Printmaking & Letterpress

Printmaking and Letterpress Workshops at Penland



We have eliminated the early-registration lottery. We will begin accepting registration for 2018 summer workshops at 9:00 AM EST on Monday, January 8. Registration for full-pay students will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will continue until workshops are filled. Spaces are reserved in each workshop for scholarship students. Scholarship applications are due by February 17.

Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week classes taught by visiting instructors in our well-equipped studios. Printmaking and letterpress classes include topics like etching, intaglio, woodblock printing, hand-set type, photopolymer plates, screen printing, and more. Workshops are open to serious students of all levels unless specified in course description; beginners welcome.

Print & Letterpress Spring Concentration
March 11-May 4
Marianne Dages
Experimental Editions

In this workshop, we’ll explore the possibilities of letterpress as a platform for creating meaningful content and refined imagery. Demonstrations will include a broad range of techniques including typesetting, polymer platemaking, printing from carved forms or found materials, and the ins and outs of the Vandercook press. We’ll also cover simple structures for artists’ books and portfolios for presenting printed work. Presentations, readings, and prompts will spark conversation and support individual practices and goals. Students can expect to produce a variety of printed matter and leave with a firm understanding of the craft and versatility of letterpress printing. All levels. Studio fee: $120. Code S00L

Studio artist, owner of Huldra Press (PA); teaching: Tyler School of Art (PA), Common Press at the University of Pennsylvania; residencies: Herhusid (Iceland), Beisinghoff Printmaking Residency (Germany); exhibitions: Print Gallery Tokyo, International Print Center (NYC), Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR).

There are still work-study scholarships available for this concentration. Please contact the Penland registrar with interest at 828-765-2359 or

Marianne Dages, "Small Fires No. 12," letterpress print on paper, 15 x 11 inches
Print & Letterpress Spring One-Week Session Two
April 8 – 14
Deborah Chaney
Litho Basics & Beyond

Explore lithography through traditional techniques using lithographic limestone as well as polyester plates to create vibrant, multicolor prints. Drawing with litho pencils and crayons, painting seductive washes with tusche, and scraping away with razor blades and other abrasive materials, you’ll discover a world of mark making like no other. Create quick color work using polyester plates, whose translucency and portability allows you to make complex images using a simplified process. Whether you want to learn a new print process or hone more advanced skills, this workshop is open to all levels. Studio fee: $80. Code S02X

Studio artist, owner of Deb Chaney Editions (NYC), Tamarind master printer; teaching: Pratt Institute (NYC), Parsons The New School for Design (NYC), New York Academy of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Anderson Ranch (CO), Universidad Autónoma Benito Juárez de Oaxaca (Mexico).

Deborah Chaney, "Tangle," lithograph, 13 x 11 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session One
May 27–June 8
Koichi Yamamoto
Symmetry-Fold Intaglio & Kite Making

This workshop will explore intaglio, monoprint, chine-collé, collage, the symmetry-fold print process, and kite making. We’ll cover basic intaglio printmaking, experimenting with traditional copper intaglio as well as alternative matrices. If you already have intaglio plates please bring them. We’ll print in many different ways, and we’ll make monotypes and collage them 
together to create monoprints. In the latter part of the workshop, we’ll use our prints and bamboo to make kites. If there is wind, it flies. All levels. Code 01X

Associate professor at University of Tennessee; other teaching: Utah State University, University of Delaware, Arrowmont (TN); residencies: Anderson Ranch (CO), Art Print Residence (Barcelona), Double Dog Dare Studio (HI), Joshua Tree Lost Horse Cabin (CA); collections: University of Hawaii at Hilo, Boise Art Museum (ID), Portland Art Museum (OR), University of Alberta (Canada).

Koichi Yamamoto, "Hanamasu," intaglio on gampi paper, 24 x 18 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session One
May 27–June 8
David Wolfe
Freedom of the Press

From its beginning letterpress printing was the method for disseminating ideas. From political broadsides to daily newspapers, printing has been the great equalizer in our society. Students will learn woodcut and the proper use of letterpress type and presses as they investigate how to best express their ideas. We’ll study the history of free speech in print and make posters and broadsides that combine words and images. Students will print small editions and consider distribution methods in a digital age. All levels. Code 01L

Studio artist and owner of Wolfe Editions (ME); teaching: Maine College of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, Bowdoin College (ME), Wellesley College (MA), Dartmouth College (NH), Haystack (ME), Ox-Bow (MI); Maine Traditional Arts Fellow, Master Printer for Penland Winter Printmaking Residency 2009.

