Penland Letterpress Studio

Letterpress Studio

Letterpress Studio
Letterpress Studio

Letterpress Studio
Letterpress Studio


Studio Information


The Paul Hayden Duensing Letterpress Studio is equipped with the following:
SP 15 and three #4 Vandercook presses

One Chandlier & Price pilot press

One Ostrander Seymour iron handpress

One 18" x 12" proofing press
Metal and wood type
Two 5"x7" and two 6"x 8" magnetic plate bases
Two 12"x16" Boxcar bases

Takach hand brayers
AZ PA520 Inox photopolymer platemaker
Light table (36" x 24")
Flat files (50" x 38")
Chandler & Price guillotine paper cutter
Hobbs board shear
Four wire drying racks (18" x 24")

One kutrimmer

12 72" x 30" individual work tables with cabinets

Three iMacs with Adobe Creative Suite

Epson 7890 (24")

This list of equipment is intended to give you an idea of what the studio is like. It is a general description of equipment and may change before your session. The equipment used by your class will be determined by your instructor and will be appropriate to the techniques covered in your class. Students are welcome to bring favorite personal hand tools for use in the studio.

Supplies and Materials

Shared supplies such as inks and solvents are available in the studio and are normally included in your summer tuition. An additional studio fee will be assessed in classes that use a large volume of these supplies or require special materials. You will be notified in advance if a studio fee greater than $50 is expected. During concentration, shared supplies are not included in tuition, therefore each class will be assessed a studio fee based on all shared materials usage.

You are responsible for bringing other supplies needed for individual work. Please refer to your instructor’s material list for specifics about materials needed for the class. Rags will be supplied for solvent use and must be disposed of in one of the studio’s marked flame-resistant cans. In order to reduce waste, paper towels are NOT provided, so please plan to bring 3-4 cotton towels for your personal non-solvent use. If you feel the need to use paper towels, please bring enough rolls for the duration of your session.

The school maintains a comprehensive hazardous waste program and asks that you limit the materials you bring to campus to those classified as non-toxic. The material must be in its original packaging. An environmental fee will be assessed for classes generating hazardous waste. In order to limit the hazardous waste generated in the studios, we cannot allow students to bring toxic materials outside of the class supply list into studios.


Toolkits are NOT provided in the letterpress studio. Please refer to your instructor’s material list for specifics about personal tools needed for the class.


The main classroom is a large open room with tall ceilings and expansive windows. It is equipped with snorkel ventilation for press clean-up, a flammables cabinet, a sink, and a 4’ x 16’ group worktable. The maximum class size is 12 students.

Student Workspace

Students work at individual worktables that are 30” x 72” with lockable cabinets. Each workspace is equipped with clamp-on lamps and padded chairs.

Safety Information

A first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, and eyewash station are located in the studio. There is a mandatory safety walk- through at the beginning of every class. The walk-through is to introduce you to the studio space and to show you the safety equipment. North Carolina health regulations do not permit Penland to provide safety equipment for shared use, therefore items such as dust masks, respirators, gloves, and aprons are sold in the supply store. You may prefer to bring your own from home. Please refer to your instructor’s material list for specifics about safety equipment needed for the class. Flameproof cans are provided to collect hazardous waste, such as rags used with mineral spirits or other solvents. In addition, there is an estimated $5 hazardous waste removal fee per student to cover the costs of safely disposing of ink and solvent waste. Alcohol is not permitted in the studios. Working in the studios under the influence of alcohol is not permitted. The use of illegal drugs at Penland is prohibited.

Shared Studio Equipment

Shared air space/music: each class should discuss the playing of music and reach a consensus on the time of day, the volume, and the type of music to be played. Tolerance and consideration are expected from everyone.

If you wish to use equipment in other studios on campus during your session, you must work with the instructor, studio assistant or coordinator of that studio to arrange access. They will determine if the desired usage is compatible with their class’s activities and if you are able to work safely and independently with the equipment.

Session Schedules

Each session starts with an all-school meeting Sunday evening at 5pm followed by dinner in the Pines. Classes start Sunday at 8:30pm. Classes end and studio clean-up takes place the day before your session ends. The last day of each session is reserved for farewells and an all-school exhibition of work created during your time at Penland.

Everyone must participate in studio clean-up; if you must leave early, please ask the studio assistant to assign you clean-up tasks you can accomplish before your departure.


If you have questions, contact:
Studio Coordinator: Jay Fox
Office: 828-765-2359 x 1128
E-mail Address: