There are no available registration dates at this time.

Note: Students meet via Zoom at least once per month as a group starting June 1 at 2pm and individually once per week or every other week online through June, July and August. Students then work in our on-campus Book Arts studio September 11-15, 2023. See the schedule below.

Watch: Learn more about your mentor, Richard Reitz Smith, and Maine Media’s incredible book arts program

Creating a book is a hierarchy of developmental steps. Starting with a strong concept is the solid foundation from which all other decisions should flow. The process weaves the maker through print production and design challenges as well as creative considerations. Over a period of 4 months, you will be mentored through these choices and end up face-to-face in the Maine Media studio where you can execute your plan. This is your opportunity to take a concept from start to end or at least to print with binding to be completed later if needed. Students can also take their files to an online printer/publisher to complete the printing and binding to their specifications. For the most part, this will be a digitally printed book with letterpress accents.


This course uses a hybrid schedule, with group meetings and individual mentorship occurring online via Zoom and culminates in our on-campus book arts studio. Collaborations are welcome and encouraged for larger-scale projects.

Students will meet once per month as a group starting June 1, 2023 at 2pm (future times and dates to be organized with the group for best flexibility).

Students will meet with Book Arts chair, Richard Reitz Smith, via Zoom to introduce their projects and develop an appropriate path forward for successful book art or print projects, meeting individually with Richard each week or every other week.

Students will complete their project/s on-campus in the Maine Media book arts studio from Sep 11-15, 2023 with their mentor.

Equipment provided (in our studio):

The Charles Altschul Book Arts Studio at Maine Media houses the following equipment and tools, allowing students to create a wide range of work:

  • Vandercook Universal III Letterpress can accommodate a paper size of 18” x 27”.
  • Vandercook Universal I Letterpress can accommodate a paper size of 15” x 24”.
  • Kelsey tabletop press that can accommodate a paper or board size of 8.5” x 11. Note: live print area is smaller.
  • Charles Brand etching press that prints 15” x 30”.
  • Photopolymer plate maker for small areas of type.
  • Board shear, a guillotine, a nipping press, sewing frames and a book press.

Course requirements:

  • Students should have basic InDesign and Photoshop skills – if you are looking to learn InDesign we offer a 2-Day Intro to Adobe InDesign (Online).
  • Learning how to use the equipment in our studio is part of this course.

The Life of a Leaf

This Workshop is Sponsored by:

Awagami Factory Logo

Fine Art Washi Papers, Digital Inkjet Papers, Origami, Stationery, Papercrafts, Stationery and Washi Decor crafted in Tokushima, Japan - for Photographers, Fine Artists, and Designers. Visit to learn more.

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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.