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.

Letterpress Love

I've been asked to create a letterpress invitation for the San Francisco Center for the Book's "Donor Appreciation Party".   What an honor.  So today I have been happily jumping around the internet looking for inspiration from all sorts of amazing letterpress masters. Here are some of the favorites that I found, with a little holiday twist, of course:

Happy Couple Joy card by Egg Press
Holiday Polar Bear + Whale Letterpress Notecards by Ink an Wit

Cheers Letterpress Card by Binth

Chestnuts Letterpress Card by Fugu Fugu Press

Happy Holiday Letterpress Card from Sycamore Street Press

A Fete for Two Letterpress Card by Mr. Boddington's Studio

Winter Wonderland Letterpress Card by Hello Lucky!

Make sure to stop by some of their shops to be dazzled by the work they do year round. This is, of course, just a smidge of what's out there in the world.

Have a missed someone's work  you love? Please share. What are your favorite letterpress artists? I'd love to find out about more.



I had a blast yesterday helping out the San Francisco Center for the Book with their annual Roadworks fair. I was part of the dirty hands team which meant I was in inking Linoleum Cuts all day. Each print was made by rolling a steamroller over it. There was three big prints(3 by 3 foot) and many little ones.  I am still covered in black ink, but no matter, it was a really fun day. I can't wait till next year.

One of the featured Artists, Rick Olson

Where dirty begins

Scraping ink

Large Print by Gary Brewer and many small linoleum cuts from various artists
This is how we do it baby...
Here are some of the small prints...

There were some amazing art booths there too. Here are a few of my faves....
Lovely letterpress by Sarah Dungan
yummy cards by Laurie Coughlin

Wonderful Letterpress, Screenprinting, Illustration & Bookbinding by Jen Lorang
Wonderful prints by Maureen Shields

p.s. I checked out SF Indie Mart before I went to Roadworks here are some of my favorites pics.

What a great way to start my day!

San Francisco Center for the Book : Metal Type

I am going to start volunteering at the San Francisco Center for the Book.  I'm so excited. It was amazing to be shown around all the different printing presses and book making binding areas. It sure gets my creative juices flowing. As a volunteer, you can earn free classes too. I'm already planning on taking all the letterpress, and book making classes I can handle. So cool, now that I don't work on Saturday's the opportunities are endless.

To add to the sweetness of my day, on the walk home I stopped by the donation center for the San Francisco library. They had a little cart outside with books for a dollar. I was so happy to find, "The Illustrated Treasury of Children's Literature edited by Margaret Martignon" 1955 ed. Lovely.  Here are a few pages from it.

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood: Illustrated by Howard Pyle

The Wind in the Willows:  Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard

The Farmer's boy: Illustrated by Randolph Caldecott

The Wizard of Oz: Illustrated by W.W.Denslow
 Two Happy Little Bears: Illustrated by Phoebe Erickson
Tweedledum & Tweedledee: Illustrated by John Tenniel
Halfway Down: Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
 So wonderful, aren't they? I just love the simplicity of all of them. (This book must contain a hundred of them.) I love finding old books filled with little artistic treasures. And I don't know about you there is something cool in finding a a old book and smelling all the dust and dirt (and the crayon) and trying to imagine who heard these stories when they were little. What were your favorite books growing up?