Workshops + Panels

Making Language Physical: What better way to make language physical than with moveable type? Each student in this class will come away with broadsides they’ve made with wood and metal type. We’ll learn low-tech methods to add texture and background to your work and will play with overlapping color using wood type.

Letterpress Abstraction: Cropping with Wood Type: This course will allow participants to explore abstraction by cropping content during printing. Cropping is achieved from a combination of specially sized packing on the cylinder of the flatbed press and a related masking sheet that covers the printed sheet.

Catch a Case: Case-binding for Printers: Case-binding is the most popular form of commercial binding for hard-cover books. While it is a time-consuming and expensive method commercially, case binding by hand is a beautiful choice for binding short run editions that you wish to have a long shelf life and to be heavily used. This workshop will teach students how to sew and arrange signatures into a text block, shape the block, and case it into cloth-bound boards with decorative flyleaves.

Heidelberg Windmill Operation for Beginners: This class will help build confidence on the mighty Windmill–a congenial machine once you get to know its moving parts! We’ll cover the feeding settings for various types of paper, proper inking and impression sittings, and more. Ample time will be available for questions and answers.

Heidelberg Windmill: Advanced Techniques: Learn advanced techniques from a master printer with decades of on-the-press experience! This class will address more challenging Windmill undertakings: the special considerations involved in printing of heavy solids, for example. A hands-on class with plenty questions and answers and troubleshooting.

Woodtype Wonderland: This Vandercook-based workshop with Woodtype and all manner of remarkable wonders. Explorations will include dampened paper, shadow printing, distressed inks, and textures. We’ll open the door to the letterform as both surface and and embrace the wabi-sabi of pure imperfection.

Letterpress Printing From Hand-Carved Blocks: There’s nothing quite like a print made with a hand-carved block. In this class students will experience both the meditative practice of carving an image by hand and the excitement of seeing the results in print. We’ll spend the first part of the class learning about selecting materials to carve, finding the best tools for the job (and maintaining them), designing images that work well for carving and techniques for transferring both hand-drawn and laser-printed images onto our blocks. In the second half of the class we’ll print from our blocks, creating art prints or greeting cards that bear the unique marks of our very own hands.

A Moveable Type Feast: This is a two-day class with Lynda Sherman (Bremelo Press) and Marit Bockelie (The Bremerton Letterpress Co.), two women printers from the heart of the Pacific Northwest. They will focus on the tension between planning out a project and letting come what will. In celebration of the harvest season and our nation’s agricultural heritage, students of this workshop are invited to bring favorite recipes to cut and splice into poems as a starting point. We will discuss what we eat, who grows it, how it gets to us, how it’s prepared and who we eat it with. We’ll play with the idea of recipe cards, broadsides and greeting/art cards. Students will take home a collection of printed pieces from the entire class.

Printing Press Pochoir: Stenciling on a printing press opens up a number of possibilities for the letterpress printer: the look of screen printing or stenciled grafitti with the mechanical advantages of a printing press. We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of stencil materials, how to cut them, pitfalls in the process, cut a few stencils, mount them on the press and print using a variety of printing textures. This process can work for either platen or cylinder press, but will be demonstrated on a platen.

No Press? No Problem: Build a Simple Press with Household Stuff for Shop or Classroom: J. Ben Lieberman describes a rather crude press he called “The Liberty” in his book, Printing as a Hobby. This was essentially a chase with a rolling pin, but we’ll improve on that model to make something both simple and useful. In this class you’ll assemble your own small press with a 9×13” bed and use it to do a test print(s). All press parts will be provided!

The Magnificent Miehle: Why Motorized Cylinder Presses Rock! These rock-solid beasts are widely under-appreciated because they require a pretty thorough introduction before they are productive. Of course it’s not much good for a dozen or two prints, but if you intend to print a thousand 12×18 posters with both solids and fine line, there is a Miehle out there that may be en route to the junkyard and just needs your TLC!

Letterpress Trail Map Journal-Making Workshop Every student in this hands-on class will make a travel sketch journal with blank sketch paper pages and a custom cover with a pocket in the back–the perfect thing to take on your Letterpress Trail journey. Workshop attendees will be able to print whatever they like on the cover using type or cuts available in the shop. Students will be encouraged to experiment with layering techniques on press. The first part of the class will be the creating and printing the covers. The second part of the class will be prepping of the inside pages and sewing the book together using the 3-hole pamphlet sewing method.

One-sheet Book Workshop! Print on a cylinder press and explore a one-sheet book formats. Will work with found cuts and wood type for imagery and texture. With the printed sheets we will produce a one-sheet book.

Drawing Plates: Polyester Plate Lithography on the Vandercook Do you ever wish you could just draw and then print? Learn to create and print a polyester plate using non-toxic lithography techniques on a Vandercook press. This method uses direct drawing techniques on the plate with litho crayon, permanent pen or ink washes. Since the drawing medium requirement is simple (be waterproof and ink must stick to it) you can even use ball-point pen and regular crayon! We will also show how you can create prints from laser copy imagery.

Special Topics in Platen Presses The following topics will be discussed: press alignment and dressing, lockup, make-ready, guide setup, and shop safety. Tools needed to produce excellent results will be discussed and demonstrated. The following finishing processes will be discussed and demonstrated: thermography, foil stamping, emboss/deboss, perforating, and die cutting. A project will be produced by all workshop attendees utilizing each of the processes discussed. Platen presses will be used though the information relates to cylinder presses as well.