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Using Metal Type – Intro to Letterpress In-Studio Class September 17

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Using Metal Type - Letterpress Workshop In-Studio Class
Saturday, September 17, 10:30am-4pm MT
Instructor: Carolyn Sweeney
Limit: 6 students

Letterpress is a form of printing characterized by the crisp, textural impression it creates on paper. We love, love, love letterpress! Its elegant and expressive imprint has a unique look and feel that appeals to the senses. What better way to learn this nostalgic method of printing than from Carolyn Sweeney, owner of Black Dog Press. She delights in teaching others the art of setting old-fashioned metal type by hand and how to use her vintage presses for printing. 

The first part of class is all about creating your design. Choose letters for the text from her 30 sets of fonts. (Imagine what Swing, Pastel Open, and Camelot might look like, for example.) Then add small decorative accents from among the hundreds of printers’ ornaments in her trays of metal type. Experience a bit of history as you lay out and set your own words into into a chase, which is a heavy steel frame that holds the individual metal letters in place. Do you know the meaning of “Mind your Ps and Qs” and “I’m out of sorts”? The sayings originated with typesetters, and Carolyn can decode them for you. 

Once you’ve locked your letters in place, Carolyn shows you how to “makeready” the press for a clear impression. You’ll leave this one-day class with a basic hands-on understanding of letterpress printing. You’ll also take with you a 25-30 piece set of postcards, coasters, stationery, or note cards that you've designed and printed yourself. (Note: this class is similar to Carolyn’s class DIY Holiday Cards, but the focus here is on printing various items.)

Just for fun, check out this cool video that Carolyn found on the history of type:

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.

Masks are required for all students and instructors 
(covering nose and mouth). Students will be provided their own set of tools, which are sanitized between every class session. Due to the size of our class space we are unable to practice social distancing in the classroom.

Class Materials

Please bring the following materials:

  • Painting 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

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