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Using Metal Type – Letterpress Workshop In-Studio Class Apr 20

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Using Metal Type - Letterpress Workshop In-Studio Class
Saturday, April 20, 10:30am-4pm
Instructor: Carolyn Sweeney
Limit: 6 students. All participants must be 15 years or older.

Class Details:

Letterpress is a form of printing characterized by its crisp, textural impression on paper. The impressed ink gives the print a unique look and feel. Carolyn Sweeney, owner of Black Dog Press, delights in teaching others this nostalgic and beautiful method of printing on her impressive, 2500 pound vintage presses. Join her for a fun day of learning how to set old-fashioned metal type by hand. 

The first part of class is all about creating your design. Choose letters for the text from Carolyn’s thirty sets of fonts, then add small decorative accents from among the hundreds of printers’ ornaments in her trays of metal type. You’ll experience a bit of history as you lay out and set your own words into the heavy steel frame that holds the metal type. Once you’ve locked your design in place, Carolyn shows you how to “makeready” the press for a clear impression and then how to use it to do your own printing. What an experience!

One delightful aspect of working with Carolyn is delving into the history of typesetting. Do you know the meaning of “Mind your Ps and Qs” and “I’m out of sorts”? The sayings originated with typesetters and Carolyn knows how to decode them. Just for fun, check out this five-minute animated video that Carolyn found on the history of typeography. It’s pretty cool!

You’ll leave this one-day class with a hands-on understanding of metal typesetting and letterpress printing. You’ll also take with you a 25-30 piece set of postcards, stationery, or note cards that you've designed – and printed – yourself.

The class is held at the instructor’s studio near Chautauqua in Boulder. The address will be emailed to registered students on the Monday before class.

Due to the limited size of the classroom, social distancing will not be possible. Attendees of the class are welcome to wear masks. Help keep community members and our staff safe, please do not attend the class if you are feeling sick. Please contact ahead of time if you have specific questions regarding class covid safety.

Class Materials

Please bring the following materials:

  • Printing clothes/apron
  • Bag lunch and water bottle for the short lunch break

Class materials:

  • All printing materials provided

Class Refund/Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made up to 14 days prior to the first class meeting will be refunded or, at the participant's option, used to pay for another class. Two Hands Paperie will retain a $10 processing fee for EACH class cancelled by a participant. After 14 days, there is no refund or credit. In addition, the fee for a class cancelled within this 14-day timeframe by a participant cannot be transferred to pay for another class. These policies are to ensure that teachers are compensated for their investment in materials and in time spent preparing for the class. We reserve the right to cancel a class if fewer than 3 students enroll 48 hours prior to the scheduled class time. If for any reason Two Hands Paperie cancels a class, students will be called at the phone number on file and refunded the FULL class fee.

Instructor Bio

Carolyn Sweeney is the owner, designer, and print artist behind Black Dog Press, a local letterpress printing company. With an educational background in Fine Arts and Architecture, Carolyn finds pleasure in tiny and exacting creative endeavors, such as setting type to use in a 100-year-old letter press machine or creating miniature worlds in old candy tins. Check out

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Kathy S.
So much FUN!

I took the letterpress class to learn the art! I was not disappointed. The class was informative, fun and I love my end result❣️Any class I’ve taken thru THP has been beyond excellent❣️

Teresa Boynton
Great class!

The letterpress class offered through THP was great! A lot of fun and wonderful to take home beautiful letterpress cards.