Letterpress Inking 101

San Francisco Center for the Book

Think you know all there is to know about inking? Ink again.

What? “The Secrets of Inking for Letterpress,” a printing workshop with instructor Alan Hillesheim

When? July 18th, 6:30 – 9:30pm

All right, give me the spiel. Sure, you know the difference between a Vandercook cylinder press and a floor-model platen. You can set type and pull out some very nice broadsides – heck, you’ve even printed your own chapbook.

Or you, over there: you’ve never touched a press in your life but you’re raring to learn… your sister had these beautiful letterpress invitations for her wedding, and how great would it be if you were able to do that yourself?

Whatever your skill level, come join Alan Hillesheim as he unfolds the secrets of letterpress inking for us all. Whether you’re a wide-eyed novice or a seasoned pro, your prints will come out looking lovelier if you know why and how to dampen paper for better ink coverage, why allowing ink to set gives better results, and how to use bearers for better ink control. Learn to apply and manipulate ink on many different types of presses, as well as the inside scoop on how to mix ink and what kind of ink additives give more control. Become a more successful printer with these tips, and you can thank Alan when your book comes out looking better than you’d ever imagined.

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Zoe is a student at Reed College, and an amateur playwright. During the summer of 2013 she is a volunteer at SFCB contributing her time and wit to the library and her sorting talents to the California job cases in the print studio.

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