Monday, January 10, 2011

Learning Letterpress

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I sure did. I spent my Saturday at the San Francisco Center for the Book learning how to do a letterpress print on a vintage Vandercook printer.  Perhaps I'm a big nerd but I had so much fun. I love learning new things. We learned everything from setting our type, loading it onto the printer, choosing the design, getting the paper ready and how to work the machine. I can feel my printers muscles already forming.

I chose the 18 point Stymie bold font. It was simple but strong and went really well with the limericks we printed. Here is a bit of the rundown of the class.


 A Limerick to letterpress.

This is what the metal type looks like piece by piece.

Here is my block of type ready to print.

Printing blocks stabilized on the press.

Overview with inked printing rollers.

Side view of letterpress printer, isn't it pretty?

Final of first limerick(oops...you really need to watch the spacing)

I had better luck with my second limerick...


All in all, a very successful day. I would highly recommend taking the class to anyone. My instructor was Maia de Raat of Dandylion Press. She was excellent and it was a really fun class. What great way to spend a Saturday. I'm really looking forward to Letterpress 2 and whatever myriad of classes after that.

3 comments:

Kathryn said...

This post reminds me that my Dad (Damon's grandfather) was a typesetter by trade and worked for a small town newspaper, The Aegis, in Bel Air, Md. I remember going into the shop and seeing all the "silver" bars, and smelling the ink, and the loud noises of the printing presses. Strange memory..

bluehour said...

That's so funny, this typography thing must be in the family blood. :)

It was a wonderful day learning the typesetting. There were so many tiny little details to perfect. How were your dads eyes? I could imagine they must have been very very tired...

Does that newspaper still exist?

Kathryn said...

The paper still exists, but needless to say, I'm sure the printing method has changed. As far as I know, my Dad's eyes were just like most people's--he wore glasses.

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