A Smorgasbord of Summer Letterpress Classes in Boston

Fall 2018!
Immerse yourself in letterpress by taking a full 14-week course. 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. Sometimes the class creates an exchange portfolio. Other times, students work on personal projects.

Here are some images from an exchange portfolio called “Unwanted Outlaws.” It’s armed and mildly discomforting (not dangerous)!


If you’ve got a day, you can learn the basics of letterpress in my 1-day Letterpress Workshop on October 13, 2018!

The Mass Art Press has 5 Vandercook presses: 3 SP15s, a Universal 1 and a 219 Old Style. Our type collection includes over 500 fonts of metal and wood type and is one of the largest letterpress shops for students in New England. We hope to see you this Fall!

If you’d like to enroll in the class, you can choose the “enroll” buttons after the appropriately class descriptions found here: http://www.milkrow.com/letterpressclasses.html. You may also contact the Continuing Education office at Mass Art directly at (617) 879-7200 or visit http://pce.massart.edu/ and navigate to the Fall Class Schedule…letterpress classes are nestled in the Book Arts category!

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