Letterpress Notebook Workshop Dec. 16


Letterpress Notebooks Workshop, December 16, 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Whether you are new to letterpress or have some experience, come to this workshop and choose wood and metal type, as well as engravings and dingbats to print on the cover of compact notebooks (approx. 6″ x 8″). Each participant will learn about setting type as well as get experience with the old-school charm of the letterpress process, and each will be able to print eight notebook covers in one or more ink colors. Very timely for your holiday gift dilemmas!

• Print eight notebooks per person, $65. Limited to four people.

Sign up on Eventbrite

Events take place in the Print Shop at History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose, CA 95112. For any questions please email sjprintersguild@gmail.com.


Letterpress Poster Workshop Nov. 18

Letterpress Wood Type Poster Workshop, November 18, 12 to 4 pm

Participants will select wood and metal type and ornaments, as well as vintage engravings, and create posters approx. 12″x 18″. You will learn to hand-ink the forms, arrange the elements for printing, and pull unique hand-printed posters.  We will be using two different vintage proof presses, a 90-year old Potter proof press, and a 50-year old Line-o-Scribe sign press. You can print your design with a second ink color if you wish for more impact, or overprint type and images. It’s up to your creativity to discover what is possible within the physical constraints of the type and cuts.

Please come prepared with a short quote or phrase to set. Shorter is better so you have more time to experiment with your layout, colors, etc.!

• Print ten posters per person, $80, limited to three people.

Sign up on Eventbrite

Events take place in the Print Shop at History Park, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose, CA 95112. For any questions please email sjprintersguild@gmail.com.

Treasure Hunting at the 2016 Bay Area Printers’ Fair & Wayzgoose

I look forward to the Bay Area Printers’ Fair & Wayzgoose every year for all the amazing art and people I get to meet, not to mention the “new” stuff I get to add to my shop. (I try to consolidate my purchases for the year at this event because of the great variety of things I can find.) Getting the Fair up and running this year was a little more challenging due to the rain. But it made for a more intimate gathering and didn’t dampen the spirits of both visitors and exhibitors alike, who seemed to be having a great time throughout.

I usually start out at John Barrett’s Letterpress Things booth. He always brings an amazing selection of wood type and cuts in addition to basic press supplies like gauges, type rulers and galley magnets. This year he had a 4L (~2/3 in) wide star border with all 4 corners. Score! I notice I’ve been drawn to stars lately, so this was an excellent find for me. In addition, I got some cowboy cuts just for fun.

I’ve been hand inking more so I wanted to look for a good brayer since the ones I have are only so-so. Jayne and Adrian from Ramco Roller Products, who have made wonderful rollers for me in the past, had one for sale! I felt so lucky to be able to pick up this vintage brayer with a newly covered roller.

I also like to swing by Crown Flexo’s booth as they have these incredibly detailed photopolymer plate samples on hand to look at. They laser image all of the plates directly, so there is no loss of detail with film.

I’ve been looking for some manicules and Sky Shipley from Skyline Type did not disappoint. I ended up getting some animal dingbats for the kids, as well. In addition, Scott Moore from Moore Wood Type sent some wood type ornaments to be sold at the fair.

Andrew Cook from Savoir-Faire was there for the first time this year with their excellent papers and inks. They were having a 40% off Fair special, so I couldn’t resist getting some new papers and inks to try out.

I always love to stop by Bryan Kring’s booth to see what he’s come up with. He makes these intricate books/art pieces that I can spend forever perusing. Here is Insecta Coleoptera.

Alban and Alexei from the Guild of St. Alban Protomartyr showed for the first time this year. They had beautifully printed and hand painted broadsides on display. They use a washington style hand press to create their art pieces.

Johanna Shipley (Sky’s wife) had some elegant type-inspired jewelry for sale. Hope Amico from Gutwrench Press and Anna from Pickypockets Press had their thought-provoking collection of post cards, handbound books and greeting cards. Robert Stow from Hungry Ronin Press and Dean Drumheller from Tunitas Press came down from Half Moon Bay with their handmade wares featuring linocut greeting cards and handbound books and journals. Even SJSU got in on the action, as the student-run SJSU Printmaking Club, headed by Kathy Kong, brought their silk screen and linoleum prints to the Fair.

Robert Perry of Dutch Poet Press brought some cubes that were created in collaboration with a photographer friend. Moody images combined with haunting poetry to create a portable work of art.

Lisa Rappoport of Littoral Press collaborates with poets and illustrators to create beautiful limited edition broadsides. In addition, it’s always enjoyable to see what new  hand bound book or book object she’s created.

Eleanor Murray has the most wonderful collection of paper ephemera I have ever seen. There are pages from old bookkeeping ledgers with fine, spidery script, loose pages from Japanese students’ practice books and European maps written in German. All are reasonably priced, just waiting to be part of an art piece.

And if you are looking for found objects, Viviane Schupbach has wonderful items for sale, in addition to her hand bound books and artwork. Last year I found very cool brass letter stencils.

Demonstrations and Organizations
I am really proud of the variety of demonstrations the Fair has every year. (Full disclosure, I am the person in charge of bringing in the demos.) This year was rather hectic, so I didn’t get to see many, but I did get to see what my girls brought back at the end of the day.

Matt Kelsey of the San Jose Printers Guild outdid himself this year with his design. The two color poster, with a quote from Shakespeare in vintage wood type, had smaller outlined type between the lines. The effect was very cool! Jim Gard, chair for the San Jose Printers Guild, headed the demonstration for the letterpress books that members of the Guild publish every year. Visitors could personalize their books by printing their name on the bookplate at the front of the book.

