Monday, April 6, 2009

Letterpress dream come true

I've just returned from an awesome weekend in Portland, Oregon where I attended the northwest premier of Handmade Nation and cavorted with some of the most awesome crafters for three days. It was heaven. I'll have a full report on the Craftgasm (as it was called) weekend, but for now I have to share one of the most special things that happened while I was in Portland.

On Saturday, my friend, Sarah, took me up to the Pacific Northwest College of Art where she's taking a continuing education class on letterpress. You see, I've had an obsession with letterpress for almost 20 years, yet I've never been able to actually get my hands on type and a press to try it myself. Sarah was kind enough to take me up to the print studio and I was able to watch her work on her awesome project, and then got to create my own very first letterpress project.

Wowza. I have to say that digging through drawers of wood and lead type, going through ideas of what to print and managing the logistics of actually getting the typeset was .... amazing. It felt like something I've been meant to do my whole life. Not to sound to profound about it, but it was just an incredibly zen experience.

I have to give huge thanks to Sarah for helping me fulfill this big dream of mine. I can't wait to get my hands on more type and a press very.very.soon.


  1. oh cool! I've always wanted to do that as well! Those look great!

  2. I am sooooo glad you had a good time. It's amazing how quickly the time flies by when you're printmaking, huh?

  3. I love letterpress!!

    I'm so happy that you got to live your dream... awesome!

  4. DUDE. This is so fantastic. I'm so glad you got to do this, and your type is beautiful.

    Please do let me know how soon you can return and live at my house. :-)

  5. you mean there are continuing ed classes that are FUN?! Holy cow, I'm calling up the CC in my area, I want to learn Letterpress TOO!!!

    eagerly awaiting the Arizona premiere of Handmade Nation next month!!!

  6. Rach, that's *so* cool! What a great experience - I'm so happy for you. :)

  7. That is wonderful. I've been around presses but never had the opportunity to use them. Glad the premier was fun!

  8. You can go hang out at Shannon's and play on her big beautiful letter press. They are not only fun but handsome machines too! Can't wait to hear more about your trip. Yowza!

  9. These are beautiful! Yes - I think that zen thng is trying to tell you something. Follow it!

  10. Good for you- They look great! I love the press, I've done lithograph and Monotype but haven't had the chance to try Letterpress yet. I've been obsessed with lit for a long time too. I used to design invitations and other printed materials and loved when I got to design an LP project. Can't wait to try my hand at printing it one day soon!

  11. Hi Rachel,

    I love letterpress too. Last year I was lucky to visit Vertalle Letterpress on the East Austin Studio Tour and see their Heidleberg Windmill in action.
    Check them out at


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