Sunroom’s experimental Risograph prints are sent by snail mail

This Chicago-based print studio goes all in on analogue, with the slow sharing of their monthly Risograph flyers in small yellow envelopes.

5 June 2024

At a time where we experience a lot of artwork online, a tangible experience of analogue printmaking is a rare treat… Even more so when it arrives on your doorstep. Observing a wonderful connection between the slow sharing of art by post and the intricate, time consuming process behind their multi-layered Risograph prints, Clare Byrne and Jake Stolz of Chicago-based studio Sunroom, often share their work inside small yellow envelopes. “There is something very natural about pairing Risograph prints with the mail. We put a lot of love into each print, and it’s really cool to send it to someone and have them interact with it through the physical action of opening an envelope,” they tell us.

A project born out of the pandemic, the idea for the duo’s monthly flyer club initially came out of the United States Postal Service crisis in 2021, and the following movements to support it during troubled times. At the time the pair had the idea that “sending art prints via snail mail would be a fun excuse to buy stamps” and a sure way to play their part in helping out. It was also a tool to connect to others in the difficulties of the pandemic, by sending “affordable, accessible, and uplifting Risograph prints to folks” they explain. And so the Riso prints by post started…


Sunroom: Flyer 36 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2024)

With over 30 flyers in the collection, Clare and Jake have challenged themselves to create new designs every month, sending out their graphic Riso prints all over the US – growing their “artistic voice and palette” in the process. When asked what inspires their colourful monthly palettes, the pair tell us their prints often take from “nature’s patterns and shifting weather” as they are constantly “incorporating ideas from our shared life and travels into our art practice”, they say.

Although Risograph is a common thread between a lot of their projects, Sunroom has been an online space for both Clare and Jake to share and archive all of their collaborative work since 2018. With varied practices: Jake a musician interested in video art, film and photography, and Clare an illustrator and graphic designer, the duo aren’t short of skills and hobbies to draw from in their creative pursuits and experimental approach to printmaking. “Between the two of us, we love working with a lot of different mediums, from film photography and video feedback, to digital design and paper collage [...] Printmaking allows us to exercise all of these interests, and experiment with how the image changes once run through the filter of the Risograph”, Clare explains.

A standout flyer for us is number 36, one of the studio’s double-sided prints, playing with the warm light and colour of inside and outside spaces with shapes cleverly switching when overlaid. The first revelation for these kinds of flyers “came from holding a scrap print on both sides up to the window [...] with colours and shapes interacting in a beautiful way” in their studio, says Jake.

With prints continuing to fill their space, the duo feel excited to expand on this extensive body of work, motivated by the sheer joy of holding “a completed print in our hands and taping it to the wall where it becomes a part of our physical world”, they say. The studio's name Sunroom is otherwise the definition of ‘a room that lets in abundant sunlight and views of landscapes whilst sheltering us from adverse weather’. A very fitting label for a practice that brings the warm sunlight of Risograph prints to the comfort of our inside spaces, allowing us to experience all the views and inspiration the duo have taken from nature and their travels in the passing month.


Sunroom: Flyer 21 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2023)


Sunroom: Flyer 28 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2023)


Sunroom: Flyer 33 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2024)


Sunroom: Flyer 17 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2022)


Sunroom: Flyer 34 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2024)


Sunroom: Flyer 37 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2024)


Sunroom: Flyer 18 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2022)


Sunroom: Flyer 19 (Copyright © Sunroom, 2022)


(Copyright © Sunroom, 2022)

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Sunroom: various monthly flyers (Copyright © Sunroom, 2024)

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About the Author

Ellis Tree

Ellis Tree (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a junior writer in April 2024 after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. Across her research, writing and visual work she has a particular interest in printmaking, self-publishing and expanded approaches to photography.

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