Throughout 2019 and 2020, we’ll be wrangling up the best of the best to deliver some exciting workshops, y’all! Stay connected to get all the workshop announcements starting in the fall of 2019. Take a gander below at the workshops offered at Design Ranch 2018.

Design Ranch 2018 Workshops

Aaron Michalovic

Inspired by hand-made, process-evident building and art making, Aaron Michalovic’s work ranges from timber frame structures, to furniture and useable goods, to wood collage.

Whittlin’ Wood: The Sequel

In this workshop we’re going old school. We’ll be using the oldest style of wood carving, whittling, to make spoons. If you attended this workshop at Design Ranch 2016, bring back your spoon, carve a custom design and add to your collection.

W.T. Bryant

W.T. Bryant has been in the world of Theatre for almost thirty years as an actor, director, and designer. He spent 23 years at Austin Community College serving as the Technical Director for the Drama Program. W.T. began building Cigar Box Guitars about 8 years ago. He views them as playable art. He has dabbled in most things creative from blacksmithing, ceramics, photography and just about anything made from wood.

Build and Play Your Own

Working with simple tools and inexpensive materials, participants will build their very own unique playable 3 string cigar box guitar. If time permits, participants will learn to play a simple song they can impress their friends with.

Mike Davis

Mike Davis is a co-owner of Burlesque of North America, an award-winning creative studio specializing in graphic arts and high quality screenprinting. Since 2003, the team at Burlesque has been responsible for creating concert posters, art prints, murals, logos, stage graphics, album artwork, t-shirts and more for a wide variety of clients including Rhymesayers Entertainment, Minnesota Public Radio, Target, Nike, 3M, Arcade Fire, Chromeo, and more. Davis and Wes Winship also own and manage CO Exhibitions, an award-winning 2000 square foot art gallery and event space situated one floor up from their Northeast Minneapolis-based print studio. CO has featured artwork and installations from the likes of Aaron Draplin, 123Klan, Adam Garcia, Jennifer Davis, John Baizley, Jacob Bannon, and Santa Cruz Skateboards’ Jim Phillips.

Goin’ Postal

Burlesque of North America’s own graphic designer and avid philatelist Mike Davis will show off some favorites from his personal collection of postage stamps spanning numerous countries, social and cultural themes, and visual styles. Then Mike will lead you in creating your very own stamp designs. Not rain nor sleet nor hail can stop us!

Norma Jeanne Maloney

Norma Jeanne Maloney has been in love with typography, graphic design, musical iconography and paint as far back as she can remember. In 1984, she started painting signs for the race tracks in Lexington, Kentucky. Her Granny, Dessie Morris Spencer, a tiny and fiercely spirited, Appalachian woman was Norma Jeanne’s musical inspiration from the beginning, forever schooling her on the history and flavor of America’s musical roots. Her mother, Stella, encouraged Norma Jeanne to explore her infatuation with form and taught her to pursue visual excellence and most of all her own happiness.

Letters From Camp

In this workshop participants will learn basic hand and brush skills as well as the drawing of letterforms. Each person will walk away with their letter or a camp slogan “Don’t worry Ma, they are feeding Me” “Hot Camp Coffee, it’s all you need”, as well as the ability to come up with a few more to make their own sign. These pieces will display nicely at your desk or in your kitchen.

Judy Schulz

Judy Schulz knows every side of a sheet of paper. A veteran in the paper industry for the past 20 years, she is an award-winning designer with mad skills on the two sided medium. Judy is the Director of Corporate Sales Promotion and Marketing for Olmsted-Kirk Paper, the friendliest and oldest paper company in Texas, 112 years strong. Her paper story was published in Uppercase Magazine and she consults regularly with creatives on their printing and paper choices. Judy is a ferocious paper enthusiast, iphoneographer, bookbinder, design geek, fontaholic, gadget girl and card carrying member of AIGA.


Foil stamping is a specialty printing process that uses heat, pressure, and metal dies to apply a thin, shiny, lustrous layer of foil to paper. Let’s say you shiny, happy people don’t have a Heidelberg Letterpress sitting around but you still want to be shiny and happy. Our “Foiled” lab will show you ways to hack the system with several simple DIY processes using hand tools and easy-to-find graphic arts supplies to create golden works of art. You’ll use your new found skills to create a one-of-a-kind cover for a grid journal. We top it all off by applying a Design Ranch foil stamp with a small table-top machine. Stay golden, ranchers.

Dirk Fowler

Dirk Fowler is an Associate Professor of Art in Graphic Design at Texas Tech University and one half of f2design, an award winning design and printing studio in sunny Lubbock, Texas. He has created letterpress posters and illustration for clients such as Wilco, The New York Dolls, Columbia Records, Wired, Billboard, Texas Monthly and The New York Times. His work has been awarded by the American Advertising Federation, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Type Directors Club and Society of Publication Designers and has been highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, Novum, PRINT, Communication Arts and numerous books including the Art of Modern Rock, New Masters of Poster Design and Impressive. He has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows in museums and galleries around the world, including international poster exhibitions in China, Mexico and Bolivia.

