March 29, 2013
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During the past weekend, I attended a letterpress class that I signed up for through Dabble. I have a small amount of printmaking experience and knew a bit about how letterpress works, but never actually letterpressed much myself except for maybe once during undergrad. The class was taught by Rebecca from RAR RAR Press. It was a wonderful class where we learned everything from the terminology, to typesetting, to printing. One of the coolest things was simply being in that space. Rebecca’s studio is really amazing. When I stepped into the studio, I felt a bit like I stumbled into Heaven: really great posters and images tacked to the walls, a comfy couch, a bookcase filled with all sorts of artsy related books, a computer set-up, and of course, all of the equipment and type needed for a letterpress studio. It was beautiful.
sorry for the poor lighting 😦
hallway before entrance to the actual studio
Typesetting the first word was frustrating. Measuring the size of the line and the x-height and then sifting through the little pieces of metal for the proper kerning and leading and putting it all together was a bit challenging for me at first (remember, I am a perfectionist so I drive myself insane sometimes for no reason at all). The second line was a piece of cake. Once you typeset the first line, it becomes a bit easier. I probably would have made some mistake or two if Rebecca didn’t help me fill in the spaces in the end, but I’m glad she was there to fix whatever little mistakes I had made. The first print came out beautifully… that is, until I realized I spelled “necessary” wrong because I must have dropped the “a” somewhere in the process. I was a bit heartbroken. Thankfully, Rebecca has the amazing typesetting surgical skills needed to remedy the situation and lo and behold, it was pretty much fixed! I wish there was a little bit more ink coverage, but I do like the look.
I had no idea what to print, but these were the first words that popped into my head while wandering around the beautiful studio. What better than an ode to Malcolm X?
on my wall with another Malcolm X related print and a Malcolm X photograph/postcard