During our two days in the letterpress studio, I was particularly astounded at the lengthy process that is required to create a single page. Even with an instructor by our side, it still took us nearly two hours to create one phrase accompanied by an image. This process made me appreciate the luxuries we have currently with computers and that we do not need to go through this process as people once did. In addition, working with the letterpress made me further appreciate what individuals went through years ago to create a book. It must have taken months! Furthermore, when specifically dealing with the Bible or any other religious text where it needs to appear perfect, it must have been an extra grueling process. Any minuet mistake would not have been accepted and they would have had to start over. I will have to go back to the special book collection at the library and revisit any of the letterpress made items. This process has given me a better understanding of what it took to create them and I now have a greater appreciating for their value!
3 Replies to “Our Two Days In The Letterpress Studio”
I though this too! This is definitely less grueling than a handwritten manuscript, but still… printing a bible, for example, must have been a lengthy process.
What a good idea to go back and visit the special collections. I didn’t even think about that. Your comment has inspired me to go and visit the collection before our final projects.
On the Bible thing and mistakes being unacceptable, historical printers actually made a lot of awkward mistakes. So many that that’s a way book collectors use to keep track of editions. I read an article once about a particular edition from the 1800s that printed “dishes and loaves” instead of “fishes and loaves”, and now it’s highly sought after. Just goes to show you mistakes are all in the eye of the beholder, I guess!
I shared similar thoughts. I was amazed by how long it took us to just print one page. I gained a much deeper appreciation for the luxuries that we enjoy today, but also found it fascinating to think about how much time must’ve gone into printing books with the letter press.