David Wolfe, "Hot You," letterpress printed from woodcut and CNC cut, 10-1/4 x 10-1/4 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Two
June 10–22
Jennaway Pearson
Print Assemblage: Wood & Screen

This workshop will examine the possibilities and push the limitations of traditional print techniques. Working in screenprinting and woodcut, we’ll develop architectural prints, exploring surface and dimensional printing. Using a combination of water- and oil-based inks, we’ll build and develop relationships with each layer. We’ll cover basic techniques in both screenprinting and woodcut along with a variety of surface techniques. Students can expect to finish two small editions, but the emphasis of this workshop is process and experimentation. All levels. Code 02X

Studio artist; teaching: American University (DC), George Washington University (DC); residencies: Sarvisberry Studios (VA), Handprint Workshop International (VA); recent exhibition: “Wonder Woman” at National Museum for Women in the Arts (DC); collections: Library of Congress (DC), Corcoran Gallery of Art (DC), National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Jennaway Pearson, "J. Scott," screenprint, woodcut, 8 x 10 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Two
June 10–22
Aaron Cohick
Text Without Type

In this workshop we’ll use letterpress and relief printmaking techniques to explore the visual, material, conceptual, narrative, and poetic possibilities of text. We’ll focus on low-tech processes that don’t involve traditional typesetting and can be adapted for use outside of a letterpress studio: linoleum/paper relief, collagraph, stencil printing, pressure printing, pochoir, monoprinting, and collage. We’ll also cover some simple bookbinding. Each student will produce a set of print samples, as well as an artist’s book or print series. All levels. Code 02L

Studio artist and printer/publisher at NewLights Press (CO) and The Press at Colorado College; teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Naropa University (CO), Colorado College; Emerging Educator Award from the College Book Art Association; collections: Library of Congress (DC), British Library, Yale University (CT), Tate Britain, National Library of Australia.

Aaron Cohick, "Alphabet One: A Submanifesto of the NewLights Press," artist’s book, woven collagraph on newsprint, 61/2 x 11-1/4 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Three
June 24–July 6
Jay Ryan
Identify Your Inner Stunt Pilot 
Through Screenprinting

This workshop will cover the basics of linework-based screenprinting on paper with acrylic inks. We’ll cut rubylith film and have the option of incorporating digital films including considerations for trapping. We’ll cover the use of gradients and layering transparent inks. We’ll indulge in making editions of highly detailed images with many screens. And we’ll encourage the diligent application of fun during the image-making process. All levels. Code 03X

Studio artist, owner of The Bird Machine (IL); co-founder of Flatstock poster show series; three collections of work published including No One Told Me Not To Do This (Akashik Books, 2016).

Jay Ryan, "In the Morning," five-color screenprint, 20 x 16 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Three
June 24–July 6
Martin Mazorra
Woodcut & Letterpress Poster Workshop

This workshop will explore the relationship between text and image. The direct and immediate qualities of woodcut images combined with letterpress text will be used as the operative elements behind narrative, graphic statements. Students will gain hands-on experience in woodcut printing and the principles and process of typesetting and letterpress. All levels. Code 03L

Studio artist and founder of Cannonball Press (NYC); teaching: Parsons School of Design (NYC), Pratt Institute (NYC); USA Ford Fellowship from United Stated Artists, New York Foundation for the Arts grant; collections: Yale University (CT), Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco).

Martin Mazzorra, "Hearts Speak," letterpress-printed woodcut, 24 x 18 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Four
July 8–20
Andy Rubin

This workshop will expose students to various approaches to the craft of making unique printed images. Demonstrations will show how to create and transfer images from plate to paper. We’ll cover relief, transfers, blends, stencils, multiplate registration, chiaroscuro, working the ghosts, found objects, chine collé, and some digital transfers. We’ll work from plastic, wood, and metal plates. Daily consults will guide students in improving their technique and printing skills. Be prepared to have fun and create lots of images. All levels. Code 04X

Master printer and teacher at Tandem Press at University of Wisconsin-Madison; other teaching: University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Indiana University, University of Southern California; collections: Bibliothèque Nationale (Paris), Milwaukee Art Museum, Smithsonian Institute (DC), University of Hawaii, Kennedy Museum of Art (OH), Pratt Graphics Center (NYC).

