On Thursday, September 29, 3-6 p.m., high school students are invited to learn the art of letterpress printing at the Farnsworth Art Museum. Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists is hosting a short workshop for up to 5 participants. Letterpress printing involves moveable type, a system of printing that uses moveable pieces of type – individual letters, numbers, characters – to reproduce the elements of a document. Invented in China, but popularized by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440, moveable type was like the internet for the 15th century, allowing widespread reproduction of printed materials like books, announcements, and advertising.
The workshop will be led by Kyle Durrie, a Bowdoin graduate, now a letterpress printer based in Portland, Oregon and the proprietor of Power and Light Press. She will stop at the Farnsworth Art Museum as part of her cross country road trip, where she has been teaching the art of letterpress and doing demonstrations. Durrie has converted a 1982 Chevy step van into a fully functional letterpress print shop. She has outfitted the back of the truck with built-in cabinets and workspace, with a sign press from the mid 20th century, and an 1873 Golding Official No. 3 tabletop platen press. For photos of the truck and more information about Durrie’s expedition, see www.type-truck.com.
Teens participating in the workshop will get a chance to set type, design and print their own posters and small letterpress pieces. To sign up for the workshop, please call the Farnsworth Education Department at 207-596-0949. There is a $10 materials fee.