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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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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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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Open House June 8, 2014

4 times a year, the Book Arts League hosts an open house, opening the doors to the public to see our historic farmhouse and bunkhouse (where most of the printing equipment is located). It’s always wonderful to meet so many new people interested in our efforts to preserve the arts of the book!

This open house Book Arts League volunteer/member Brian Wood, who focuses on wood type, printed a broadside showcasing the beauty and impact of wood type in a large format. Prints were free to all who attended, as well as locally roasted Proper Grounds Coffee and freshly baked cookies were there to comfort folks on a rainy afternoon.

Press in action: Vandercook: Sp15



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Englewood Letterpress Depot Fundraiser/Print Show

The Book Arts League and some of our volunteers have participated in the support and fundraising efforts for the Englewood Depot , which will be a “a living museum of letterpress printing, typography, design, poetry and art.”

There will be 2o letterpress printers’ broadsides from across the globe on display on Friday, June 6.

Friday, June 6

4280 Tennyson St.
Denver, Colo.


Come see posters by 20 of the world’s best letterpress printers, all designed especially for the Depot. Printers from New Mexico to Australia, from Oregon to Brazil, and of course from Colorado, have created some spectacular examples of what can be done on a letterpress. This Depot Poster show will be held June 6 at the BookBar at 4280 Tennyson. (Depot members/supporters viewing at 5 pm; BookBar is open for First Friday Art at 6 – more details soon.) A limited quantity of the posters will be offered for sale. All donation proceeds, of course, to the Depot. For those of you who already have ordered work from this letterpress portfolio, you can pick them up at the event. Board member Jason Wedekind and Diane Tomasso were masterminds behind this project. Amazing support from the amazing letterpress community!

Posters of this portfolio project are also on exhibit at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, through the annual Wayzgoose of the Amalgamated Printers Association, June 13-17!

Book Arts League Letterpress

Book Arts League broadside printed, hand carved, hand set and printed by BAL members Vivian Jean & Julia Seko

Dogs & Stars Letterpress // Boulder Colorado

Broadside printed and hand-set by BAL member Brian Wood on behalf of Dogs & Stars

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Open House: Printing a Broadside with Woodtype // Sunday, June 8, 1-4pm

Please join us Sunday, June 8 from 1-4pm for an open house at the Ewing Farm and Bunkhouse. Come see a live printing demo featuring antique wood type on a Vandercook press. Free prints for all who attend!

Between the printing on vintage presses and the historic Ewing Farmhouse, it’s like stepping back in time – when things where all done by hand and created with passion and carefully executed.

The event is free and open to all!

Sunday June 8
Ewing Farmhouse & Bunkhouse
1915 N 95th St., Lafayette CO 80026

Google Maps link

Book Arts League // Letterpress & Book Arts // Lafayette Colorado

Book Arts League // Letterpress & Book Arts // Lafayette Colorado

Book Arts League // Letterpress & Book Arts // Lafayette Colorado

Book Arts League // Letterpress & Book Arts // Lafayette Colorado

Book Arts League // Letterpress & Book Arts // Lafayette Colorado

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Art Night Out in Lafayette

The Book Arts League was at the recent Art Night Out in Lafayette last week. Each 3rd Friday during May-September Lafayette hosts this event featuring live music, local beer and food, and shuts down the street for artists and vendors to share their talents, goods and wares.  We met a lot of great local people who enjoyed Tee & Cakes cookies and got to print their own free 8×14″ broadside. We hope you enjoyed the event and if you missed it here’s more info on upcoming Art Night Out (s).

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