Printmaking & Letterpress

Printmaking and Letterpress Workshops at Penland


Penland offers 1-, 2-, and 8-week workshops 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.

NOTE: Many aspects of Penland workshops will be altered for 2021 because of the pandemic, but we’re moving ahead with optimism and care. Before you apply, please read our COVID-19 Safety Guidelines document so you will know what to expect and what will be expected of you. And know that, if conditions force us to cancel workshops, you’ll get a full refund on your payment.

Print – Special Session
May 9-15, 2021
Jun Lee
Reduction Woodcut: Carving the Colors

In reduction woodcut, a single block is used for a multilayered color print. The block is progressively carved away while printing the color layers in order, reducing the printed area with each layer. This workshop will cover block preparation, carving techniques, tool maintenance, registration, color mixing with oil-based ink, and pressing the print. Students will design their own images and can expect to complete a small edition of multicolor woodcut prints. All levels. Printmaking studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Montgomery College (MD), Pyramid Atlantic (MD), Penland; residencies: Lee Arts Center (VA), Pyramid Atlantic; exhibitions: Wellesley College (MA), American University Museum (DC), Highpoint Center for Printmaking (Minneapolis); collections: DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Montgomery County Public Art Trust (MD).

Jun Lee, "Whisper and Wait," reduction woodcut, 30 x 43 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 1
May 23 – June 3, 2021
Althea Murphy-Price
Photo Lithography: The Captured Image

Photo lithography is a process by which images are photographically transferred to an aluminum plate and printed by hand. While its first uses were commercial, today it is a widely used approach for printmaking with the ability to translate photographic images. This workshop will explore many versatile approaches to photo lithography. We’ll learn to execute a photo lithograph using drawing, photography, and experimental approaches. This is a workshop for creators who love to draw, work photographically, or are looking for new approaches to image-making using found objects and textures. We’ll also cover multiple-layer color printing. All levels. Print studio.

Studio artist and associate professor at University of Tennessee-Knoxville; residencies: Sanbao Institute (China), Brandywine Workshop (PA), Venice Printmaking Studio (Italy); exhibitions: Halsey Institute (SC), Vanderbilt University (Nashville), Knoxville Museum of Art (TN), Huntsville Museum of Art (AL).

print of two pigtails elaborately braided and tied with colorful bows
Althea Murphy-Price, "More Please," photo lithography, collage, screenprint, 30 x 22 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 2
June 6-17, 2021
Ben Blount
Power of the Press: Concept, Collaboration, and Community

Leveraging the power of the printed word, we’ll explore the community-building potential of letterpress printing. This workshop will focus on concept and content as we work on a variety of projects with varying levels of collaboration and sharing. We’ll cover traditional letterpress processes with a focus on wood type. We’ll also learn some image-making and basic bookbinding techniques in support of larger collaborative projects. Students will leave with a series of editioned prints, a copy of our collaborative book, and the experience of working within a community of printers and makers. All levels. Letterpress studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Colorado College, Cleveland Institute of Art; Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum residency (WI); collections: Metropolitan Museum (NYC), Newberry Library (Chicago), School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

letterpress print that reads "We will get through this together. After all, we're neighbors."
Ben Blount, "We’re Neighbors," letterpress, 12 x 9-1/2 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 3
June 20 – July 1, 2021
David Wolske
The Art of Typography

Let’s demystify and deconstruct traditional rules and use letterpress to create expressive typographic art and design. We’ll learn to print from wood and metal types, and we’ll experiment with layering, rotation, systematic variation, backwards transfer, monoprint, monotype, and isotype printing techniques. We’ll also examine and discuss work by designers and artists who use type in dynamic and evocative ways. Together we’ll expand our visual vocabularies and explore new typographic frontiers. All levels. Letterpress studio.

Assistant professor at University of North Texas; other teaching: Montana State University, Miami University (OH), School of Visual Concepts (Seattle), Virginia Commonwealth University; Hatch Show Print visiting artist (Nashville), Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Educator Fellow (CA), Utah Arts and Museums fellow; exhibitions: Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum (WI), GoCA Downtown (CO), Hatch Show Print.

Print & Letterpress Summer Session 4
July 4-15, 2021
Kasey Ramirez
The Woodcut: Beyond Black and White

This workshop will focus on the post-matrix and pushing the surfaces of paper, wood, and fabric. Using everything from knives and gouges to hammers and torches, this woodcut workshop will focus on expanding students’ graphic vocabulary beyond linear and bold qualities toward textural and atmospheric effects. Guided drawing exercises will complement experimental and collaborative demonstrations covering image transfer methods, traditional and alternative carving methods, using oil-based inks, color-mixing, and both press and non-press printing methods. Students will experiment with the techniques and pursue their own original imagery. All levels. Print studio.

