Blog Listing


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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Coming March 7 & 8 – Paper Weaving with Helen Hiebert
BAL members have priority registration through January 31, 2015

Date: Saturday and Sunday, March 7 & 8, 2015 // 10am – 4pm
Workshop fee: $120 members w/ early registration (by January 31, 2015)
$140 non-members and late registration (12 person limit)
Materials fee:   $20
Location: Ewing Farmhouse (The Book Arts League) 1915 N 95th St., Lafayette CO 80026
Description: Weaving paper is much faster than weaving cloth, and with so many decorative papers out there, it is both fun and easy to come up with a multitude of paper combinations. We will experiment with paper crumpling, varying the warp and weft lines and cutting tiny windows to expose the paper which lies beneath. Come explore book structures, lantern forms featuring “woven” hinges, and works that can hang on the wall or in a window as we bring paper weaving into new dimensions.

Instructor Website:

Day-by-day outline of workshop/intensive:
Day 1: Participants will begin with a basic paper weaving and will then create a woven paper wall/window hanging and/or a lantern structure featuring an adaptation of the piano hinge.
Day 2: Participants will create one or two mini folding screens that feature woven paper, cut-outs and a second woven hinge.
Each participant will create three or four works/samples featuring variations on paper weavings and woven paper hinges.
About the Instructor
Helen Hiebert is the author of five how-to books about paper: Playing With Pop-Ups, Playing With Paper, Papermaking with Plants, The Papermaker’s Companion, and Paper Illuminated. Helen has appeared on Sesame Street, has produced of two films, and writes a weekly blog about all things paper. She teaches, lectures and exhibits her work internationally, often involving the community in her installation projects such as her Mother Tree Project. Helen is the vice president of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists and a regular contributor to Hand Papermaking Newsletter. She lives and works near Vail, Colorado.GBW or BAL members have priority registration through January 31, 2015; after that, registration is open to all.  Please send a $60 non-refundable deposit check (payable to Guild of BookWorkers) to: Sammy Lee, 4049 S. Niagara Way, Denver, CO 80237.

Please contact Sammy – sammy {at} – for questions on this workshop.

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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

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

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Books Arts League members Tom Parson and Brian Wood have returned recently from the APA Wayzgoose at Hamilton Type & Printing Museum and Two Rivers, Wisconsin. This years’s Wayzgoose offered several workshops from pressure printing with Brad Vetter (formerly of Hatch Show Print) to a class where attendees got to cut wood on a pantograph – the old school way– using Scott Moore’s own pantograph machine!

Among the workshops there was a swap meet, talks on rare books and watermarks, a banquet, and auction and museum tours and demonstrations (also on cutting wood using house pantographs.) This was truly an inspiring gathering of printers, collectors, type aficionados, type casters and letterpress friends.

More photos can be seen on the Hamilton Facebook Page.

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Interview with The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review

We were recently asked to be featured in the The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, which is an online and print literary and arts journal housed at The Johns Hopkins University.

Interview Link Here

SPOTLIGHT | Book Arts League
June 26, 2014 by Chelsey Clammer

In 1990, Julia Seko and Brian Allen led a resurgence of interest in the book arts. In particular, they were interested in the mechanics, meanings and preservation of the Eaves pressroom. A Denver physician, Dr. John Evans, and his wife Thelma had a love and appreciation of Persian art and poetry. This admiration led John and Thelma to Boulder where they would befriend an Iranian scholar, Mehdi Nakosteen, who was The University of Colorado’s director of publications. This group of friends started meeting at John’s house in order to discuss not just their love for the written word, but for the actual books themselves. At these gatherings, John would show his friends his intricate letterpress, and the guests would also look at his wonderful book collection. Thelma, too, showed the group her own involvement with making books. She gave demonstrations of her binding techniques. Eventually, John and Thelma started printing Mehdi’s book Dust and Destiny.

Before the book could be completed, however, John died in 1967. Close friends of John’s wanted to keep the press going, but found it difficult and time-consuming. After four months, they  decided to move the letterpress to Boulder where Este Es Press could have a home at a university.

From starting around the 1970’s and until 1996 many successes and challenges occurred to Este Es Press. After the press equipment was donated to University of Colorado’s Norlin library, there was an upswing of success—enough so that the Colorado Typographical Society was born. The Este Es Press continued to publish books until Mehdi, who had become the leader of the organization, died in 1982. After a year of dormancy, Nora Quinlan became head of Special Collections at Norlin. Her interest in rare books and letterpress printing led to the creation of the Eaves Press, named for its location under the eaves of Norlin’s third floor.

Around 1990, Julie Seko and Brian Allen led a resurgence of interest in the book arts, particularly the operation of the Eaves pressroom. This led to the formation of the present organization, the Book Arts League (BAL). Allen served as the League’s first president.

In 1996, Norlin Library decided it could no longer house Eaves Press. Concerned that the Eaves equipment might be disposed of, BAL reached an agreement with the University in which the League assumed ownership of the Eaves Press collection and moved it into storage. Operating under the auspices of Friends of the Libraries, BAL continued its educational and creative activities during the multi-year search for a permanent home. Interested in this organization and the world of book arts, I interviewed Seko in order to learn more.


Chelsey Clammer: What exactly is “book arts”?
Julia Seko:  The Book Arts League considers “book arts” any of the arts or crafts traditionally associated with the making of books—letterpress printing, bookbinding, calligraphy, papermaking, paper decoration, etc.

CC: What does the Book Arts League do?
JS: Our mission statement says it best. BAL is “a nonprofit community arts organization working to preserve the historic tools and crafts of the book arts, including printing, typography, bookbinding, and papermaking, from which spring the literacy and communications technology on which modern society is built.”We offer workshops, lectures, open houses, outreach, and other activities that promote the book arts.  We also collaborate with other book arts/arts organizations and local groups to bring special events and artists to the area.

CC: What types of classes does BAL teach?
JS: Over the years we have had classes in letterpress printing, bookbinding, western and Asian calligraphy, book repair, artist’s books, paper marbling, and paste papers.

 CC: What are some of the ways a book can be restored?
JS:  The League regularly refers people to local professionals and places that provide this service.  We also keep in touch with other groups, like the Rocky Mountain branch of the Guild of Bookworkers. We’ve also had a class in basic repair, prompted by a request from the public.


CC: What are some of the different forms in which a book can be bound?
JS: There are traditional forms like codex, scroll, accordion, and stab binding, and also nontraditional forms for some artist’s books.

CC: What are some of the most interesting books you’ve seen over the years?
JS:  Of the books I’ve personally encountered, a few are Firedogs by Ken Campbell, Fluxus 1 by George Maciunas, Dr Strange comics illustrated by Steve Ditko, Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake, Silence by John Cage, and Arm in Arm by Remy Charlip.

 CC: If someone was interested in learning more about book arts, what steps would she need to take in order to become involved with a book arts organization such as yours?
JS: We list workshops, open houses, and other activities on our website—all are open to the public and many are low cost or free.  Come and meet us.


Julia Seko has been involved with books for most of her life.  She has worked in book publishing, been a technical editor and freelance editor/proofreader, and she also works in a university library.   Her earliest bookmaking efforts were collaborative scrolls of butcher paper demonstrating the “speed of cheese” and a flip book of a figure jumping off a cliff. She is a letterpress printer and book artist and prints odd things out of her letterpress shop PS Press.  She teaches letterpress printing through the Book Arts League and at Naropa University.

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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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