Printing press letters arranged on a press spelling out "the smell of failure" backwards

Intro to Letterpress

instructor: Barbara Hennelly, bassackward press

category: printmaking

for: adults

price: $100


This beginner half-day workshop is designed to introduce you to the historical relief printing technique of letterpress by offering hands-on experience with a midcentury Vandercook 219AB ­handfed cylinder proof press! Delve into letterpress history and methods, learn the fundamentals of typography while playing with bassackward’s collection of wood type, walk through the process of type composition and lockup, and experience the process of setting up and inking the press, pulling prints, and studio best practices including safe operation and proper breakdown and clean up. You will go home with a custom wood type letterpress poster, hand-cranked by you!

About the instructor:

Sacramento-based graphic designer and art director Barbara Hennelly is now embracing the slow and imperfect nature of old-timey printing, blending her love of typography, the smell of ink, and the tactile nature of paper with words and messages that inform, inspire, entertain or resonate. She enjoys exploring the intersection of digital design and historical print techniques via her 1950-something Vandercook proofing press and a growing collection of antique Hamilton wood type. In 2019 she received a Communication Arts Award of Excellence in Typography.

Instagram @bassackwardpress


WHERE: Myrtle Press

PRICE: $100 (Materials are included)

WHO: Adults (8 students max)

Cancellation and Refunds Policy

Verge Center for the Arts reserves the right to cancel classes, to change instructors, and to make other changes that may become necessary to ensure a quality experience for participants. In the event that a class is canceled, we will contact all registrants and offer the option of transferring to another available session, or receiving a full refund.

If a participant wishes to withdraw from a class, they must do so in writing at least seven days prior to the first class meeting to receive a full refund, less a $25 processing fee. Withdrawals occurring within seven days prior to the first class meeting will receive a refund of 50 percent of the total class fee. No refunds are given to withdrawals that occur 24 hours before the class begins. Transfers are not accepted after a class begins. Membership fees are non-refundable. Please note we are unable to issue cash refunds.