Clinical assistant professor at University of Arkansas; residencies: Guanlan Original Printmaking Base (China), Vermont Studio Center; Mid-America Art Alliance Artists 360 grant; exhibitions: International Print Center New York, Morgan Conservatory (Cleveland), Harnett Museum of Art (VA), Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh); solo shows: Rosewood Art Gallery (OH), Tarble Art Center (IL), Center for Contemporary Art (NJ).

night scene of a derelict or under-construction building
Kasey Ramirez, "Hull," woodcut, 22 x 34 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 4
July 4-15, 2021
Jim Sherraden
Letterpress: Opening and Pushing the Envelope

This workshop will cover intro-to-advanced letterpress and intro-to-advanced image carving on multiple surfaces. If it will go through the press, we’ll try it: wood type, metal type, hand-carved blocks, the leaves in the fields. We’ll look past the use of type as letters and investigate its value as forms. Once our imagery is created, words can be integrated. We’ll aim for excellence, not perfection, and students will go home with a carload of work. No presses or type will be injured! Each day will include the three Cs of the workshop: courtesy, community, and comedy. All levels. Letterpress studio.

Studio artist; manager, master printer, and archivist at Hatch Show Print for 30 years (Nashville); Tennessee Distinguished Artist Award; work toured nationally with the Smithsonian; author of Hatch Show Print: The History of a Great American Poster Shop.

letterpress poster with layered color and three mule prints
Jim Sherraden, "Mule Skinner Blues," oil-based ink; letterpress from woodblock and wood type, 26 x 40 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 5
July 18 – August 2, 2021
Andrew Polk & Kathryn Polk
Stone Lithography

Stone lithography was first developed by Alois Senefelder in 1796 and continues to captivate artists today. Join two different types of lithographers as they demonstrate techniques and philosophies for working on and printing from the amazing Bavarian limestone. Students will learn the processes of drawing on the stone, chemically processing (etching) the image, proofing, and printing a final edition. Imaging approaches will include crayon drawing, tusche wash techniques, transfers, and experimental methods. We’ll have a special demonstration on making litho crayons. All levels. Print studio.

Andrew: professor emeritus at University of Arizona, co-owner of L VIS Press; exhibitions: Konstiltografiska Museet Tidaholm (Sweden), Mei Lun Gallery of the Hunan Art Institute (China), collections: Hunan Art Institute, Hunterdon Art Museum (NJ), Denver Art Museum, University of Arizona Museum of Art. Kathryn: studio artist, co-owner of L VIS Press; teaching: University of Arizona, Frogman’s Print Workshops (NE); collections: Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Sado Print Museum (Japan), Denver Art Museum, University of Wales (UK), University of Auckland (New Zealand), National Academy of Fine Arts (China), SGC Permanent Collection (GA).

black and white outdoor scene with ladders, statues, and various objects about
Andrew Polk, "Intersecting Histories," lithography, 10-1/2 x 9 inches
two female faces, one upright and one upside down
Kathryn Polk, "This End Up," stone and plate lithography, 20 x 8-1/2 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 5
July 18 – August 2, 2021
Brad Vetter
Lasers and Letterpress

Our duty as a new generation of letterpress printers is not just to communicate, but to see where we can take this medium as we move forward. This workshop will explore new techniques in letterpress with an emphasis on laser cutting and poster design. We’ll use Vandercooks, wood and lead type, computers, Penland’s new laser engraver, and the power of the printed word to discover new ways to collaborate with each other and communicate/interact with the community around us. We’ll have daily demonstrations and show-and-tell with plenty of time for exploration and printing. Letterpress and/or Photoshop/Illustrator experience is a plus, but this workshop is open to all levels. Letterpress studio.

Studio artist; teaching: Miami University (OH), Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum (WI); exhibitions: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art; publications: Low-Tech Print, Wood Type Evolved.

tour poster with graphic shapes in shades of orange, coral, and teal
Brad Vetter, "Margo Price Tour Poster," letterpress, 23 x 13 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 6
August 8-19, 2021
Asuka Ohsawa
Screenprint Essentials

This intensive workshop will cover the basics of water-based screenprinting while focusing on different ways an image can be manipulated, reproduced, and transformed in this medium. We’ll begin with non-digital techniques such as hand-cut/hand-This intensive workshop will cover the basics of water-based screenprinting while focusing on different ways an image can be manipulated, reproduced, and transformed in this medium. We’ll begin with analog techniques such as hand-cut/hand-drawn stencils, reduction prints, and crayon monoprints. Then we’ll focus on image manipulation in Photoshop for output to digital transparencies for use with photo emulsion on the screens. Students may create a series of edition prints on paper or one-of-a-kind prints on different substrates that can be incorporated into other media such as painting or sculpture. All levels. Print studio.

