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Intro to Letterpress: Polymer Plates

  • 15000

Design your own images for letterpress using a light–sensitive polymer plate and get certified to use the Vandercook press!

Mondays, Mar 18 + 25, 6-10pm

This class will cover the old and new uses of the letterpress using light-sensitive polymer plate to be printed on our Vandercook press. Students will get a basic foundation for Letterpress printing by focusing on the production and printing of the polymer plate.  You will leave this class with a working knowledge of press operation including: inking the press, pressure and roller height adjusting, registration, feeding paper through the press and cleaning the press.

Class 1: Overview to letterpress, negative exposure to create polymer plates. First class will cover the basics of the process, students will learn the capabilities of the press, overview of best practices for imaging making for making negatives, and which materials are best to print on.

Class 2: Press set up and day of printing. Second class will focus printing and troubleshooting on the press. Students will have a chance to print the polymer plates they have created.

Instructor:  Jacque Bidon

BEFORE YOU COME TO CLASS, you’ll need to send your images to the instructor for review ( then once approved sent to Faces Imaging (link) to have a negative produced. Image area size should be no larger than 8” x 10” and no smaller 4”x 6”.

Students need to come to class with a negative already produced. Please allow 2 days for negatives to be made by Faces Imaging ( Deadline to send negative 4 days before the class starts. Students are responsible for sending their files and picking up their negative from Faces Imaging’s Providence location.

Supplies and Resources:

Paperworks is an excellent source for letterpress paper / Pawtucket at 544 West Ave

Jerry's Art-A-Rama - paper also suitable for letterpress printing / Providence at 653 North Main Street  

RISD Store - Paper for letterpress printing / Providence at 30 North Main Street

Faces Imaging - Negative Films production /  Providence at 222 Atwells Ave

Materials and Supplies We Provide:

  • A service to expose negative onto polymer plate
  • Pocket Rulers
  • Rags and cleaning supplies
  • Ink knives, ink mixing implements
  • The price of the workshop includes (1) 5.5 "x 8.5" plate, ink, and cleaning materials

What to Bring to Class:

  • Students must come to the class with a negative film produced by Faces Images ($12)
  • Drawing tools
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Paper is not included, so please bring some with you to each class.

The size of your paper should be in the range of 5" x 7" to 8.5"x 11". We Encourage you to try out different types of paper, such as 100% cotton (traditionally used for letterpress) and a regular cardstock and paper.

Prerequisites:  None / Participants must attend ALL TWO letterpress classes in order to be certified to use the letterpress at AS220 Industries.

    Location and Parking

    The AS220 Printshop is located in the Mercantile Building at 131 Washington Street Providence, Rhode Island, on the 1st and 2nd floors. The shop's entrance is located at the back of the building on Lucie Way (Martha Street on GPS and computers); ring the bell by the double doors. There is 2 hour metered on-street parking available, bring your quarters. Also we are located near a parking garage with Entry on Washington Street, look for the big blue parking sign.

    Important Class Policies

    Please be respectful of the short time you and the other Participants Have to learn, and arrive on time. If you are more than half an hour late, we will not be Able to teach you what you signed up for. Plan ahead, always it Takes Time to find on-street parking.  To cancel your reservation, you must email AT LEAST two weeks in advance, or risk losing your payment.


    If minimum number is not met enrollment in class, the teacher May opt to cancel class. If this is the case, we will give a full refund of payment and first class choice to enroll in future classes. We will Attempt to give as much notice as possible.

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