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Join Ellie Mathews at her studio in Port Townsend via Zoom to step through the basics of letterpress printing: Type. Paper. Ink. Go!
She will also discuss some of the techniques involved in her own work, giving background on choices made—and why. Ellie, along with her husband, Carl Youngmann, are partners in The North Press. They have printed together off and on for forty years. Carl worked as a printer’s devil when in high school. Their primary focus in recent years has been the production of poetry broadsides. Together, they have taught a variety of letterpress classes at BARN.
In what she hopes will be a relaxed, interactive conversation—as if you’re right there with her looking around in her modest shop—Ellie will try to take the fear out of what might seem daunting at first: all those tiny bits and pieces of type; that half-ton press and its precision adjustments, for example. If anything, Ellie is a letterpress ambassador, encouraging people to give the process a try, because she finds a variety of approaches that don’t involve going blind with six-point letters—or even having to learn the organization of type cases to begin with. In her opinion, whatever one’s approach, the results are worth the effort: crisp impressions sinking into cotton-y paper in any color you’re willing to mix. All that and the freedom to say whatever you want once you take control of the process.
For the second part of this two-week event, Ellie will invite you to come up with a proposal for a simple print—on the order of 6 x 9 inches—using a short quote or piece of advice that you could imagine as a letterpress project. These will be shared and discussed in an open forum with consideration of methods and practicalities.
About the Presenter:
Ellie Mathews has worked in cartography, design, and software development. She has enhanced dozens of letterpress broadsides with graphic elements that began life as full-color photographs.
Image Upper right: "All 26" by Ellie Mathews