Studio artist; teaching: School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Parsons School of Design (NYC), San Francisco Art Institute; collections: Center for Book Arts (NYC), Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver), San Francisco Public Library, State University of New York at New Paltz.

screenprint of a bright cartoon bunny face, japanese characters, and swirl patterns
Asuka Ohsawa, "Somewhere, Sometime #12," screenprint, 12 x 9 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 7
August 22-28, 2021
Rick Griffith
Print Like You Mean It: The Making of a Manifesto

In this workshop we’ll explore personal narratives to bring autobiographical language—both poetry and prose—into focus as manifestoes for action. We’ll figure out what and who we are with a printing press as our instrument. We’ll SEE each other. We’ll be inspired toward truth and action with words as our raw material. Students will learn basic/intermediate skills in letterpress printing and typesetting using mid-century Vandercook proof presses and will  have finished prints to share at the end of the week. All levels. Letterpress studio.

Co-owner of Matter (Denver), a design studio, print shop, and bookstore; teaching: University of Denver, University of Colorado-Denver; exhibitions: Columbia College Center for Book, Paper, and Print (Chicago), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (CO), Denver Art Museum; collections: Denver Art Museum, Tweed Museum of Art (MN).

letterpress poster about education policy printed in orange and green
Rick Griffith, "Back to School," letterpress, 26 x 17-3/8 inches
Print – Fall One-Week Session
September 19-25, 2021
Michael Ezzell
Copper Plate Creatures

Gods and monsters have been part of storytelling for centuries, and printmakers have always brought that fantastical imagery to life. In this workshop, students will explore introductory intaglio techniques to illustrate mythical creations and manifest their own stories. We’ll work through the stages of developing the copper plate, manipulating drypoint, hard and soft grounds, aquatint, soda bite, and multiple color plates. Finally we’ll print small editions to keep or trade. All levels. 

Studio artist; teaching: AS220 Collaborative Printshop (RI); exhibitions: Gallery 2052 (Chicago), World’s Fair Gallery (RI), Studio Sesh Arts (FL), Gutstein Gallery (GA); solo exhibitions: King Lens and Friends (RI), Sulfur Studios (GA); publications: The Hand Magazine, The Flagler Review, Juztapoz. | @eezzll

Here’s a video of Michael demonstrating soda bite.

NOTE: Participation in fall workshops will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

print by Michael Ezzell
Michael Ezzell, Fall of Atlantis, intaglio, 11 x 12-1/2 inches
Clay and Printmaking – Fall Weekend Session
October 22-24, 2021
Paul Andrew Wandless
Intro to Printmaking on Clay

This workshop will be an introduction to printing on clay using screenprinting, monoprinting, and relief printing techniques. We’ll put images onto a screen without a darkroom, carve relief blocks with gouges, and make multicolor images with these screens and blocks. We’ll also make clay monotypes on plaster bats using transparent and opaque underglazes. We’ll cover mixing and modifying underglazes for use with each printing method so you can continue to explore these techniques after the workshop. No firing. All levels; beginners encouraged. 

Studio artist, teaching: Arrowmont (TN), Penland; author of Transfer on Clay, 500 Print on Clay; co-author of Alternative Kilns and Firing Techniques; featured in the DVD Screen Printing on Clay with Paul Andrew Wandless. | @studio3artcompany


This workshop begins at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and workshop activities will end at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday; students are welcome to stay through Monday morning. Monday breakfast will be the last meal provided; please plan to depart campus by 10:00 a.m.

NOTE: Participation in fall workshops will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

Work by Paul Andrew Wandless
Paul Andrew Wandless, Numo and Jem, Creating, clay monotype, 9 x 13 x 3/4 inches
Printmaking – Fall Weekend Session
October 22-24, 2021
Jon Lee
Printing Techniques and Baren Making for Japanese Woodblock Printing

This workshop will have two parts: We’ll cover printing techniques specific to Japanese woodblock printing. And students will learn how to make and maintain the traditional Japanese baren, an essential tool for this style of printing. We will not carve blocks in this short workshop, but pre-carved blocks will be available for practice. We’ll focus on technique rather than concept with a loose structure that will allow students to tailor the workshop to their needs. Although students with some experience will get the most out of this workshop, it is open to all levels. 

Associate professor at Trinity University (TX); master printer training at Tamarind Institute (NM); exhibitions: McNay Art Museum (TX), Art-Trophy Gallery (Russia). 



This workshop begins at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and workshop activities will end at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday; students are welcome to stay through Monday morning. Monday breakfast will be the last meal provided; please plan to depart campus by 10:00 a.m.

NOTE: Participation in fall workshops will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

Work by John Lee
Jon Lee, o1701, woodcut, 17 x 12 inches