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Intro to Letterpress: Polymer Plates
Intro to Letterpress: Polymer Plates
Intro to Letterpress: Polymer Plates
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Intro to Letterpress: Polymer Plates

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


Workshop Dates:

  • Wednesdays, September 14th, 21st and 28th


This workshop 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 workshop 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.

Workshop Day 1: Overview to letterpress, negative exposure to create polymer plates. The first workshop will cover the basics of the process, students will learn the capabilities of the press, an overview of best practices for imaging making for making negatives, and which materials are best to print on.

Workshop Day 2: Press set up and day of printing. The second workshop will focus on printing and troubleshooting on the press. Students will have a chance to print the polymer plates they have created.


Instructor:  Jacques Bidon

Jacques Bidon is a commercial printer who left the cutthroat world of deadlines and designers to work with artists sharing his love of offset printing. Jacque believes in the power of printing to change just about anything. Have a project that you want to see happen? Jacques is the guy with a career in commercial printing to draw upon for solutions.


Prerequisites:  None / Participants must attend ALL TWO sessions of the letterpress workshops and pass a supervised assessment in order to be certified to use the letterpress at AS220 Industries.


BEFORE YOU COME TO WORKSHOP: You must email your images to the instructor for review ( then once approved, it will be forwarded to Faces Imaging 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 the workshop with a negative already produced. Please allow at least 2 days for negatives to be made by Faces Imaging ( Deadline to send negative 5 days before the workshop 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 Workshop:

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

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.



Waitlist: Is the workshop sold out? if you'd like to be added to a wait list, contact our education manager at and they will contact you if a spot opens or if this workshop is offered again.

Scholarships & Discounts: AS220 Industries offers needs-based scholarships as well as discounted spots for BIPoC, Emerging Members, and Industries Monthly Members. We believe that everyone deserves access to arts education, and focus on centering marginalized communities and those who have had barriers accessing these resources. If you'd like to apply for a scholarship or use a discount, find more details HERE.

Location: The AS220 Industries is located at the Mercantile at 131 Washington Street Providence, Rhode Island on the 1st floor. The entrance is located at the back of the building on Lucie Way; use the entrance under the AS220 Printshop sign, head upstairs and follow the signs. Ring the bell if the doors aren't open (though they should be). 

Parking: There is a 2-hour metered on-street parking available, and parking is free on Sundays. We are also located near a parking garage with entry on Washington Street, look for the big blue parking sign.

Important Workshop Policies. Please be as respectful of the short time you and the other participants have to learn and be as on time as possible. If you arrive more than half an hour late, we will not be able to teach you. Please plan ahead, it always takes time to find on-street parking. 

Refund Policy: To cancel your reservation must email at least two weeks in advance, or risk losing your payment.

Cancellation of workshops. If the minimum number is not met in workshop enrollment, the teacher may opt to cancel the workshop. If this is the case, we will give a full refund of workshop payment and first choice to enroll in future workshops. We will attempt to give as much notice as possible, thank you for your understanding.

QUESTIONS:   Contact Industries Staff at or by phone at (    401) 400-0483