Bowne Printers Workshops

Bowne Printers Workshops | Learn Letterpress

Handset Type and Printing Workshops | Click here for our workshop calendar

Our printing workshops at Bowne Printers teach the traditional methods of hand setting type and use our working collection of historic presses. Once used for documenting marine trade, we now use them for contemporary artisinal projects.

 

Current Schedule

This three hour workshop introduces participants to typesetting and letterpress printing small runs of custom work. Students choose from a selection of the Museum’s vintage lead type to design their own personalized stationery. Our team of printers guides participants through the process of setting type, proofing on our Vandercook cylinder press, fine-tuning designs, and printing a final run on our 19th century tabletop platen press. Participants learn how to operate the presses themselves, and each person goes home with twenty personal stationery items.
Bowne Printers is pleased to announce that we are now open late one Wednesday a month for Fresh Prints: a printing party that showcases multiple presses in the collection. For each event, our team of designers and printers launches a series of limited edition cards and prints that are on press all evening, and attendees have the opportunity to pull prints of their own and learn about the traditional craft of letterpress. Fresh Prints runs from 7-9pm with an admittance fee of $10 and $8 for Museum members, and visitors go home with a package of all three prints pulled live that night.


In addition, we offer these classes below which you can schedule for your own group or class.
For more information or to schedule a class, please call (646)-628-2707 or email bowneprinters@seany.org

 

Ongoing Programs

Using objects and equipment from the Museum’s collection, Bowne Printers will take you through the history of printing from Gutenberg to the New York Times. We will demonstrate on several presses and discuss the history of typography and printing, with an emphasis on the local New York context. Everybody will get a printed keepsake and a chance to pull a print on one of our presses.

Group size: 3 to 30
Price: $175/group, non-refundable deposit required: $50

In this 3-hour workshop Resident Printer Ali Osborn will teach you the basics of carving and printing linoleum blocks. Arrive with a couple ideas for images and we’ll learn how to transfer and carve your design into linoleum. After designs are carved we’ll try out inking and printing by hand. At the end of the class we’ll pull some prints on our Vandercook cylinder proof press of everyone’s blocks locked up together. Each student will go home with their block, individual prints, and one poster of everyone’s prints together.All materials supplied, except for your ideas. You bring those and we’ll show you how to make them into prints!

Class size: 6, 3 people required for workshop to run.
Price: $175 Workshop fee, plus $50/participant for materials

A broadside is a large sheet of paper printed on one side to create a poster. Historically, this format was used by political campaigns, circuses, shipping lines, and any other person or group that needed to make a proclamation or advertisement. Today, the broadside has become popular among poets, typographers, and artists as an art form that is collectible, easy to frame, and sometimes printed in a limited edition. In this 3-hour workshop the class will collaborate on designing and printing a broadside poster from moveable wood type. Bowne Printers will curate a sampling of wood type from the Museum’s collection of over 100 fonts. After a brief introduction to the history and process of printing from handset type, students will have the chance to select type and spell out a word or phrase that fits into a specific line length. These phrases/words will be locked up on our Vandercook cylinder proof press. We’ll learn about inking, registration, proofing, make-ready, and the physical origins of leading and character spacing. After the necessary corrections, everyone will get a chance to pull a final print. Each student will go home with 3 copies of the group’s poster. Because of the collaborative nature of this workshop we recommend it to groups of friends!
All materials supplied.

Class size: 3 to 25
Price: $175 Workshop fee, plus $50/participant for materials

In this 2-day class, attendees will each produce a set of 2-color letterpress postcards printed from a combination of moveable metal and wood type. Typefaces available for use will be curated from the Museum’s collection of over 1800 fonts. On Day 1, after a brief introduction to the history and process of printing from handset type, each student will select wood type and design a composition using phrases, words, or even single letters. These compositions will be locked-up together on our Vandercook cylinder proof press. We’ll learn about inking, registration, proofing, make-ready, and the physical origins of leading and character spacing. After the necessary corrections, everyone will get a chance to pull a final print.

On Day 2 we will introduce the typesetter’s tools and demonstrate the typesetting technique. Students will use moveable metal type, again curated from the Museum’s collection, to set up to three lines that work in concert with their wood type designs from the week before. Students will print this metal type on their cards using a tabletop platen press. Each student will leave with a set of 20 of their own 2-color postcards.

All materials supplied.
Class size: 4 to 10, 4 people required for the workshop to run.
Price: $175 Workshop fee, plus $75/participant for materials

This three hour workshop introduces participants to typesetting and letterpress printing small runs of custom work. Students choose from a selection of the Museum’s vintage lead type to design their own personalized stationery. Our team of printers guides participants through the process of setting type, proofing on our Vandercook cylinder press, fine-tuning designs, and printing a final run on our 19th century tabletop platen press. Participants learn how to operate the presses themselves, and each person goes home with twenty personal stationery items.

Class size: 4 to 12, 4 people required for the workshop to run.
Price: $175 Workshop fee, plus $35/participant for materials

 


– Members enjoy exclusive discounts on all the Museum’s programs. Not a member? JOIN NOW!

– All workshops are adaptable for private parties, school programs, team building, adult special interest clubs, and professional development for teachers. Advance reservations are required. For a list of additional group programs, click here.


Workshop Policies:

  • While non-refundable deposits are required to secure your spot, in the event that the workshop does not run, all deposits will be refunded.
  • Workshop instruction is very time-sensitive. Students arriving over 15 minutes late will not be permitted to participate.
  • No open toe shoes allowed.
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