I am pleased to announce a letterpress intensive to be held over President’s Day weekend in February in Denver, Colorado for instruction in either the Heidelberg Platen or Vandercook presses.
The Vandercook portion on Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17, will be conducted by Paul Moxon. Paul teaches both maintenance and printing classes throughout the US and has developed an excellent reputation for his knowledge and expertise. We will have 3 Vandercooks available, including a Universal I, and a full letterpress shop as backup for support. We will have available hand set type, bases for photopolymer, and patent bases for magnesium and copper plate systems. Depending on individual needs, areas to be covered include maintenance, form preparation, makeready, and printing techniques as related to the Vandercook. Paul has a tremendous enthusiasm and practical working knowledge of Vandercooks, and while not teaching classes, runs his own design and printing business that uses a Vandercook #4.
The Heidelberg portion on the same days will have 5 Heidelberg platens available for the exclusive use of the students. All the presses are meticulously maintained in perfect working order and several have additional foil units.
Heidelberg instructors are Rob Barnes of Foils and Dies of Denver and Elias Roustom of Em Press, New Bedford, Mass. Both are accomplished printers and have an excellent reputation, and also have an extensive list of nationally known clients. Elias specializes in deep relief printing using photopolymer, but has also done 4-color process work and traditional non-deep impression letterpress. Elias was the plant superintendent for the Merrimade company that does volume mail order business in stationery items
and napkins, all letterpress on C&P platens and Heidelberg platens. During their rush season prior to Christmas, his 5 presses would turn out several thousand orders per month so he had to perfect techniques that produced excellent high volume work. Now that he has his own business, he produces work for professional and commercial clients and a growing number of graphic designers from the Boston and New York City area.
Rob Barnes maintains one of the more remarkable pressrooms I have ever seen–it is spotless though geared to highly professional work from runs of 50 to his biggest of around 700,000 impressions. He has also developed techniques that work consistently in producing high quality precision work for letterpress, foil stamping, embossing and die cutting. His clients run from Crane’s Paper to the Coors Brewing Company, with a sprinkling of people like Robert Redford, and numerous graphic designers and both trade and commercial clients. He hosted two sold out sessions on letterpress at the recent national meeting in Denver of the AIGA. Rob insists that his equipment runs flawlessly, so is an expert on how to operate and tweak Heidelberg platens. Rob works primarily from magnesium and copper plates using a patent base system. Between Rob and Elias, all the currently used methods of achieving commendable letterpress work on the Heidelberg will be covered, and again, suited to the individual needs of the participants.
Rob also maintains an antique pressroom that includes a beautifully restored Columbian, a wood common press, and several other hand presses along with wood and metal type, miterers, a fine reference library, and lots of other stuff to drool over.
Who should attend? We encourage anyone from rank beginner to the advanced press person to consider this session. Instruction will be to the individual needs. We do require that you be serious, have some idea what letterpress is all about and have some experience, even if limited, and be willing to put in two long and intensive days in the pressroom. We already have several people who have indicated they wish to attend, and thus there are a limited number of openings, a few more for the Vandercook sessions.
We have planned these sessions for the person who wants to learn from the top people in the field, and I have every confidence in these three fellows. These guys are professionals, know their equipment, use their knowledge and equipment to make for themselves and employees a comfortable living all while practicing the honorable craft of letterpress.
NA Graphics is also a sponsor of this session and I will be there in charge of refreshments. While I have over 50 years of letterpress experience, what these three guys bring to the table far out shines my own abilities. Our goal is to teach consistency, precision, machine proficiency, and both traditional and new
techniques in the art of letterpress.
We have a course outline for both the Vandercook sessions and one for the Heidelberg sessions, along with lodging information, and cost of the courses. Please email me if you are interested. We will arrange for those flying into Denver on Friday, Feb. 15, for transportation to the shop and hotels, and if you’re like me, I’d need a ride from Amtrak at Union Station. Lunch will be brought into the shop each day and we’ll visit good Denver restaurants as a group for dinner. There will be snacks and beverages during