- - - Launching Baltimore's first affordable & accessible Risograph print shop
A little about PaperBase - We are a small community print shop in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland run by Sarah Robbins and Emily Cucalon. Sarah is a MICA graduate (BFA, 2013), freelance illustrator (most notably featured in The New York Times and Baltimore Magazine), printmaker, and book artist. Emily is also a MICA graduate (BFA, 2014), and exhibiting fine artist who's work is focused in printmaking. Inspired by the post-grad isolation of working alone in their respective studios, together they founded PaperBase; bringing community and affordable printmaking resources under one roof. Today PaperBase is still committed to a community of freelancers, illustrators, printmakers, designers, and makers based in Baltimore who use the shared spaces and letterpress print shop during weekly hours. Workshops and classes on print and design are offered through the space as well (often in collaboration with other Baltimore artists and organizations like the Baltimore Academy of Illustration), and within the past year of being open, PaperBase has organized several collaborative illustrated print projects and pop-up shops.
- - - Who is Ralph the Risograph (and why is he sad)?
Ralph is a RP 3700 Risograph printer, currently located inside PaperBase. Ralph himself is in working order, but his drums are another story. Thanks to old ink, his drums are all gunked up and need a thorough cleaning! Without his ink drums, woe is Ralph, he cannot print! Cleaning risograph drums is a delicate business that requires an expert hand and lots of time and money- that's where you come in!
- - - You may be wondering, just what is a Risograph, and why does Baltimore need one?
The What - In the simplest terms a Risograph is an all in one hi-speed compact screen printing machine. It is a triumph of delicate electrical engineering in a beige photo-copier shell. And why do so many people love it? For self publishers of zines, comics, or small prints, there is practically no cheaper or faster way to get intense screen-printing-like spot color. Our machine can print up to 120 pages per minute at it's fastest setting! For a more detailed description of how a risograph works check out a great write up of the process by Hato Press.
The Why - Baltimore has a thriving small press and self publishing community - We have received countless emails asking to use Ralph and learn hands-on knowledge to make zines, prints, you name it by local artists. In namely the small press, comics, and self-publishing world, risographs are beginning to catch on as a hot trend because of their affordability, user-friendly operation, and gritty screen-printed aesthetic. Currently if you want risograph prints and are located in Baltimore, you have to outsource (which we are to the lovely Woolly Press in Asheville, NC for our Mini Prints!). Once Ralph is up and running Baltimore creatives can get personal experience with this technology for even less cost.
- - - R e w a r d s
Pins - For $10 you'll get a big THANKS! and a little enamel paper airplane pin (with a PaperBase dog-ear fold).
Mini Risograph Prints - Designed by PaperBase member, friend, and talented illustrator Rachel Suggs, these 2-layer red and green risograph prints are 5" x 8". For now we've outsourced our printing to our friends at Woolly Press. These beautiful prints are a stunning example of what these amazing machines can do and what our members can do with it!
Hand-carved letterpress prints - Our studio at PaperBase currently has 3 letterpress printing presses (See photos of our shop here!):
Each 11"x14" print is created from a linoleum block that is hand carved by co-founder Sarah Robbins and depicts a different press within PaperBase, with an overlapping printed layer of wood type with the press name and type.
The Susie - - > the Craftsmen Imperial
The Gertrude - - > The Showcard Press
The Joe - - > The 8"x12" Chandler and Price
- - - Where your Donations will Go
With your donation we'll be able to pay our local "hi-speed duplicator" expert who's helped us with little fixes on Ralph in the past. Each drum will take several hours to clean thoroughly, costing $150/hr. We estimate to clean all three of our drums will take roughly 5 hours each (15 total) costing about $2,250. The largest chunk of our donation goal will go to this repair cost- we are budgeting $3,000 to cover any extra time Wade may need to do the job correctly.
To replace the old separated ink we will need to purchase new ink tubes for all 3 drums. We budget as well, that we can afford one more drum within $1,000.
$500 will give us a budget to run Risograph workshops and organize more collaborative projects (like our freelancer's cookbook zine!) And the remaining $500 will cover extra kickstarter costs (shipping supplies, fees, taxes).
- - - - - - - - - - This brings us to a total initial goal of $5,000! - - - - - - - - - -
- - - Stretch Goals
$7,500 - - - >
- We will be able to purchase one more drum (and ink) we will let our donators decide through a poll what fun color they would most like to add to our shop- (Metallic Gold? Fluorescent orange? Teal?)
- This stretch goal will also unlock an additional 11"x17" risograph poster reward by a TBD artist from our community (and we've got some real talented friends!)
$10,000 - - - >
- We will be able to invest in our future move to a new space - This would be enough initial seed money to begin a serious search for more space. By moving our options for larger events and community involvement would increase astronomically! Think bigger workshops, zine parties, maybe even a small press fair within our space all thanks to you!!!
- This stretch goal will unlock a collaborative zine - Thanks to this extra money we could afford to pay a group of talented artists and create a large risograph collaborative zine.
$15,000 - - - >
- Our dream to have rentable spaces within PaperBase for the Baltimore freelance/artist community could be a reality.
- With an additional $5,000 we could buy desks, build walls, and truly create the community space we dream about for our artists. Our little hearts would probably burst from joy!!
- Riso Residency - This stretch goal will unlock the budget for artists to apply to a risograph residency within our space!
Risks and challenges
Potential challenges will include coordinating with our risograph repairman to fix our drums completely. Our budget does have some wiggle room in the event they need extra repair beyond what we expect.
While these machines are newer than what we're used to as letterpress printers, they are delicate and we cannot predict or examine them with a trained eye like our repairman does. By his (and many other riso printers) suggestion, and an honest understanding of our own skill, we understand what is wrong with our riso drums (old separated ink that must be completely cleaned out) and that we cannot do the work ourselves without risking more damage to the drums. We accept the responsibility to do our best to coordinate fixing them properly. We also promise to be completely transparent and honest with our backers as we move forward about the status of their repair.
All of our physical rewards are currently made and ready to ship, but please be patient with us (we are just 2 people and help from friends!) as we organize packing and shipping them all out. We will probably have them shipped before our very conservative deadline of February 2017. We are also happy to have donators stop by the studio to pick up their rewards to avoid shipping costs/waiting time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)