new Book Arts intern

September 23, 2009

Today marks a day I am leaps & bounds closer to a goal I have had for some time: learn letterpress.

I have long been a fan of Pistachio Press  and many other independent letterpress artists and designers, and it has always seemed like a perfect pairing with my interest in papermaking. I love the elegant wedding invitation and announcement designs that only become increasingly appealing when done in letterpress. Even more so, I love the tangible aspect of this artform. As a graphic designer, it’s only so often you get to be there when the final product is made. I always had trouble with that. Here I am, staring at a computer screen for endless hours only to mail away a simple file–and end up with nothing in my hands. That’s why, during my senior year of college, I began papermaking (& forcing my poor printer to print on it)–so I could hold the final project in my hands, feel the ink-stained sheet of recycled paper and know I was there from start to finish.

Anyway–I have been brought on as an intern at the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education in Rochester in their Book Arts studio. Their letterpress, papermaking & printmaking program is apparently relatively new and they need some help (while I need exposure and experience). As I followed director Janice Gouldethorpe through the center, what used to be an old firehouse, and into the room which is home to drawers upon drawers of typefaces and multiple printing presses, my heart started beating faster… & faster, until I realized this was the room they intended to put me in to do small projects, greet visitors, etc. I will be working alongside some of the most amazing equipment I’ve ever seen in a building that has served the community and the arts since the 70’s… how did I get so lucky? And will I really have the opportunity to learn and practice letterpress? This is all too exciting. Another tidbit Janice told me: Rachael of Pistachio Press works in the same studio. Little does she know an admirer of her work is soon to (hopefully not creepily) descend into her life. I’m already dreaming up visions of my own little business one day… too far? Oh well, that’s the nice thing about dreams. No matter how far you take them, they’re never unattainable. So maybe I should start thinking of business names…

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