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We have 5 days to explore how to print on and use single sheets of paper in our designs. Whether the goal is a striking poster of handset type, a folded booklet with poems and illustrations, or a brochure of printed images, a letterpress printed sheet makes a statement. Using the rules of imposition, you can quickly make a chapbook as well. Morning demonstrations of different techniques on the presses as well as time to design will lead into afternoon time on the press to print multiple sheets.

We will explore: debossing and pressure printing, working with handset type and vintage advertising cuts where you can cut your own lino block to pair 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 multiples.

 Select from a variety of papers available or feel free to bring your own.  

Come to class with some ideas for projects, but be opento explore new options. Bring any specialty papers that will easily bend around the press drum. The latter part of the class will be dealing with photopolymer plates uses basic Adobe computer skills which are helpful, but not required. Each student will be provided with a 16 x 20 sheet of plate material to use in their design. The larger press can take a sheet of paper 18 x 27; the smaller one 15 x 24. Please design accordingly. Keep it simple; white space is your friend! Wear work clothes that you don’t mind getting ink stained.

This course is a great follow up to Erin Sweeney’s “Fold-Fest” or Stephanie Wolff’s “One Sheet Books”.

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Instructor: Richard Reitz Smith

Richard Reitz Smith is the Book Arts Program Chair and Studio Manager at Maine Media. He is an artist trained as a graphic designer and excels in marrying traditional techniques with modern technology in the pursuit of all forms of book arts and letterpress printing.