Recently Book Arts Special Instructor Sarah Smith and I taught a two-day workshop in the Letterpress Studio, Flat Sheet to Folio creating a simple folded booklet using pressure printed imagery and letterpress printed text. Our project came from an exercise introduced to me by Steve Miller, professor of Book Arts at the University of Alabama, during a letterpress workshop at the Wells College Book Arts Summer Institute some years ago. Steve shared examples of this simple folded page and demonstrated its versatility in conveying a short piece of text with illustration. Many of the examples Steve shared used a linoleum block print. In our workshop we used the pressure printing technique.
|We warmed up by creating an|
|origami envelope to hold the finished edition.|
After discussing the way design and structure work together in this form, we began making our pressure prints. A pressure print uses a matrix under the printing paper that creates an impression when it comes in contact with an inked base plate held in the press bed. We used a piece of type-high Plexiglas-topped MDF or plywood. A word of caution: check packing carefully prior to printing so not to damage the press.
|Then onto mixing ink color and printing.|
|A finished matrix.|
By the end of the first day we each had a stack of twenty prints ready for text.
|And then after mixing up a nice|
|Once the Vandercook SP-20 was all set, I worked on the |
SP-15 with the students who wished to print with blue ink.
As students switched out their type, the required adjustments for each person’s folio became an opportunity to learn some of the nuances of imposition. With all the printing completed, we cleaned up and distributed type.
Just before the end of the day we collated our sheets to complete the small edition. Each of us took away the sheets flat, which when dry, will become folios and fit into our envelopes. Lots of fun with image, text, and the press!
Written by Stephanie Wolff