We had five students in the August, 3-day weekend workshop. Each created amazing work.
The letterpress class offers an introduction to hand-set metal and wooden type, letterpress printing techniques, and limited edition printing on fine papers.
The first class introduces the basics of hand typesetting with an "Exquisite Corpse" Poem workshop. Each student sets 1-2 lines of type, normally a simple quote, quip or idea made up on the spot. The combination of those lines of type comprise an impromptu poem. Results vary as students choose seemingly disparate ideas, and types, but soon see the interconnected practice of setting their thoughts into letters of a physical nature.
The next five weeks of the letterpress class covers additional typesetting techniques and Vandercook flatbed cylinder pressoperation. The most intense class is called "Meet the Press." Letterpress class participants learn to ink the press, adjust pressure, adjust roller height, register and feed a sheet of paper, make an impression (well, many impressions), and then clean the rollers with loving care.
The second half of the course is all about producing work. We'll meet to discuss your design direction and the feasibility of the layout using letterpress printing methods. Once a portfolio theme is chosen, students set their type and, often, carve linoleum, wood, or sintra (a carvable plastic substrate) blocks/plates. We also have the capability to print images from copper, magnesium, or polymer plates (time/expense permitting).
Work time outside of class is expected and strongly encouraged. Personal projects that fit the capabilities of the press room are also encouraged (e.g., business cards, stationery, thank you cards, and the like). We'll have monitors opening the shop on week-day nights. Work nights are a great time to get to become familiar with the shop, investigate the type collection, and develop working habits that will assist you in completing your projects. Students will have the option of devising a theme for an exchange portfolio OR working on individual projects.
The exchange portfolio provides an opportunity for the students to receive a copy of each other's work and complete and edition of letterpress printed posters, broadsides or other format. Often a manageable format is chosen so that the posters or broadsides fit well on our presses:
Each student designs and prints whatever he/she wants provided it fits some simple size specifications and has hand-set type in the design.
Individual projects are self-structured projects that students have devised for the class. Past projects include artist books (e.g., accordion-fold books, simple chap books, or more complicated bindings), greeting card sets, poetry broadsides, business stationery, wood type specimen sheets, and much more.
Monday evenings (6:30–10:00), September 11 – December 13, 2017
This class is available for undergraduate or graduate credit, or can be taken for no credit: you choose!
This workshop is an introduction to letterpress printing and manual type setting for the complete beginner. You'll learn to use a job stick, hand-set type from our expanding collection of metal and wood type typefaces and ornaments and then print your work on one of our five Vandercook flatbed cylinder presses. We supply the paper, you supply the ambition!
For the first half of the workshop, we'll thoroughly explore the wood type collection. You'll have a chance to create wood type posters using a variety of type and in a variety of colors. Phew! Break for lunch. Then, for the second half of the workshop, bring a six word memoir. We'll set these memoirs, compose them into a single poem (Exquisite Corpse style) and create a poetry broadside.
Saturday, October 14, 2017; 9:00 AM–6:00 PM
The Mass Art Press has five Vandercook presses: 3 SP15s, a Universal 1 and a 219 Old Style. Our pressroom type collection includes over 500 fonts of metal and wood type and is one of the largest letterpress shops for students in New England. Watch this excellent video about letterpress and book arts at the Mass Art Press!
If you're looking for a workshop for your creative team, school group, or design progam; look no further. Bring your group of 8-15 people for a 1-day letterpress workshop and get creative. Schedule a letterpress workshop for your creative group or agency team.
Designers from Gupta Media scheduled their letterpress workshop to reconnect with real type. We had a great discussion about animated type in lyric videos.
Sign up for the mailing list if you're interested in being notified about upcoming letterpress classes taught by Keith Cross.
Read a blog post about our Fall 2014 workshop!
You might also like this review of our Spring 2013 workshop.
Here are some wonderful pictures taken by Tom Bergeron from the June 20, 2015 workshop.
See pics below of past workshops...including a letterpress class for kids.
An architect, a harpsichordist, a mother-in-law-to-be, recovering print designers, and others realizing they can't hide their delight with this letterpress workshop!
Ten letterpress enthusiasts spent the day setting ambitious projects and having fun! Remember! Concealing your identity is optional.
Media & Journalism Students from Meridian Academy (ages 9–12) print a "Muckraker Headline" Broadside. Read the blog post with pictures!
Freshmen, Studio Foundation Students print woodtype collages:
Take a look at these examples of woodtype/six word memoir prints!
Take a look at this happy group of letterpressers!
Big smiles and fun with these letterpressers!