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The University Star




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The University Star

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Risograph print club allows students and alumni to work with new printing medium

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Adriana Villanueva
Mars Velasquez (left), Zainab Alhatri (center) and Chinny Egbuna (right) standing next to risograph printer in the fabrication room, Dec. 1, 2023, in the Joann Cole Mitte building.

Located in the fabrication room in the Joann Cole Mitte building, bright vibrant prints and zines plaster the walls as students and faculty work on designs for portfolios and personal projects. Pawprintz, a risograph club, is an art-based club that allows students and alumni to explore a unique medium for their artistic abilities.

Risogragh prints are made with a risograph printer. It uses rich colors and stencils to create vibrant prints, is affordable and has very little impact on the environment. The process is commonly used for graphic art, typography and illustration, but also can be applied across painting and photography.

To Pawprintz, creating in riso means the world to them. President of the club Zainab Alhatri, a communication design senior, had the idea of creating the riso club in spring 2023 and officially started the club fall semester.

Alhatri enjoys using riso when making zines. In the future, Alhatri hopes they will be able to open their very own printmaking shop that makes risograph printing accessible to those who cannot be in the club.

 

“I [would] love to make riso printing accessible for those who cannot be in the club or have never had an opportunity to experiment with a new medium,” Alhatri said. “The method is just downright cool to be able to use and it’s an ethical way of printing.”

Risograph printers print in two different ways, analog and digital. The images can be sent either digitally from the risograph PC or from the physical analog copy from the scanner bed. The printer then makes a paper stencil and wraps around the ink drum. Paper is placed on the feeder and passed through one or two of the ink drums, creating a ‘digital’ stamp of the individual colors to make a colorful image.

Risograph printing in itself is highly efficient and a sustainable printing method, making it an ethical product, unmatched to other printing methods. The risograph printers use soy based ink, which is non-toxic with stencils made from plant fibers.

Although Pawprintz benefits art students, the club welcomes all majors as well as alumni. Dues to join are $10 in order to help buy equipment for the printers. The club looks forward to doing workshops to create fun projects such as stickers, buttons and popular craft zines.

Mars Velasquez, a communication design junior and co-president of the club, started working more with riso when they took the riso 101 class.

“When you take the class, it is required that you become a riso lab monitor,” Velasquez said. “As a lab monitor you print out projects that other students send in via files. Once they send those files in and let us know what colors they want to use, we print them out and have them ready for the students.”

Like Alhatri, Velasquez believes the club allows artists to be able to experiment a new medium and hopes to see students create unique art as well as taking their time working with riso.

“I would like to see more artists create prints using typography,” Velasquez said. “In the club, you don’t have to always do illustrations or graphic art. We would like to see artists experiment and create something new.”

The secretary of the club, Chinny Egbuna, a communication design senior, also believes the club creates an opportunity for students and allows them to learn and develop a new printing process for them to use.

“What I love about the club is that it’s a great way to expand the user base for riso printing,” Egbuna said. “It can bring in more people who are curious about the method and allows the expansion of creativity to happen.”

The club hopes to create a safe space for students and alumni alike as well as some notoriety in riso printing can inspire artists to create out of their comfort zone.

Alhatri hopes that by spring 2024 the club will be able to participate in local art events like ZineFest and selling prints in the LBJ ballrooms or the Joann Cole Mitte building.

Pawprintz meets from 2 to 4 p.m. every Friday in the Fabrication room JCM 3017K. The riso printers are currently only available to Pawprintz and communication design BFA and MFA students and faculty.

To join or learn more about Pawprintz follow it’s Instagram @pawprintz.riso.

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