Last Thursday I was invited to the new studio belonging to our friends Jennifer Blanco and John Earles at Workhorse Printmakers for an AIGA student workshop: AN EVENING of LETTERPRESS. They were lovely hosts and provided a wealth of knowledge and experience to guide us through the process — even for an apprehensive letterpresser like myself.
Here’s a look at four of the seven presses in their studio, artifacts of the industrial era! I don’t know if that’s an accurate statement, but I like the way it sounds.
Above, John holds one of the two plates used on a poster they letterpressed for AIGA’s Ellen Lupton event, and below you’ll see a closeup of the finished print — came out very pretty indeed! The following couple photos you’ll see Jenn explaining the from-photoshop-to-letterpress-block process, and some of the little things you should look for before sending the files out.
Here and below are samples of some of the cards they’ve made, including Mortar which you may remember I blogged about long ago.
Both of the greeting cards above were designed by Product Superior and they’re samples of what you’ll find in their shop—go get some for yourself.
Paper donated by Mohawk: notecards, mini gift tags, coasters and large posters, etc.
They fed us, too. Pink’s, M&M’s & gummy bears FTW!
Above, the Line-O-Scribe Sign Machine works like a gigantic old-fashioned credit card machine. Just set your type, apply the ink directly, lay down your paper, set the dial, then run that thing from left to right like you’re working for JCPenney.
Here’s the smallest press we used, the Kelsey. She makes small scale prints like the vintage car block on a coaster, seen below.
John helps one of the students set the type for her first poster.
I was wearing, didn’t want to break anything. John helped me lock in my name for some notecards, check out the result below.
Above is one of their many vintage plates, this one says “Announcing the Opening” and I loved it so much that I used it on some coasters, sans ink. Now I’m afraid to use them ’cause they’re so pretty.
I made a few different posters, some sweet little gift tags, the notecards with my name on them, in addition to the coasters — and the whole night was a lot of fun, and an awesome experience. Make sure you check back on AIGA’s site for their next upcoming classes, let’s go together!