Workshop Descriptions

Leah Mackin: Printed Book Approaches: One Page Structures (Online, 9/23, 11am central)

This workshop will cover various imposition strategies for book production and a few creative book structures that utilize one-sheet of paper.
We will start with a short lecture/presentation on imposition and page layout methods and then move onto folding structures and identifying layout possibilities for content. These discussions will address various approaches to content production including letterpress printing on a flatbed press and how to set up a complex (multi-page) form or forms, for multi-color or multi-side printing needs.
Some bookbinding and printing experience will be helpful and experienced book folks are welcomed to share their tips, tricks, expertise!
Supplies needed: clean, clear working space, cutting mat, favorite knife, various papers (sizes will be shared), bone folder, straight edge (triangle/ruler)

Structures covered:
One-Page and variations
Franklin Fold (via Hedi Kyle’s Art of the Fold)

Katherine McCanless Ruffin: Our Place in the Print Shop: An Investigation (Online, 9/23, 3:30pm Central)

In this illustrated lecture, we will explore the historical landscape of the voice and vision of women printers. Links to book history and bibliographical literature, as well as contemporary writing about craft, will help frame this interactive presentation. By identifying common themes, we will strive to connect our work to the legacy of printers who have gone before us and strengthen our collective work of putting ink on paper.

Rebecca Miller: Digital File Witchery: Preparation for Photopolymer Letterpress Printing Plates (Photoshop / Illustrator) (Online, 9/24, 9am Central)

A fun look into how to turn hand-drawn illustrations or calligraphy into custom-made photopolymer letterpress printing plates. An inside look in new ways to utilize Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign alongside new emerging drawing applications such as Canva and Procreate. Rebecca Miller of Boxcar Press offers digital file set-up guidance, demos, and and unique solutions for all your burning file preparation questions!

Amy Thompson: Edge Painting (Online, 9/23, 1:30pm Central)

Interested in applying color to the edges of paper projects? Edge painting is a closely-guarded secret in the letterpress community, but isn’t as tricky as it looks. This session provides the foundational skills to add some flair to business cards, prints, or text blocks. The instructor begins with a discussion of tools and equipment and then leads a demonstration of the airbrush technique. The instructor also discusses DIY techniques that can be accomplished at home without special equipment.

Paul Moxon: Anticipate Failure: Proof Press Q&A (Online, 9/23, 1:30pm Central)

Join Paul for a virtual discussion of the various repair problems, solutions, adjustments, and parts replacements for Vandercook and other brands of proof presses.

Ben Jones: Advanced Heidelberg Maintenance (this class offered in-person and online, 9/24, 1:30pm Central)

If you’ve been running your Heidelberg Windmill for more than a few minutes you’ll no doubt have noticed that it can take quite a bit to keep it in good working order. In this class you’ll leave equipped with the knowledge to make your press happier and last longer. We will cover gripper settings, register issues, shear collars, oil pump issues, best practices, and your own questions. This is an advanced level class, 2+ years experience is suggested.

Ben Jones: Oh shit! You have a Heidelberg, now what? (this class offered in-person and online, 9/23, 9am)

This class will take you through the life cycle of a Heidelberg Windmill, from acquisition to scrap. It will be part discussion, part cursory training. Together we’ll touch on: what you’ll need for your press, situating your machine in your shop, getting it running, deciding to part with it, and what to save from the scrap yard. Hopefully, you’ll leave equipped with enough knowledge to take your Heidelberg from a dust collector, and transform it to either a valuable tool or around 100 cubic feet of something else.

Craig Welsh: The Typographic Stylings of The Declaration of Independence (Online, 9/24, 11am Central)

Presentation: The Typographic Stylings of The Declaration of Independence: As copies of the Declaration of Independence dashed by horseback through the colonies in 1776, printers feverishly typeset and printed new versions. Mysteries surround the original (John) Dunlap Broadside – including, a copy claimed to have been found behind a painting purchased at a flea market in the 1980s. Mary Katharine Goddard deftly printed the lesser-known first copy of the document that included the names of all the signers. An early printing in Philadelphia was typeset in German with blackletter type. And, most recently, a previously-unknown copy was found in England in 2017.

Let’s time travel to the cobblestone streets of colonial America to examine its most influential document as the 250th (Semiquincentennial) anniversary of its printing is celebrated in 2026.

Ellie Mathews: When Poems are Suitable for Framing (Online, 9/24, 1:30pm Central)

Letterpress poetry broadsides call for their own design considerations, not the least of which is
respect for the fact of reproducing someone else’s creative work (translation: NO! you don’t get
to edit the poem as you set the type.) This workshop will include step-by-step snapshots of one person’s design process as well as examples of real-world solutions to specific design challenges. It will be open to questions and participation along the way. The focus will be on typography while working within the constraints and mechanics of letterpress printing. Such practical issues as alignment, capitalization, readability, permissions, citations, and uncooperative line breaks will be discussed.

Hope Amico: Printmakers as Agents of Subversion: Letterpress and Social Practice Art (Online, 9/23, 3:30pm Central)

We love printmaking because we understand the beauty in the multiple–creating many from one. From a business standpoint, a press is the means of production. But historically, printers have exploited the power of the press to share information, print signs of protest and pamphlets. The democratization of print allows us to reach a wide audience and share tangible information.

As printers, we have the tools to ask questions, make connections and demonstrate the voice of dissent, all with artistic flair! In this workshop, we will talk about historical and modern groups using printmaking as part of social practice art, including the Keep Writing project. There will be space for questions, discussion, and brainstorming ways we can use our presses to connect!

