Paper Lithography online workshop

 Registration is closed for this event
$ 75.00

July 29th, 2021 4:00 PM

  • Instructor: Laimah Osman
  • Workshop Type: Arts
  • Workshop Status: Open
  • Workshop Start: July 29th, 2021 4:00 PM
  • Workshop End: July 29th, 2021 7:00 PM
  • Sessions: 1
  • In-person or Online?: Online

This is a single session online workshop.

In paper lithography, also known as gum arabic transfer, a Xerox photocopy acts as a “plate” that gets inked and printed. Oil-based printmaking ink is applied to the treated paper, the toner areas hold ink, while the blank areas hold moisture and repel the ink. In this workshop, the instructor will demonstrate this multi-step process and help students troubleshoot their own work at home. 

This is a relatively low toxic way to make prints at home using natural gum arabic. It is a versatile process, great for layering photographic images, illustrations and text (anything you can photocopy) onto your handmade prints in any color that you can mix. Through experimentation and layering you can make beautiful one of a kind prints of your own. 

Students are encouraged to design and photocopy or laser print their own letter-size “plates”; the most foolproof plan is to go to a UPS or FedEx Kinkos and use the Xerox machines. Sometimes different toners can yield different results. To ensure that everyone has enough workable material, all students will receive an envelope containing several Xerox copies of the Instructor’s designs to experiment with.

Expect some failures and some successes!

Materials to Bring:

  • Envelope of paper “plates” received from SFCB
  • (optional): 8.5 x 11” laser prints or Xerox photocopies of your own design of text and/or images. They should be high-contrast and reverse-printed (otherwise text will print the wrong direction). Prints on slightly heavier text weight paper will be helpful but not necessary. Inkjet prints will not work for this process.
  • Soft 4" brayer for inking; for example
  • A second brayer for printing, or a baren, or a wooden spoon
  • Gamblin oil-based relief ink in a dark color (one color is sufficient for class; no yellow or white) 
  • One or more palette knives; starter set or single
  • Powdered Gum Arabic; the instructor will use this variety and recommends students do as well 
  • Printmaking paper: recommended one sheet of 115 gsm Rives BFK in cream or white, cut into smaller pieces. One sheet will yield nine pieces, which is more than can be printed in the class time. Other smooth papers will work as well, please feel free to experiment with damp and dry papers.


  • A well ventilated work space
  • A large, clean, flat surface covered in newsprint or other protection
  • Two pieces of glass, plexi, sealed wood, tile - anything flat, smooth, and non-porous; one for mixing ink/charging the brayer, and one for treating the photocopies (at least 8.5 x 11”)
  • Parchment paper or waxed paper
  • Rubber gloves
  • Apron 
  • A mask if you are sensitive to the smell of the oil-based inks—see label for safety instructions
  • Lots of rags and paper towels
  • Newsprint/scrap paper
  • A bowl of water
  • A second bowl to hold gum arabic solution; a stainless steel mixing bowl, tupperware, or any bowl that you won’t want to use for cooking after
  • At least two cellulose sponges
  • Vegetable oil from your pantry for cleanup
  • Multi‑purpose spray cleaner
  • Newsprint/scrap paper
  • A plastic bag or garbage to put inked rags and used photocopy plates, etc.

Workshop Fee: $75
Tuition assistance is available; please apply here.

Date & Time: Thursday, July 29, 2021 :: 4-7pm Pacific time

Location: Online over Zoom

SFCB online workshops are recorded; students will have access to the video for two weeks.

Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class.


About the Instructor | Laimah Osman

Laimah Osman is a visual artist and educator whose artistic production takes the form of drawings, prints, and artists’ books. Her work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions and is archived in various libraries. She has been awarded residencies at The Lower East Side Printshop, Kala Art Institute and Women’s Studio Workshop as well as grants from Brooklyn Arts Council and Jerome Foundation. Currently, she teaches at Parsons School of Design and makes prints with local poets. She earned a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (1998) and an MFA from Pratt Institute (2010).

Past Student Reviews:

“The instructor went over each step slowly and clearly. She was an easy example to follow.”

“Her calm and deliberate manner was appreciated. She took the time to go over everything and answer questions along the way.” 

$ 75.00
Online via Zoom
United States