The process has similar qualities to screen printing, the machine looks like a photocopier and to an effect it is, we used the hand made process as opposed to using a PDF to print from. The designs are individually placed upon the screen bed, as you would do to photocopy something, then making sure the correct coloured 'drum' is in the machine (like a big printing roller full of ink) the machine then creates a master using a special film, this is where the similarities to screen printing are (but instead of light this uses heat to burn on the design) once the master film is created this stays attached to the roller and ink is pushed through the areas which have been burnt (the areas where you have made marks on your design)
Then the process is repeated for the second colour, so you have both masters ready, then it is a case of printing both at the same time, the alignment may not be correct at this stage so using the arrow keys on the machine you can move the position of the drum and keep testing the print until you are happy with the position.
So, back to the workshop, I arrived a little early and had a look around the little shop area where they have books and prints. Once everyone had arrived we were told how the risograph printer works and we all made a few scribbles on some paper to see the process, and how each different pen or pencil mark would come out.
Then it was time to create our designs, I had something in mind and had some basic ideas in my sketchbook, I drew out the design first and then decided on colours and arrangement, to create the final artwork we had to draw one colour on to a piece of paper and then using tracing paper make the second layer/colour.
Then we put the coloured drums in to the machine, I decided on teal and orange, and a few tests to get it all lined up and my final print was ready. It was so quick and simple but the outcome is beautiful, I really enjoyed the process and will definitely work in this way again.
If you're interested in Risograph printing and live in London I would really recommend this workshop, it was only £30 and such a fun afternoon.
Here's a little clip of my work printing.
Find a better explanation of the process and information on workshops here