David Wolske: Experimenting with Abstraction (Online, 9/24, 11am Central)

“Experimenting with Abstraction” This online workshop will teach you the secrets behind David Wolske’s pioneering “isotype” printing technique. Through careful masking and makeready, David will demonstrate how to safely deconstruct wood type letterforms into reusable modular shapes. He’ll also share tips for working with transparent inks to create expressive, multi-layered abstract letterpress prints.

Greg Mitchell: Letterpress Printing on Tea Towels (Online, 9/23, 9am Central)

Greg has printed at least 1000 tea towels on his Vandercook 03 sign press. In this class, he’ll demonstrate his custom-made stretching frame, which is attached with magnets to the press, along with inking and printing technique. Each participant will leave with the know-how to print their own towels, and a souvenir towel featuring the state of Missouri!

Mark Sableman: Copyright and the Letterpress Printer, and NFTS! (Online, 9/23, 11am Central)

This presentation, by a copyright lawyer who is himself a letterpress printer, will cover the basics of copyright protection and infringement for artists:

What is protected by copyright (and what isn’t)?

What constitutes infringement, or fair use?

Which (if any) of the oft-repeated copyright myths are true?

Are NFTs the answer (or just another disappointment)?

Stephanie Carpenter: Blizzard Books! (Online, 9/24, 3:30pm Central)

Let’s make the highly versatile blizzard book. This folded structure, designed by Hedi Kyle, can be made in many different sizes for a wide variety of book styles. This form can be used to create an artist’s book, photo album, travel journal, wallet, and many more styles! In this workshop you will get a detailed handout, see examples of blizzard books, find out good material options, learn about Tyvek dyeing options, make multiple finished versions, and explore different variations.

Tools needed: bone folder, pencil, ruler

Rob Miller: Letterpress Electric! (this class offered in-person and online, 9/24, 9am Central)

Rob has, for several years, helped folks around the country understand their presses’ electrical systems. This class is aimed at people who are interested in this topic, but are either scared of it or don’t know where to start. Anyone, regardless of their experience, probably could learn something from this workshop. This workshop will involve some show-and-tell, and a good deal of hands on work with motors and switches. Some of the many topics covered will include:

How to Evaluate a new press; Identifying electrical requirements; What do those numbers on the motor plates mean; How to disconnect a press to move it; Is this wiring safe?; Motor Petting Zoo (a half-dozen examples of motors that are commonly on presses); and

Making a press safer in 2022, Emergency Stops, Fail safe stop switches, Lock out buttons, Grounding your press, Enhancing your press, Speed control, History Lesson, Modern Options, Speed Control or how to convert a 3-phase machine, Programming (very basic)

Kim Miller: The Story of Tribune Showprint (In-Person, 9/23, 1:30pm Central)

Come learn a brief history of Tribune Showprint’s historic poster backgrounds, the husband/wife duo that created and carved the blocks, and get a chance to get your hands inky. You will have a chance to thumb through some of the historic prints, see some of the notes written on the sketches for possible backgrounds, and to ink up and print some of the historic blocks. From theatre mastheads to multicolor backgrounds, there will be something to interest everyone.

Laura Baisden: Linocut Reduction and Registration (ONLINE, 9/23-9/24, 1:30pm Central)

Laura will demonstrate how to do a 2 color linocut reduction-carved “key block” with a second accent block. Laura will show examples of her work (check it out in advance at Camp Nevernice!) and go through the color separation process in detail so that the student will be ready to attempt their own reduction carving.

Lindsay Schmittle (Gingerly Press): MDF instead of Linoleum! (Online, 9/24, 11am Central)

“MDF printing blocks are a cheaper alternative to linoleum, especially for large blocks. I rarely use linoleum in my studio anymore for my large geometric shapes (unless if its scraps from years ago). Instead I use 3/4″ MDF board that I seal with spray polyurethane and and build up to type high with scrap paper or chipboard. I developed this system for when I was printing my Printed Walk collection and have used it since. It is really easy to carve, and I score my lines with an xacto before carving so I have smooth edges as if it was linoleum. I can also share how I have experimented with found textures being added to these blocks to print. I can also show alternatives like other wood plywoods for wood grain textures.” 

Marnie Powers-Torrey: Thinking 8-up: Single-sheet Books (Online, 9/24, 1:30pm Central)

Responding to one of several writing prompts, participants come to this workshop with a brief text. We’ll begin by treating the printer’s sheet as a single leaf, adding texture and/or pattern. We’ll then get our folds on to create multiple pages from the single sheet. Though we’ll use low-tech printing techniques and/or digital printing during our short time together, our design and production planning strategies can be readily adapted to printing on a cylinder or platen press. Digitally-inclined participants can choose one of the provided Illustrator templates (x-book or pants book) to set their type while those with analog leanings can use letter stamps, solvent transfer, collage, typewriter, or handwriting to add words to their pages. The facilitator will send a flexible list of suggested supplies to have on hand, but the only necessary supply will be a couple sheets of letter-sized paper. Consider this workshop an experiment and the quick book that you produce a potential prototype for a future edition.

Celene Aubry: Let’s Get Inky: Exploring low-tech methods to add depth, texture and color to your print work (ONLINE, 9/24, 9am Central)

Use this workshop to explore ways in which you can merge experimental printmaking with the process of creating multiples or production printing that work well on cylinder presses. From a couple of basic inking techniques and pressure-printing three ways, to discussing (and trying, if you wish!) a variety of materials for relief carving, and printing with non-traditional materials in the press bed, you will find there are some simple solutions to develop visual variety in your prints.

Celene will also show numerous printing blocks (hand-carved images) from Hatch Show Print and locate all the cool wood type at Central Print for on-the-fly composition and fun too!