The ABC’s of Typesetting

I can’t say I’m a “regular” at SFCB – I’ve only been working here for a month. But still, not much gives me more glee than walking in on a Monday to find  a center full of new students. Let’s take a peek at the classes I’ve been peeking at:

For the last two weeks, Mary Laird has been busy teaching the very basics: typesetting and printing on the Vandercook cylinder press.

San Francisco Center for the Book

Stella and Maura setting their first type

Last week, the High School Letterpress Class ruled the main classroom. Two teenaged girls (three, originally, but the third disappeared mysteriously after the first day of class) took their first steps towards printing up a limited-edition chapbook as they followed Mary frantically around the room, learning the basics of California Job Case – though Mary threatened to dump out a whole drawer of letters and re-sort them, she never went quite that far. Then the girls were off and typesetting! First their names, then quickly on to poetry: Maura’s piece was one of her favorite poems, called “Free Things that Make Me Happy,” and Stella’s was a piece she wrote herself. It was a whopping 28 lines… that’s a lot of digging through 12pt letters for a first-timer!

I came in this morning to find a lot more than two girls in the center: the high schoolers are out, and the Letterpress Printing on a Vandercook Cylinder Press workshop is in (the link is to the registration page for the next iteration of this core curriculum workshop)! It’s their first day today, so they’re only typesetting their own names. Just wait ’til the end of the week!

San Francisco Center for the Book

Some chapbooks by Mary’s previous classes

San Francisco Center for the Book

Mary and a student

This entry was posted in Book Arts, Bookbinding, Instructors, Vandercook Press, Workshop and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Zoe
Zoe
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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