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Over the 5 days, we will dive deep into what letterpress can do. Morning demonstrations of different techniques on the presses as well as time to design will lead into afternoon time on the press to print multiples of your cards. We will: explore debossing and pressure printing, working with handset type and vintage advertising cuts where you can cut your own lino block to match with type, and learn the basic process of photopolymer platemaking. Working on the two Vandercook presses and a new (to the studio) hand-cranked tabletop clamshell press, you can design and print multiple card sets. Select from a variety of papers and envelopes available or feel free to bring your own. Resources will be offered for further material exploration and how to dress up a plain envelope with a custom lining. Please come to class with some ideas for cards, but be open to explore new options. Bring any specialty papers/envelopes you like. Wear work clothes that you don’t mind getting ink stained. The later part of the class dealing with photopolymer plates uses basic adobe computer skills which are helpful, but not required.

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Instructor: Richard Reitz Smith

Richard Reitz Smith is a letterpress and book artist who excels in marrying traditional techniques with technology and is the Book Arts Program Chair and Studio Manager at Maine Media. He is the owner of DoubleDoor Creative in Camden, ME. In 2015, Richard was the first Book Artist in Residence at Maine Media where he wrote, illustrated, printed, and bound a limited-edition abecedary of alliterative haiku. Richard received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in painting and illustration.

After working for three years developing products for Crayola and Liquitex, he returned to school and earned an MFA in graphic design (Tyler School of Art- Temple University). Then started a five-year tour of universities as an art and design professor which led him to New York City, where he taught at Pratt Institute and School of Visual Arts. While doing this, he freelanced as an illustrator and graphic designer for companies like The GAP, Macy's, American Craft Museum, Metlife, Pearson Education, and Scholastic. Then he took positions at Clicquot, Inc. and Clinique Cosmetics consecutively. For Clinique Cosmetics, he managed multi-million-dollar, international, seasonal product and promotional launches as the director of package design worldwide. For Clicquot, Inc. he was a one-person art department for the wine importer/promoter of Veuve Clicquot, Krug, Bouchard, and many other ultra-premium wines. It was in NYC, that he found and frequented The Center for Book Arts learning much about letterpress and the book as an art form.