Volunteers Becky Barber and Carole Dwinell from BABA (Bay Area Book Artists) were on hand to show visitors how to make mini booklets from a single sheet of paper. Visitors walked away with a teeny zine on making a pizza. Dave Robison from Ink in Tubes brought his rare multigraph press and demonstrated how to place the special type on its curved surface. Mark Knudsen and Lesya Westerman from the Book Club of California displayed some of the high quality printing they do. Our very own School of Visual Philosophy, who silk screened our Fair shirts, was there to talk about their classes.

Representatives from the Tech Shop in San Jose provided a fun demonstration of their laser engraving machine, printing wooden book covers with the SJ Guild’s famous “Printer Guy.” Ivan Gulkov from Pillowface Press brought in his miniature tramp press and Dime Museum to the delight of my girls.

Linda Stinchfield of Turtlesilk Press did a book stitching demo. Visitors were able to use preprinted covers, print their title page, and ended up with a very charming little notebook as a keepsake.

Maria Ayala of Wikiup Press brought her 4 tabletop presses. After printing a card successively in each press, visitors ended up with a cute 4 color alphabet postcard. She also demonstrated her beautiful calligraphy skills.

Peter and Donna Thomas, who also have amazing artist books and ukulele books, and Jillian Bruschera from the Mobile Mill were there. Both provided two unique demonstrations of the papermaking process. The girls were able to bring home paper made in Florida and New Orleans at the end of the day.

It was a very busy and full day. I came home tired, but with tons of treasure and good memories. And we get to do it all again next year!

Tin Dog Press (aka Bernadette Milan) is a member of the San Jose Printers Guild. She can be found printing on her 1930’s Kluge platen style press.

Coaster printing at Tiki & Typography

San Jose Printers Guild members helped guests to print coasters at Content Magazine’s CONTENT LAB “Tiki & Typography,” on September 17th at Blanco Square in downtown San Jose. Katie Carter, Katie Hoffman, Bernadette Milan, and Matt Kelsey introduced lots of interested people to letterpress printing on a tabletop press.

The CONTENT LAB series inspires, creates, and connects our creative community. “We believe that communities grow stronger as the people are connected with a common purpose and mission.”

The Itinerant Printer makes an impression at History Park

IP1The Itinerant Printer, Chris Fritton, visited the Printers’ Guild at History Park August 28 and 29 as part of his year-long travels to letterpress print shops throughout the US. His journey is supported by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, and he creates postcards and posters to send to his supporters as he goes from shop to shop.

IP2-firstcolorAt History Park he found some rare wood type that had not been identified, but after printing it and posting on Instagram one of his followers quickly identified it as Trafton Script, a 1930s design. He paired it with another rare typeface, Art Gothic, created in 1887, which the Printers’ Guild has in four sizes, to create a unique postcard that reflects the typographic resources from the print shop at History Park.

IP3-secondcolorVisitors to the park were able to pull their own print of the card. Later in the day Chris gave a short talk about his journey and how it ties in to the history of tramp printers who travelled from city to city in past decades. He also discussed his artistic approach to using type, ornaments, and dingbats to create unique patterns and effects in his prints. During the reception that followed at the Pasetta House, visitors were able to look through a number of Chris’s cards and posters and learn more about his work and travels, and also browse through the museum exhibit “Slugs, Dingbats & Tramp Printers: Printing in the Santa Clara Valley.”


Meet & Greet with The Itinerant Printer, August 29

Come to History Park for a hands-on demonstration and meet and greet with The Itinerant Printer, Chris Fritton! Chris is coming to the letterpress print shop of the San Jose Printers’ Guild in History Park as part of his year-long journey throughout the lower 48 states, covering over 30,000 miles, and creating over 30,000 prints in over 100 letterpress print shops.

itinerant3Print with Chris in the print shop from noon to 4:00PM, followed by a presentation at 5:00PM on the museum grounds covering the history and lore of tramp printing, and a reception following with light refreshments.

The event is FREE and OPEN TO ALL. Please RSVP to sjprintersguild@gmail.com so we can plan accordingly for refreshments.

Also, don’t miss seeing the exhibit Slugs, Dingbats & Tramp Printers: Printing in the Santa Clara Valley, in the Pasetta House at History Park. The exhibit will be open before and after the presentation.

Location: History San Jose, 635 Phelan Ave., San Jose, CA 95112

Find out more about The Itinerant Printer:
twitter: @itinerantprint

See us at the San Jose Mini Maker Faire Sept. 6, 2015

The Printers’ Guild will be participating in the San Jose Mini Maker Faire at History Park on Sept. 6, 2015, from 10 AM to 6 PM. Visitors can try their hands at letterpress printing and die-cutting on vintage presses with handset wood and metal type. For more information about the event see: http://makerfairesanjose.com/makers-2015/

And SAVE THE DATE for the 2016 S.F. Bay Area Printers’ Fair & Wayzgoose: April 9, 2016.

See us at Book Arts Jam Oct. 18th, and Save the Date for 2015 Printers’ Fair!

The San Jose Printers’ Guild will be exhibiting at the Book Arts Jam, October 18, 2014, 10am-4pm, Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, California. Admission & Parking are Free! The Guild will have a new collective letterpress-printed book available with your donation, plus you can handset type and imprint your name at the beginning of the book on one of our vintage presses.

AND save the date for our 2015 S.F. Bay Area Printers’ Fair & Wayzgoose on April 18, 2015! More info and exhibitor registration will be available by early 2015.