I had an epic weekend: a sausage-centered party at Big Guys Sausages, a letter social with the Letter Writers Alliance & a letterpress class with Rar Rar Press. While the party at Big Guys was fun (I had the Italian Chicken Sausage and I am officially three-for-three with loving what I order there!) and the letter writing social was as lovely as always (I wrote 1.5 letters and one postcard!), the letterpress class was a huge highlight.
I’ve been wanting to take a letterpress class for a long time and Rebecca’s class came highly recommended. Unlike a lot of letterpress printers today who design on the computer and have a polymer plate made for printing, Rebecca still hand sets all of her type using old letters made of wood or metal. Some of her type is from the early 1900s! I kind of wanted to spend the whole four hour class just poking through it all and playing with fonts, but there were posters to print!
We learned a little bit of terminology (oh, there is so much terminology…and measuring & math!) and about setting our type and we learned about her two presses before we got started. It took me a long time to choose my type styles and Rebecca assisted a lot when it came to setting my chase (the frame that holds all of the letters together). It is like playing Tetris trying to fill in each and every inch of the chase so the letters are securely set and ready for print. (Rebecca joked that she can pack a car like no one else!)
Rebecca printed the rainbow background first, then we printed the text on top. Every print is a little bit different, some have darker blue-green rainbows, some are lighter …I love that about them. Naoto said I should sign each one (since they are a limited edition of 25) and I think I will. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas!
The biggest challenge for me before the class was choosing what I wanted to print. I have a long list of quotes that I love (most of them are pinned here on Pinterest), but in the end, I decided “Comparison is the thief of joy” (Theodore Roosevelt) is a perfect life lesson to have on my wall. It’s a good reminder, don’t you think?