small printed projects @ mcba

painted fish studio tag
on saturday i went to the small printed projects workshop at mcba – what fun! the class size was small, and we each got to design and print a project. the workshop instructor was allison chapman, and i really enjoy taking classes with her. she’s taught me (and others) a lot of great stuff over the years.

allison called everyone a few days before the class and asked what we’d like to make. i decided to make a very simple business card for my studio/shop with only the studio name. once i started printing, i decided to turn my printed paper into tags for the books i sell in my etsy shop. i picked up some handpainted linen thread in the shop (the thread is painted locally by kinglet cottage designs). the picture above is a new book created this weekend, with my new little tag!

my printing is by no means perfect, but it is made by me! it’s not too bad for a first-timer with only a few hours to learn/set/print. i took pictures during the class, which can be viewed after the jump…

allison suggested we set type no smaller than 12 points, and i decided to challenge that and go with 10 points! my eyesight and dexterity were definitely challenged… i chose the font baskerville (we use baskerville a lot my day job, and it’s a great little serif font), and added a little decorative piece before the name. sadly, not a single fish was to be found in all of the cases of type. boo.

anyway, the type is set in what is called a “composition stick”. as you can see (or maybe, not see), the letters are pretty tiny:

composition stick

we could chose our ink color, and i was one of the first people ready to print so i mixed pea green ink for me, and 2 other classmates ended up using it as well:

mixing ink

we inked up a couple of different presses. i used a vandercook press, the same one that we used to print our covers for the printed journal workshop:

coming off the press

while i love typography, and have so far enjoyed my limited printing experiences, i doubt it’s something i’ll ever seriously pursue. i have so many other things that keep me busy, and with a day job it’d be tough to spend a lot of time in a printing studio. and there are so many other great printers out there. but i may take another printing workshop or two!

next up: coptic binding on february 20. i am in dire need of a refresher course!

6 responses to “small printed projects @ mcba”

  1. jenn says:

    Yeah!! You set type!! And that’s an awesome green. Remember, always clean the bottom roller. It’s easy to forget :p

  2. fish says:

    eeeks! i was one of the first people finished, and very tired, and offered to stay and help with clean-up… but went home without helping. so i do need to learn how to clean the press!

  3. Anna says:

    Nice touch!

  4. Anna says:

    Just checked out the finished book on your etsy. Nice work!

  5. fish says:

    thank you! i’ve got one more of that style to work on this week…

  6. Heidi Ferguson says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning my thread in your blog!!! I have finally published a website with all of my solid and variegate threads. The website is


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