On our trip to Seattle we had the pleasure of taking a letterpress class with the talented Lynda Sherman at Bremelo Press. After a quick primer on the process, Lynda showed us some of her fantastic work, inspiring us before cutting us lose in the studio. A designers’ dream, Bremelo has cabinets upon cabinets of wood type and vintage illustrations. Here, Lynda shows Michelle and Sara some of her wood type collection.
Once we chose our type and designs, we took up the meticulous task of assembling it into the frame. Letterpress is like putting together a puzzle, except all the blocks are backwards. You start with the position of your design, then fill in the empty space with spacer blocks. You start with large blocks, then work your way down to smaller spacers. Michelle selected lots of “z’s” for her design and is assembling her frame for pressing.
Letterpress printing is not for the weak. 100% Chartreuse powered, we each took turns pulling the press into action. Much to our delight, Lynda’s 104 year old press, Adele, is also a Cleveland native. Michelle’s design was a blind press, meaning an impression was created by the type but no ink was used. Charity and Sara used a very Seattle nautical blue for their prints. All the prints were a success, especially for rookie printers like us!
Big thanks to Lynda for sharing her studio and showing us the letterpress ropes. If you’re ever in Seattle, you should stop by Bremelo Press and say hello!
*Fun fact: Cut to the chase is a common phrase that came from the days of letterpress printing. The type is assembled into a frame, then the design is attached to the press in a larger frame, called the chase. Meaning, hurry up and get that art assembled so we can get to printing!