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Experimental Techniques in Letterpress: Inks, Pressure Prints, and Abstract Designs

August 17 @ 10:30 am - 2:00 pm



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Experimental Techniques in Letterpress: Inks, Pressure Prints, and Abstract Designs, August 2024 Registration
$ 483.00
4 available

A 5-Week In-Studio Workshop!

Saturdays, August 17–September 14, 10:30am-2pm

View our current in-studio Health and Safety and Cancellation Policies >>

About this Workshop:

This fun series (previously titled Letterpress Club)  will lead you on a creative journey with ink, paper, and design explorations on the Vandercook cylinder presses—maybe without ever including any letters at all! This class is a playful, supportive atmosphere to experiment with techniques and build upon previous experiences and skills. In these 5 sessions, you’ll learn more about letterpress inks, including how to mix colors before, during, and after printing, and different ways to apply ink to paper. You’ll use various materials to design relief prints that can be layered with other techniques. Instead of letters to design printed messages or images, you’ll hone your typesetting skills by using dingbats and ornaments. Each week’s project can stand alone or build upon the last one. We’ll work collaboratively and individually, and you’ll end up with at least one complete print edition as well as experimental bits and pieces to use in future prints, collage, bookmaking, and more.

  • Week 1: Ink – Create colorful designs with ink wipes, different types of ink, and a variety of textures.
  • Week 2: Printing with other materials – Design your own pressure prints with paper, fabric, foam, and natural materials. 
  • Week 3: Ornaments and Dingbats – Create patterns and designs with ornamental type.
  • Weeks 4 and 5: Combinations and Extensions – Continue working on techniques or develop a new project incorporating a range of techniques.

Level: Intermediate – Introduction to Letterpress (on the Vandercook or Tabletop) or similar experience (6 hours) is required.

Registration closes August 9, 2024. Material fees are included with your registration to cover the supplies provided in class. Students will need to gather/purchase additional materials for class (see the materials list below). This list will also be provided with the registration confirmation email.

Photos by Theresa Esterlund


Registration includes a $25 materials fee to cover consumable materials provided in class, including paper and ink. Students may want to bring the following optional items to class as well:

  • Personal apron (we’ll have extras in class) or wear clothes that can get messy
  • Notebook/sketchbook to take notes
  • Any personal paper you’d like to try printing on


Theresa Esterlund is an artist and educator who lives in Arlington, Virginia. After retiring from a professional career in museum education, she channeled her vision to inspire compassionate connections into a stationery business that reflects the intersection of her artistic and mindfulness practices. Her collages are windows that open to the inside—as well as abstract landscapes and other arrangements. She brings her love of gathering, sorting, and composing to letterpress, which also gives her a path to integrate words and phrases from her poetry. Learn more about her work online at www.opentobeing.com and on Instagram @opentobeing.

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