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.

Registration is currently open for all Summer 2020 workshops. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Scholarships are available for all summer workshops; scholarship applications are due by February 17.

Register here

Print & Letterpress Spring Concentration
March 8 – May 1, 2020
Jamie Karolich

In this workshop students will be exposed to many methods of letterpress printing, including hand-set type, polymer plate printing, die cutting, wood and linoleum relief printing, and experimental techniques such as pressure printing. The workshop will be front-loaded with technical information and small projects, allowing students to spend the second month on self-guided projects using the techniques learned. We’ll take field trips to visit nearby printers, and Margot Ecke will join us for a week as our guest instructor. Students can expect to leave with a new and diverse portfolio of prints. All levels. Code S00L

Print production manager at Power and Light Press (NM); exhibitions: Light Studios (NM), El Sol (NM), At Work (IN), PLAY (NC), Printed (KY); residencies: Arrowmont (TN), Wells College (NY), Western New Mexico University (NM), smART Kinston (NC), Penland Core Fellowship.

We regret that we had to cut this workshop short due to the current pandemic. Please see our COVID-19 Response page for more information. Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate this evolving situation.

Jamie Karolich, "Composition VII in Primary," wood block print, 9-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches
Print & Letterpress Spring One-Week Session 1
March 22-28, 2020
Stuart Kestenbaum & Susan Webster
Word & Image

Due to the current risks associated with bringing a large group of people together on our campus, we have decided to cancel all spring 2020 one-week workshops. Please see our COVID-19 Response page for more information. Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate this evolving situation.

Print & Letterpress Summer Session 1
May 24 – June 5, 2020
Yoonmi Nam
All About Mokuhanga

This workshop will explore the possibilities of mokuhanga: Japanese-style, water-based woodblock printing, which is nontoxic and does not require a press. This method has the potential for creating precise and exact marks as well as expressive and painterly impressions. Through hands-on demonstrations, students will learn basic traditional carving and printing processes and the kento registration method to create multilayer color prints. We’ll also cover tool sharpening, paper sizing, and paper mounting. This workshop will address both fundamental methods and experimental approaches to mokuhanga—there will be something for everyone! All levels. Code 01X

Professor at University of Kansas; residencies: MI-LAB (Tokyo), Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium); exhibitions: Haw Contemporary (Kansas City), The Print Center (Philadelphia), CfSHE Gallery (Tokyo); collections: Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Spencer Museum (KS).

print of flowers, a landscape postcard, and Cup Noodles with chopsticks
Yoonmi Nam, "Winter Spring," mokuhanga, 11-3/4 x 16-1/2 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 2
June 7-19, 2020
Kasey Ramirez
The Woodcut: Beyond Black and White

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, inking with 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. Code 02X

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), University of Richmond (VA), Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh).

night scene of a derelict or under-construction building
Kasey Ramirez, "Hull," woodcut, 22 x 34 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 2
June 7-19, 2020
Ben Blount
The Collaborative Printer

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 using 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. Code 02L

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.

Print of the word "racism" coming apart in the air
Ben Blount, "Antiracism Fist," letterpress, 19 x 25 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 3
June 21–July 3, 2020
Kristina Paabus
Intaglio & the Hybrid Print

This workshop will introduce students to intaglio printmaking through drypoint and copper etching, using additive and subtractive techniques. Employing hand-drawn approaches, students will be encouraged to experiment as they investigate personal directions for their work. We’ll focus on learning to create and manipulate the malleable intaglio matrix while also combining strategies to form hybrid prints. Along with hard ground, soft ground, aquatint, and multiple color-plate intaglio printing, we’ll explore introductory elements of monotype, relief, screenprint, and lithography. All levels. Code 03X

Associate professor at Oberlin College (OH); other teaching: University of Iowa, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ox-Bow (WI); exhibitions: Akron Art Museum (OH), Hobusepea Galerii (Estonia); collections: Harvard Art Museum (MA), Cleveland Clinic, China Printmaking Museum, Novosibirsk State Art Museum (Russia).

geometric print in shades of grey and teal
Kristina Paabus, "The Guards," intaglio, relief, screenprint, 24 x 20 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 3
June 21–July 3, 2020
Jim Sherraden
Opening & Pushing the Envelope in Letterpress

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 this workshop: courtesy, community, and comedy. All levels. Code 03L

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 4
July 5-17, 2020
John Hitchcock
Screenprint Demo City!

This workshop will focus on the post-matrix and pushing the surfaces of paper, wood, and fabric. We’ll work with water-based screenprinting with low-tech stencil methods, stressing the current trends of print media in contemporary culture. Demonstrations will include handcut and photo stencil methods, manipulation of the surface, sculptural prints, hand dyeing, sewing, drawing back into, and water soluble markers as we create experimental, unique prints. We’ll emphasize gaining both proficiency in the techniques and an awareness of how these skills can be used within the larger cultural context. All levels. Code 04X

Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison; grants: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (NYC), Jerome Foundation (MN); solo exhibitions: American Culture Center (Shanghai), Missoula Art Museum (MT), Mulvane Art Museum (KS), Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe).

coral and blue print including birds, bull heads, and shapes
John Hitchcock, "Beef Tank," acrylic paint, dye; screenprint, 30 x 22 inches
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 4
July 5-17, 2020
David Wolske
The Art of Typography

Let’s demystify and deconstruct traditional rules and use letterpress to create expressive typographic prints. We’ll learn to print from wood and metal types and 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. Code 04L

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), Utah Arts & Museums fellow; exhibitions: Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum (WI), GOCA Downtown (CO), Hatch Show Print.

abstract typographic composition
David Wolske, "Angle Chase 01," letterpress from wood and metal types, 8-1/2 x 11 inches
Print Summer Session 5
July 19 – August 4, 2020
Andrew Polk & Kathryn Polk
Stone Lithography

Stone lithography, first developed by Alois Senefelder in 1796, 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. Code 05X

Andrew: professor emeritus at University of Arizona; collections: Hunan Art Institute (China), Hunterdon Art Museum (NJ), Denver Art Museum. Kathryn: studio artist; teaching: Frogman’s Print Workshops (NE); collections: Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Sado Print Museum (Japan).

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 Summer Session 5
July 19 – August 4, 2020
Bryce McCloud
The Interactive Print-O-Rama Do-Gooders Social Art Gathering

Howdy friends! Are you wondering how you can make prints AND a difference in this great big world? One solution: experimental printing, social art, and your big ideas! Let’s use our brains and hearts and printing presses to make things happen. In this workshop we’ll discuss the basic ideas of interactive, socially-minded art, use the letterpresses to make a bunch of relief prints, collaborate on an interactive art project at Penland, and talk about how to create your own public art campaign back home. Bring an open mind and your talents. All levels. Code 05L

Studio artist, director of Isle of Printing (Nashville); teaching: Watkins College of Art (TN), Penland; public art: Automat Idea Exchange (TN), Noelle (TN), Southwest Print Fiesta (NM), Our Town Nashville, All Are Welcome (TN), Pinewood Social (TN), Invasion UK.

group of people with a giant stamped portrait
Isle of Printing, "Our Town: Together Heroic," large-scale stamps, ink
Print & Letterpress Summer Session 6
August 9-21, 2020
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-drawn stencils, reduction prints, and crayon monoprints. Then we’ll focus on image manipulation in Photoshop for output to digital transparencies used 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. Code 06X

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 6
August 9-21, 2020
Brad Vetter
Lasers & 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/impact/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. Code 06L

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