This past Saturday, I carved a few hours out of a very busy day to check out Snap & Tumble's Letterpress Curiousity Workshop. And I'm so glad I did! From the moment I walked in and saw the trays of lead type on the table, to the second I reluctantly traded inky fingertips for hockey rink handwarmers, it was a blast.
After introducing ourselves, Tanya showed us how to set our own lead type in the chase (didn't know moving "furniture" around would be part of the assignment, but don't worry, it wasn't too much of a workout!), mix rubber-based inks, apply our ink to the ink disk and register our hand-cut papers on the platen (I must say, I was green with envy when I saw Tanya's big-girl paper cutter!). Then we went to work, printing as many copies of our designs as we could.
I got to give Tanya's Adana Eight-Five a try. It was SO much fun seeing my first print come off that I did almost a hundred! I can't wait to get a plate made of one of my little scribbles so I can go back and make some more!
Tanya is a treasure trove of self-taught how-tos -- I was so impressed when I heard that she decided to figure out letterpress all on her own just three years ago. Since then, she's gone from zero to local expert, with two of her own presses and a booked solid calendar of workshops and custom jobs. She has a great sense of style. You'll just love her work and all of the tips she has to share.
(On second thought, you're right. I shouldn't raid their allowance jars. I should go straight for the RESPs.)