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:


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.


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.




  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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