What I Love #3 – Letterpress

I’ve mentioned before that I earned my BFA in Painting and Drawing at the University of Utah. I loved my classes and there are many times since I finished (over 5 years now) that I’ve wished to be back in a classroom drawing, painting, or doing printmaking. Half way through my program, new classes were introduced to the curriculum and they centered around bookmaking and letterpress. I decided to take both as they fulfilled my printmaking requirements. And let me just say this: I fell in LOVE with both of these art forms. I ended up taking three letterpress classes as well as submitting a proposal to work in the studio after hours. I created a series of books on a little French girl named Lalette. And I’ve been looking for an opportunity ever since leaving to go back and take a few classes.

For those unfamiliar with the process of letterpress, it involves a very large press (or sometimes smaller if you have a tabletop design) such as the one pictured below:

cp-letterpress-12x18-new.jpg

You set metal pieces of type to create your image or you make have one large block of metal that has been cut and molded into the desired shape.

letterpressweddinginvitation.jpg

It’s a beautiful and painstaking process at times but the result is always so pleasing. I was in my second letterpress class when my sister got married and I ended up printing all of her wedding invitations – all 400 of them. My arm was so tired and sore for a few days after that (you have to crank each paper through separately) but I know she appreciated the effort.

Until I am able to find the time to participate in another letterpress class, or possibly buy my own press at some point, I will just have to enjoy the fruits of others labor. One of my favorite letterpress items that I’ve bought off of Etsy (beware – you will get addicted this site) is by greenchairpress, a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt.

eroose.jpg

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2 comments

  1. matt · December 5, 2007

    Ah the days of Marnie.

    This is very high on my wish list too.

  2. Natalie · December 9, 2007

    You need to give yourself more credit–it was closer to 550+ invitations!

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