - we'll give you full details and a contact mobile number and meet you out front. If for whatever reason you can't make it to the workshop you've booked you must let us know asap, and if it's under 48hours before hand this must be by telephone. In a situation where you've missed a workshop we can offer you store credit for the full amount paid which you can use to book another workshop or to buy other books and services.
*These stencils are usually referred to as "masters", however we prefer the word stencil.