A few months ago, a local blogger friend of mine – Janis Galloway from Dress Me Dearly, posted about a letterpress workshop that she was attending right here in Edmonton. Being the passionate graphic designer that I am and the even BIGGER type geek that I am, my ears perked up and I did a little bit of research. Turns out that there’s a lovely local named Lu that is hosting two workshops a month through her business Uppercase Press to share her passion for the art of letterpress, and teach others how to do it! She hosts two people per workshop so the whole experience is incredibly intimate and hands on, with lots of time to explore the full process.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with the process of letterpress, check out this video to get an idea:
I ended up seeing a photo on Facebook of the prints that Janis made during her workshop and noticed that another friend of mine, Nicole Bolton from Glossie, ended up taking the workshop with her! I trust the opinions of these talented gals so I asked them what they thought, and both of them replied with GLOWING reviews. Needless to say, I was excited to do something tangible and step away from the computer screen for a change. I emailed Lu about the next available workshop, roped my best friend Jenn into taking it with me, and 2 weeks later we found ourselves sitting down for tea and treats with Lu in her kitchen before getting our hands dirty and making some cards!
I’m just going to bombard you with pictures now because I couldn’t stop taking them, and the entire process is far too beautiful not to share. We started with composing sticks and drawers full of metal type, which I could have stared at for days. Plunk me down in front of trays full of metal type any day and I’ll be happy for hours…just like a little kid and a cardboard box! My imagination was running wild with the possibilities. Once Jenn and I decided on a few amusing phrases that we wanted to print, we learned how to arrange them into blocks of type that could be easily transferred over to the print bed.
Then we chose our ink colors, mixed our ink, and prepped the presses! We were super lucky that a few days before our workshop, Lu had gotten her hands on some gold ink. SQUEE!
Once we got the presses ready and our type onto the bed of the press, we got busy printing our cards! I am so giddy at the results. SERIOUSLY so much fun!
I can’t tell you enough how worth it this workshop was. Lu is incredibly passionate about what she does and she makes the entire process extremely approachable and fun! She fed us tea and treats, showed us some of the fun projects she was currently working on, gave us inside tips on a new kind of workshop she’ll be hosting, and made us promise that we’d keep in touch! Not only did we walk out of the workshop with beautiful prints to call our own, but we made a new friend in the Edmonton creative community as well. If you get a chance to attend one of Lu’s workshops, I highly recommend that you do so! What a wonderful gem of an Edmonton experience :)