Lisa and JD wed on a beautiful Charleston, South Carolina plantation in the Summer of 2009. Their wedding invitation was my first taste of letterpress. I saved the invitation set which, to some, might seem odd. If you’re thinking ‘the invitations didn’t offer you well wishes and it certainly wasn’t regarding an occasion to celebrate you’, you’re right but holding on to it was an innate reaction and I didn’t do much to fight it.
I simply love the feel of deep impression on fine cotton paper so it became a dream of mine to learn the art of letterpress. I have to be honest – I’m risk averse so dropping my career to go back to school to pursue the arts with a focus in printing was not an option.
My second option was to pursue a beginner course. Unfortunately, I couldn’t commit to any courses offered during the week because my job and the number of hours in a day didn’t allow for it.
I suppose I took a shortcut because I started my ‘education’ of letterpress by reading blogs on the internet. Eventually, my internet readings led me to the L Letterpress. I know I know, there are various posts by letterpress printers that denounce the L Letterpress but, a few have opted to embrace it.
The optimistic posts consider the L Letterpress an inexpensive preview into the art of letterpress and these articles pointed me in the direction of The Arm Letterpress in Brooklyn NY. After weeks of scouring the internet for information about The Arm and other co-op print studios in the area (which btw, in NYC, aren’t many), I registered for their 6-hour Letterpress on the Vandercook and C&P Pilot class. While I understand there is much to learn about the rich history of printing, I appreciated having the opportunity to jump right into operating the Vandercook proof press and Chandler & Price Pilot press with just enough information to safely and properly use and clean the presses.
Taking this course was my inexpensive way to test whether this was something I really wanted to further invest my time and money in. All I’m going to say is – I’ve booked some time to work on a press at The Arm this week.
Meet the creation at the next post.
Chandler & Price Pilot Press