Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Exploring the craft of letterpress printing

Earlier this week I spent a delightful evening taking a letterpress printing class at San Francisco's Center for the Book. We learned how to set lead type, and learned to mix inks then used two different kids presses.

The craft of letterpress printing and the tactile nature of what is produced delights me. I realize letterpress printing has become a bit of a fad in recent years, but I hope it's a comeback that can save the craft of printing, the history of printing presses, and setting lead type for future generations.

As a class, we composed a wonky poem  - each of us composed our own 3-4 word line in lead type, then set the lines together on the Vandercrook Cylinder Press. We each got a chance to make a few runs on the press with varied papers of different colors, textures, and thicknesses. Later, we got to try our hand a different press, the Platen press.

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