|Photograph by Alina Ryabovolova. Carl Mario Nudi (left), TBAS Letterpress Coordinator, at the Vandercook 4 with Nathan Deuel (right).|
Tested already during an inaugural MFA event, the new studio surpassed expectations as it handled a class load of over 30 creative writing students, all drawn for a taste of the mechanical lore of the letterpress crafts. The goal of the visit was to create an original keepsake for each student, which featured a fitting quote from a guest-MFA author, Francine Prose. The production process tied together several kinds of printing and techniques. For example, the deep green palms as seen below were printed on an 1848 Hoe Washington hand press that once belonged to J.J.Lankes (Lankes is the noted American woodcut artist who illustrated books by Robert Frost and other literary figures). The large type was hand-set and cast on a Ludlow Typograph and printed in black ink on a hand-turned Vandercook 4 press. The small type was handset in Kennerley Italic, cast as individual letters on our Monotype sorts caster.
To describe the event, it would be right to say simply that it was as it should have been: An event filled with fellowship and promise. New writers. Old writers. Old machines. Fresh ink.