Monday, August 1, 2011

Learning Letterpress

{One of the first designs I ever printed on a letterpress machine}

Love what you've seen on the blog this month? You can learn to do it!

It's not all that complicated, though there are many steps to the process and, much like sewing, most if it has to do with preparation. For me the biggest barrier to creating more through letterpress has been access to equipment. It's just not practical to have a press in my apartment, let alone anything for plate making or setting type.

There are however, a few places near me where I can rent press time. If you live in Brooklyn, or the NY Metro area, & are interested in letterpress, check out The Arm in Williamsburg. Dan is a great guy & after you take his Intro to Letterpress, you are eligible to rent time at his studio. There is a studio in New Jersey that I just learned of & have not had a chance to check out yet - The United States Business Card Company has classes & a good deal on renting a press there for a day.

Oh, also! My favorite place for almost any class is the Make Workshop in lower Manhattan. Awesome! Diana is so helpful & a great teacher, not to mention highly creative. If she isn't leading the class, have no fear. She attracts plenty of good teaching talent. Her letterpress schedule here.

I've also taken a class for letterpress at the School of Visual Arts in the Continuing Education department, but that's back when I was a freelancer with deep pockets. It's insightful. You learn plate making as well & get access to the studio during open hours throughout your class, but it can be crowded. And again, it's not a cheap class. If you're thinking of doing a DIY job on your wedding invites, this is probably not your option. Check this link later in the summer for their fall schedule - you'll find letterpress under printmaking.

Also, searching for letterpress on Etsy led me to Sycamore Press, based in Utah. If you're in their area, they offer classes that you can sign up for through their Etsy site. Check them out here.

In the past I've seen at home versions of letterpress machines. This one, similar to those I've seen, is quite an undertaking to make, but do-able. Most recently I came across one at Paper Source which is made by the same folks who created all those cool Cricut machines, called the QuickKutz Letterpress.

Hope this has been helpful! No ready to jump in? Totally understandable. There are tons of amazing designers & printers. Check out this earlier post for some of them.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

** P.S. Sorry if any of you are getting this post twice. It was meant as the final post of the month, but I wrote it weeks ago. Somehow Google misunderstood when I wanted to post it! Hope you have all enjoyed the letterpress deep-dive & that you are as in love with it & appreciating it as much as I do. See you soon!**


Beat & Rubbish said...

we love it. the simplicity of it makes it all the more noticeable. looking forward to more letterpress pieces from you!

Dixie Caviar said...

Very cool on learning letterpress. In a past life I was a wedding planner, and shared an office with the amazing Jennifer Parsons of Tiny Pine Press. It was so much fun to watch her process. I have a great respect for the craft. Check out her website if you are in need of some delicious inspiration!

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