Printer and designer Eli Epstein of Union Press visited the Argenziano School in Somerville, MA to give a group of sixth and seventh graders a presentation on how to use a letterpress.
Epstein took his showcard letterpress to art class on Thursday and Friday so the students can get a glimpse the way letterpress works. The youngsters took turns using the portable press to print a poster, the Boston.com reports.
Each class had chosen a different color for their image. The poster contrasted with students’ understanding of text.
During the presentation, Epstein explained that wood-block printing is one of the oldest printing methods, with hisotry dating back to the middle ages. While talking about the history of printing, he mixed his inks, using a palate knife and a glass sheet to stretch the rubber-based color.
“It’s communication deconstructed into its component parts, its letters,” said teacher Diana Taremi, admiring Epstein’s choice of creating an alphabet poster.
Students had shown thorough interest and excitement throughout Epstein’s presentation, particularly when they peeled the paper from the press and saw the alphabet in red, blue, green or purple. A group of sixth grade boys watched avidly as their classmates pulled their prints. The students then took a closer look at the posters, commenting on the intensity of the color and pointed out the areas where the ink was sparse.
Tags: history of printing, how to use letterpress, letterpress printing, students learning letterpress printing