Ink Off the Old Block

Not one to follow the rules, Dirk says he’ll print with anything he can cram through the press. Make relief printed posters with vintage wood type and ad cuts along with book binding board, popsicle sticks, gasket rubber, coins, found objects… heck, anything we can get up to type height.

Zachary Horst

Zachary Horst is a colorful and over-the-top freelance designer, lettering artist and illustrator living just north of Austin in Georgetown, TX. He is always looking for ways to play with texture, color and pattern in his work, and thrives on experimenting with paper, cardboard and unexpected materials to build typography and explore the structure of letterforms in three dimensions.

Pop Up Typography

Learn the mechanics of paper pop-ups and use your new found knowledge to create type-based paper sculptures that unfold from flat cards to 3D masterpieces! We will use paper, X-acto knives and rubber cement to make typography bloom, bend and unfurl in ways you never knew it could.

Catherine Massaro

Fine artist Catherine Massaro holds a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute , having majored in painting and printmaking, and an MA from Utah State University. A lifetime of art-making with homes, studios, and careers in the creative field spanning seven different states, have served to enrich her creative journey and artistic growth. She currently has her own gallery and working studio in Johnson City, Texas.

Artful Storytelling

Isak Dinesen said, “To be a person is to have a story to tell.”

In this workshop, I will be guiding you through the creation of a 10” round canvas collage that will tell your story based on objects or an object that you will bring to the workshop. It may be a photo from a special trip. Maybe a special object from a personal collection. Or an object that holds some spiritual meaning to you. Perhaps, a treasured item from your childhood. Whatever it is, it should be something that holds significance to you, which you will use as the basis to create a unique piece of art that has a story.

The process is based on the mandala construct. Mandalas generally have one identifiable center point from which emanates an array of symbols, shapes and forms. A mandala is a microcosm of the universe – in this workshop, a microcosm of YOUR universe.
Because this is often 3 dimensional in nature, a box will be provided to ship or transport in your suitcase. Other than your objects you bring as the subject of your ‘story’, a wide variety of materials will be provided for you to work with.

The Amazing Hancock Brothers

Self-proclaimed “enfants terribles” of the Central Texas art world, Charles and John Hancock are much older than they let on — with Charles nearly on the AARP mailing list — but they are young at heart, despite the Viagra, stool softeners, and nervous pills littering their medicine chests. They rattle a bit when they walk.

Across the United States, they roll with the likes of the Dirty Printmakers of American and the infamous Outlaw Printmakers. In these nationally known groups, the Brothers are the elder statesmen, i.e. those old farts. Mostly the boys fly under the banner of the Amazing Hancock Brothers, a moniker they’ve used for years. Their art simmers in a grimy pot liquor of alienation, deformity, victimization, revenge, and their growing megalomania.

Masters of all (or damn near all) print mediums, they particularly excel in woodcuts and silkscreen prints, or mixed-media variants of either/all. Lately they have glommed onto pronto plates, stencils and rubber stamps. They also double-team on mixed-media prints, where genre and identity blur. Of special note: The Bros use exotic material such as mattress covers, plastic, metal flashing, Little Mermaid bed sheets, discarded school chalkboards and whatever they find handy to print on. Beware.

“Welcome to Weirdoville!”

The weird, weird West and the Hancock Brothers Monster Mash-Up. The post, postmodern world of screen print anti-design random craziness. Each participant will have random images to screen print in a free-for-all manner, creating a democratized image full of color, monsters, cars, type, guys, ghouls, girls, mid-century beefcakes and whatever randomness that’s available. Colorful screen print fun for the whole family! But leave the kids at home!

Nanibah “Nani” Chacon

Nanibah “Nani” Chacon, is a Dine (Navajo) and Chicana artist mainly recognized as a painter and muralist. Nani was born in Gallup, New Mexico and grew up both in Chinli, Arizona and in Corrales, New Mexico. Her clan is To dich iini (bitter water) and born for Chicano people.

At 16 she was introduced to graffiti and continued a prolific practice for the next 10 years. With the birth of her son, Nani began exploring other media and developed a strong aptitude in painting, illustration and design. She now maintains a career as a painter, muralist, educator and activist, and currently exhibits across the United States. In 2004 Nani received her Bachelor’s in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. After returning to figurative muralism in 2012, her work has addressed issues of social, environmental and political justice which effect Native people. Her work brings forth a dialogue between cultures and contemporary social perspectives.