Andy Rubin, "Valley Rock," monoprint, 18 x 15 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Four
July 8–20
Bridget Elmer
Impress, Empower, Engage

Drawing inspiration from abolitionist and suffragist broadsides, handmade protest posters, and socially engaged printmaking by artists and organizations including the Dead Feminists, Justseeds, and Amos Kennedy, this workshop will explore letterpress as a tool for impression, empowerment, and engagement. Through daily demonstrations, students will learn the basics of letterpress printing from handset type, printer’s cuts, hand-carved linoleum blocks, and photopolymer plates. Each student will complete a series of socially engaged prints, and we’ll compile a collective student portfolio. All levels. Code 04L

Faculty at Ringling College of Art and Design (FL); collections: Yale University (CT), Tate Britain, University of California Los Angeles, Brooklyn Museum (NYC); publications: Adventures in Letterpress (Laurence King Publishing), 500 Handmade Books (Lark Books).

Bridget Elmer, "ILSSA It’s About Time," paper, ink, printed from handset type, 
14 x 8-1/2 each
Print Summer Session Five
July 22–August 7
Thomas Lucas
Adventures in Lithography

Students will explore the basic techniques of hand lithography using stones and plates. We’ll cover the fundamentals of stone lithography: graining, drawing, etching, paper registration, printing editions, and troubleshooting. And we’ll explore plate lithography and learn to incorporate experimental approaches with drawing, photo-mechanical image possibilities, and color layers into the lithographic print. Demonstrations and examples will present a variety of approaches to composition and concept. We’ll create and exchange a class portfolio. All levels. Code 05X

Studio artist and founder of Hummingbird Press Editions (Chicago); teaching: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow (MI), Arrowmont (TN), SkopArt (Greece); solo exhibitions: Chicago State University, Museum of Greater Lafayette (IN); represented by N’Namdi Contemporary (Miami).

Thomas Lucas, "Aunt Dorothy with Valve Spring and Chevy," lithograph with cyanotype, 22 x 11 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Six
August 12–24
Keiji Shinohara
Japanese Woodblock Printmaking

This workshop will present Japanese woodblock printmaking techniques as we draw inspiration from Western and Eastern artists including Kollwitz, Picasso, Munch, Hiroshige Utamaro, and Hokusai. Students will learn how to use various types of wood, carving techniques, and tools to create different effects. Printing techniques will include solid printing, gradation, and embossing. Students will begin with a black and white image, then use multiple inking on one block, and then create color woodcuts from multiple blocks. All levels. Code 06X

Studio artist; teaching: Wesleyan University (CT), San Francisco Art Institute, Rhode Island School of Design; grants: Japan Foundation, NEA; collections: British Library, Milwaukee Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Fogg Art Museum (MA), Library of Congress (DC); over 40 solo shows and 100 visiting artist events.

Keiji Shinohara, "Blue," woodcut on paper, 13 x 19 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session Six
August 12–24
Sarah Shebaro
Handset Tradition & New Techniques

This workshop will focus on combining traditional woodcut and typesetting techniques with processes such as pressure printing, type-high modular forms, and hand-inking to create prints with a variety of graphic possibilities. Using the Vandercook as a tool to produce a wide range of visual outcomes, students will create editions, monoprints, and monotypes. Mixing, transparency, and unconventional application of color will be central elements for pushing the process (and the printed matter) into uncharted territory. All levels. Code 06L

Studio artist and master printer, co-owner of Striped Light Letterpress (TN); teaching: Pratt Institute (NYC), Manhattan Graphics Center, University of Tennessee; exhibitions: Carson Newman University (TN), The Front (New Orleans), Kunsthalle Galapagos (NYC), Planthouse (NYC).

Sarah Shebaro, "Contentious Claims," from a suite of unique letterpress prints; pressure printing, linoleum, 18 x 12 each
Letterpress Summer Session Seven
August 26–September 1
Brad Vetter
Aesthetics of the Contemporary Poster

This workshop will explore the contemporary poster and new expressive techniques in letterpress printing. We’ll cover the basics of setting wood type and printing on a cylinder press, then quickly dive into fresh ideas that keep the poster and process relevant today. Some alternative techniques we’ll incorporate include pressure printing, nontraditional forms, and even laser-cut blocks. There will be plenty of time for exploration and printing, and we’ll have demonstrations and show-and-tell time each day. All levels. Code 07X

Studio artist; teaching: Northern Illinois University, Hamilton Wood Type (MI), Hatch Show Print (TN), Spudnik Press (IL); exhibitions: Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco), Miami University (OH), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; publications: HOW Magazine, Gig Posters Vol. 2 (Quirk Books).

Brad Vetter, "Everything Will Be OK," four-color letterpress print, 11 x 8-1/2 inches