Pop Up Letterpress Event at the Museum of Boulder

What fun! The Museum of Boulder asked us to set up a pop up letterpress event at their historic location on the Hill in Boulder. The Museum has over 3000 cuts in its permanent artifact collection — all of which were donated by the Daily Camera. There were so much historical and weirdly interesting cuts we were over the moon about what to print. And what some of the various images were and could have been used for is anyone’s guess. From art deco abstracts to mountain scenes to shifty characters to ornate borders to church announcements and songs — we had plenty of fun things to print while barely scratching the surface of the entire collection.The Cat seemed to be a crowd favorite — resembling the evil twin of the Cheshire Cat. I suppose if someone had a couple of years they could rummage through the Daily Camera archives and try and find all the imagery in the old newspapers. But it might be better to leave it to the imagination. 

They pulled out a few dozen cuts for the workshop participants to choose from and we let them print away on an assortment of proof presses with a few colors. We used red for pop, black for its timelessness and metallic gold for the sharpness — the gold worked out well as we were blocks away from CU, who happened to be playing a home game. In the photos you can see a CU logo that fellow board member, Greg, pointed out still can be seen in the interior of Macky Auditorium. And while we were all so busy printing and oogling over the amazing collection there were tons of other cuts not pictured, such as Macky Auditorium.

We are fortunate enough to be one of the last events the museum hosted before moving to their new downtown location. With about 25 folks printing and creating new ways to combine cuts on the presses, BAL members were busy for the entirely of the event trying to keep up with the creative minds of the new printers!


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Ephemera Exchange 2016

EphemeraAnnual Ephemera Exchange !
The Deadline for the 2016 Ephemera playdate is December 31.
Please send your edition of 30 pieces no larger than 5 x 7″ (or folding down to that size) to:

Book Arts League Ephemera Exchange
c/o Brenda Gallagher
7963 Neva Rd. Longmont, CO 80503
Please include a card with your name, return address and $6.00 for postage.

Your complete collection will be sent back to you in March of 2017.

Each year the Book Arts League hosts an Ephemera playdate. This year we warmly invite you to play with us again! Make and edition of 30 pieces and send them in. These could be letterpress printed cards, hand made collages, potato prints or anything you can dream up! Make an edition of 30, send them in to the BAL, and then in March you will receive the entire collection, one piece from every artist who participated.

Your piece needs to be 5×7 or smaller (or folding down to that size.) All extra collections will be available for sale to support the BAL at open houses and community events. Did you miss last year’s collection? You can buy one the next time you stop in to the Ewing Farm for classes or artist events!

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Type Con special event at Ewing

“Very successful workshop today… we were there from about 10 until 2:30 and got some very satisfying results. We had a total of 8 people print, cut linoleum and do calligraphy. Participants included award winning type designers Carl Crossgrove, Terrance Weinzierl, Jim Wasco. Also Linda Hintz and Jim Ford. My boss, Deborah Gonet participated as well as a senior product manager (Bill Davis) and our head of font tool programming Tom Rickner.”
– Steve Matteson

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But First, Coffee: April 12 Letterpress Workshop

We had a creative and enthusiastic group in our latest But First, Coffee workshop. Students choose a favorite coffee-inspired quote or saying and then selected wood and metal type (and also from a selection of Virgin and Moore wood type ornaments and cuts) to create a printed work.We had 12×19″ broadsides with big wood type and some more delicate approaches to the theme as well.

We served up Lafayette-roasted coffee from Proper Grounds and snacks from Tee & Cakes to fuel the creative process.

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Letterpress Coffee Workshop Boulder Lafaytte Colorado

Sunday April 12 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
But First, Coffee with Brian Wood of Dogs & Stars
A caffeine-fueled letterpress printing workshop with Brian Wood. Print your favorite coffee quote! Students will use wood and metal type to create a print (just about any size) exclaiming their need/passion/love for coffee. Students will take home ready to frame one-of-a-kind letterpress prints. And of course, coffee will be served!

Select BAL Member or Non Member

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Book Arts League Holiday Letterpress Card Boulder Lafayette Colorado
Book Arts League Holiday Letterpress Card Boulder Lafayette Colorado Book Arts League Holiday Letterpress Card Boulder Lafayette Colorado Book Arts League Holiday Letterpress Card Boulder Lafayette Colorado

This 3 color print was a great printing experience. I got to use the Book Arts League’s Vandercook SP-15, which is awesome. We got the snowflakes (and much more) from Moore Wood Type, who gave us a generous discount on his 2014 “Hellbox.” A Hellbox – in modern times – means a bucket of type less than perfect, not fit to sell as per the manufacturer’s specs, but not so bad that you need to discard it. But each piece printed so beautifully the untrained eye would never know there were any imperfections at all. I chose a design like this to show off how magical letterpress can be, playing with impression and the overlaying of colors as only this style of printing process can naturally achieve.

The snowflakes were printed first and at the December open house I printed the red type. The paper was generously donated from Leanin Tree greeting card company (based in Boulder). So a lot of love went into this year’s card. For the type, I used some French Antique by William H. Page from my personal collection. –Brian



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Our coffee-inspired workshop on this beautiful fall afternoon yielded high-energy and creative results! For starters we served up some tasty, locally roasted coffee from Proper Grounds and some pumpkin bread from Tee & Cakes. Workshop participants delved right into the letterpress world and had a chance to print two color posters – complete with some with experimental diagonal type printed on the Shniedewend and Lee 8×12″ platen press. Folks could meander through Dogs & Stars’ bonus bounty of wood type (from 6 line to 25!), borders and ornaments as well as the Book Arts League’s 11 ton collection of lead type. We got to use the Vandercook, Nolan proof press as well as the “clam shell.” Today was a highly productive class with as much fun as it was entertaining to see what our coffee connoisseurs were able to produce.

Please check out our other upcoming classes here. Learn to print and bind with the Book Arts League!

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2014 Ephemera Exchange!

We warmly invite you to participate with us for the 2014 Ephemera Exchange!

Ephemera: is any transitory written or printed matter not meant to be retained or preserved.

To play, print 30 pieces no larger than 5″ x 7″ or folding down to that size. Letterpress printed pieces are encouraged, but the BAL will accept any entry! In the past we have had potato prints, laser printed quotes, creative cuttings from old pages of books, poems picked out of strips of phone books, a set of 30 individual collages, folded maps, even laser printed illustrations. Any thing you can print, you can send!!

Once the Book Arts League receives all entries for 2014, the sets will be collated. A BAL volunteer will then design a wrapper or package to contain the collection and you will be mailed back a complete set! Inside your package you will receive one piece from every person who participated and one of your own pieces. Inside will be a list of the names of all the artists who participated. We have had participants from all across the US!!

Any extra collections will be sold to benefit the Book Arts League. In fact! Collections from previous years are available for sale at any Book Arts League open house.

Come and play!!

Please include $6 to cover postage and send your submission to:

Book Arts League  c/o Brenda Gallagher
7963 Neva Road
Longmont CO 80503

Entries for the 2014 Exchange will be collected starting now and through the end of December. The collated and packaged Exchange will be returned to you in March of 2015.

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The Book Arts League would like to thank the good people of Lafayette (and beyond) for your support at the 15th Annual Peach Festival. We had a great time seeing old friends of the Book Arts League as well as welcoming new members. This is always a fun event for us and we hope to see folks we met at upcoming Book Arts League classes and open houses in the near future.

To see more pictures of the poster making process, click here.

And we now have joined the Instagram revolution, so please follow at @bookartsleague

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LAFAYETTE PEACH FEST: Come see the Book Arts League in Action!

The Peach Festival is Lafayette’s biggest event of the year featuring organic peaches from the Western Slope. There are crates of peaches, peach smoothies, peach pies, peach….. well you get the idea. There will also be tons of other local and regional arts and crafts booths.

The Book Arts League will be there with print demos, t-shirts and prints for sale as well as membership opportunities.  We’d love it if you came by and said “hello!”

Look for our booth in downtown Lafayette on South Public!

15th Annual Lafayette Peach Festival
August 16, 2014
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Website: http://www.lafayettecolorado.com

Lafayette Peach Festival || Colorado Peaches || Letterpress, Book Arts, Type and Design

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