Prime It, Paint It, Paste It

Learn about murals created in studios and applied outdoors using interface materials such as polytab. In this workshop we will each create a large scale painting on interface material. We will learn to prep the material, enlarge a sketch, and paint our subject matter. Each participant will take with them a large scale painting to install on a surface and location they chose once returning home. Participants will also learn a brief history of how this material is used and how artists are using it today.

Yama Ploskonka

Again facing unemployment in late 2015, Yama attempts, again, to imitate ancient woodblock prints but just couldn’t afford paper that felt right. “I can make my own paper!” was the epiphany this time. However, the general absence in Austin, Texas, of 15th century thick-wool sheep, or workers that rejoice in sixpence pay for 16-hour days complicates replicating Middle Ages materials…

Hacking together post-modern tools and equipment designed for something else entirely, being quite a mutt (“eclectic”) as to skills, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, Prof.Mtro. Yamandu Zavish Ploskonka y Rivas, DSLL, nowadays can press print on good sustainable paper where the laid pattern mimicks incunable-era wire moulds, the surface the mediæval curly coarse felts.

Yet, as it turns out, as nice or era-accurate those may be, the product or tools are not what matters. Meeting the wabi-sabi of this silent and unseen sidekick to civilization, paper delivers some undefinable quality in its making. Handmade paper, with naturally distinctive deckle edges, texture, signatures of individual Creation, becomes support for further human creativity and uniqueness. As quiet as store-bought, but alive.

Pressing Pulp

There’s the material, the aesthetic, and then there’s the “Geist” of paper made by hand. Whether your approach to design is mostly one of those, or a fusion, and then some, during this workshop you will get to explore a diversity of paths in contemporary hand papermaking.

Gain a solid sense of the practicalities of making by hand replicas of 14th, 16th, and 19th century Western paper using 2018 A.D. technology, and especially the ethos of “good paper”, nowadays a dying concept in US crafts.

Options include mediaeval-laid, antique-laid, modern-laid, and wove paper, then imitation Cinquecento surface finish, exchange-dry finish, and glossy-dry finish, 60 to multi-layer 300 gsm. Medieval-laid will be letter-size, the others generally 15×22 sheets, all with an exclusive watermark of Design Ranch 2018. The ‘Cinque Tooth surface is a total joy for pastel and charcoal. Generally any and all can be used for letterpress, brush, watercolor, silkscreen… We will demonstrate how to print handmade paper on an inkjet.

As takeaways, you will have paper – more importantly, perhaps, is the opportunity to actually craft some of that silent material, mostly ignored but oh so essential to civilization, culture, art and design, as surface and support, which is paper.

Rose Newton

Rose Newton is the kind of person you’ll want around when the zombie apocalypse occurs.

Rose is an avid outdoor enthusiast and amateur survivalist. She’s served multiple leadership positions over the past years for the Boy Scouts of America with her local Troop. She’s a member of the Order of the Arrow, the National Honor Society for the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, she is a certified rifle instructor and range safety officer. She’s led multiple Boy Scout summer camps including a 50 mile canoe trip down the Buffalo River in Arkansas. She loves teaching Scout skills to anyone who wants to learn.

In her spare time she does letterpress work and makes enterprise software.

Rose was a Design professor for over 14 years at several major institutions including Savannah College of Art & Design, University of Houston, and Texas State University. Most recently, Rose managed and led in-house design teams for IBM. She currently is the Director of Product Design at Blackboard, where she manages and leads design teams to help develop the overall design strategy of Blackboard’s learning management system.

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

You know it’s gonna happen. Zombies. Why not be prepared? Come to Rose’s workshop and learn some basic wilderness survival techniques. You’ll learn about alternative fire-starting methods. Build a shelter through lashings and other techniques. All participants will take home an emergency kit that you will assemble during the workshop. Spend a few hours with Rose to learn about survival, zombies and maybe we can talk about Design too.

Joe Duffy

Joe is one of the world’s most respected and sought after thought leaders on branding and design. His work is regularly featured in leading marketing and design publications and is exhibited around the world. Joe founded Duffy in 1984 with a vision to build a new kind of branding and creative company—partnering with clients and other firms in all communication disciplines. His first book, Brand Apart, was released in July 2005.

In 2004, Joe received the Legacy Medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts for a lifetime of achievement in the field of visual communications. In 2006, he was recognized as one of the “fast 50” most influential people in the future of business by Fast Company. In 2007, Joe was honored with the American Institute of Graphic Arts Fellow Award for his many years of leadership in the state’s design and business

Design = Art, Art = Design

Joe approaches paintings the same way he approaches design. In this workshop, you’re going to paint a portrait – it can be of you, a friend, a relative, a pet or whoever. You’re going to “design” the portrait with the subject’s image, type that relates to that person, as well as any imagery that helps project that subject’s unique personality.

Bring along photos, examples of type and any images that relate to your subject. You’ll compose a “visual brief” collage from these, as we do with our brand design projects. You’ll then sketch out our design and finally paint the finished portrait on canvas.