Where to learn how to silkscreen in Toronto
Learning to silkscreen in Toronto is one way to make sure that those around you are privy to your creative genius. It's one thing to create a lavish design and have it hang in solace on the wall of your apartment, but it's quite another to transpose the image onto the front of your t-shirt and take a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood. The option of learning to silkscreen yourself might seem a costlier option than, say, soliciting one of Toronto's best custom t-shirt shops to print it for you, but the long-term money saved for chronic printersânevermind the overwhelming sense of accomplishmentâmake learning to silkscreen firsthand totally worth it. Here are some places offering workshops in Toronto.
If such a thing as a "silkscreen community" existed in Toronto, Julian Finkel would probably be leading the pack. Those who admire his designs, which are on display (and sale) in his Kensington Market shop, have the opportunity to learn the skill from him firsthand by enrolling in one of his workshops. Usually offered a couple of Sundays a month from noon until 6:30 p.m., the classes are intentionally small (six people) and include everything you need to make your own designs (and you can take home the screen). $175
Original screen printed pieces occupy every inch of this store, so it's no surprise owner Kingi Carpenter and her staff offer their own silkscreen workshops. They're usually held one Sunday a month from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., with the option to stay until 10 p.m., making your day at Peach Berserk almost a full 12 hours. At which point you'll probably see everything through a veil of crinoline. For $179, the workshop includes all you need to know to make your own prints, including the materials necessary to make two screens.
Habourfront Craft Studio
The Craft Studio at the Harbourfront Centre hosts a crash course in silkscreening, as well as an extended five-week course. The one-day workshop is held usually once a month on a Saturday and teaches you the basics of how to make your own original prints ($155+HST with the option to take home your screen at an additional cost). For those who want to take a more in-depth approach to silkscreening, the five-week course (three hours per week) explores using multiple colours, different ways to prepare screen positives and more, for a total cost of $250+HST.
The danger of attending this workshop, of course, is that you'll probably leave with an armful of crafts and gifts you just happened to pass on your way through the market. Oops. It helps that this silkscreen class is among the cheaper workshops in Toronto, offered for $80 for the program with all materials included. (Live Green members get an additional 10% off as well.) The four-hour class guides you through creating your own stencil and printing your design on various fabric and materials. Typically offered once a month.
At Dundas and Broadview, this studio/gallery/store/workshop hub lists "silkscreening" among its many classes, though the process taught here is more of a traditional stenciling. In any case, after three and a half hours you'll learn how to take your original design and create custom prints on t-shirts, aprons, scarves, and other materials. The classes are usually held the last Sunday of the month, and cost $65+HST.
Contemporary Textile Studio Co-Op
Workshops are open to members and non-members alike, with silkscreening led by Sharon Epstein among the winter offerings. There are two sessions; a January/February session and a March/April session, where classes are offered Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The course provides instruction on preparing stencils, exposing images onto screens, and printing on a variety of different materials, and costs $270 for the session, plus $65 for materials.
Photo by networkcultures on Flickr
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