Way back in March I was really excited to be offered a two week full scholarship at Penland School of Crafts, to study Digital Concepts in Letterpress with Steve Miller. Steve is professor and coordinator of the Book Arts MFA programme at the University of Alabama, USA.
I arrived on Sunday 30th May and had plenty of time to acclimatise and see the whole campus for myself. What a fabulous place, Penland is way out in the boondocks of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. Hot and humid (32°c and 87% humidity) but somehow this didn't seem to matter, the place and the people where terrific.
I had come to take part in, Digital Concepts in Letterpress, with Steve Miller. Steve is professor and coordinator of the book arts MFA program at the University of Alabama, USA, where he teaches letterpress printing and paper-making.
Steve Miller: www.redhydrapress.com
Traditionally, letterpress printed chapbooks involved hand-set metal type. Now we have access to much more, in the way of digital technologies. This may mean using digital typefaces, scanning images from original artwork and photographs, and printing from photopolymer plates, allowing us to combine old and new technologies, taking the best from both.
We covered basic book design with metal type, plus we used InDesign software, photopolymer platemaking and the Vandercook press. The days were spent in a whirl of demos, practical work and feedback sessions and everything printed on the Vandercook. A brilliant way to spend two weeks!