I spent my Sunday last the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, Maryland taking a class on how to use to tabletop letterpress.

The machinery used in this session was about the size suited to print stationery, business cards, or the like. While it would be possible to print your own, modern day Thomas Paine cri-de-coeur, I wouldn’t suggest it.

Nonetheless, it was very enjoyable. I even enjoyed to slow process of setting the little metal type in place, row after row of them (actually, just five rows – but it was still quite laborious).

Of course, I lack any real artistic talent, besides (arguably) literary. What that means is that the visual arts potential of the letterpress is wasted on me. I can appreciate it, but I lack to eye to reproduce it myself.

For me, the pleasure of the letterpress is in it being another expression of personal anachronism – like my manual typewriter and fountain pen.

That said, I may go back and try again, though it would take an awfully long time to do an essay or a longer poem in one of them.


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