Wells Book Arts Summer Institute 2017

October 31, 2016

wellssi2017

wellssi2017

Registration now online
…and course details below!

With Additional logistic details on our participant info page.
Download PDF of Summer Institute Booklet

Week 1 — July 9–15
Michael & Winnie Bixler – Typecasting and Monotype Composition
Lorrie Frear – Italic Intensive for Beginning Calligraphers
Samuel Feinstein – Hand Tooling with Gold Leaf & Foil
Jesse Marsolais – Introduction to Lettercarving in Stone
Sara Sauers – Letterpress Fundamentals on the Vandercook

Week 2 — July 16–22
April Sheridan – The Technology of the Broadside
Barb Tetenbaum – Hybrid Structures for Hybrid Voices
Jennifer Scheuer  –  Stone Lithography
James Grieshaber  –  Digital Type Making with FontLab
Nancy Sharon Collins  –  Book Arts Entrepreneurship


Michael & Winnie Bixler – Typecasting and Monotype Composition

This course offers the unique opportunity to learn typecasting at one of the last remaining hot metal Monotype shops in North America. Students will use the Monotype keyboard, composition caster and the Monotype Supercaster to cast and take home their own text and/or a case of type, including fonts of ornaments. This course will be of particular value to letterpress printers who want to experience the full gamut of metal type—from keyboarding, to type casting, to pulling proofs. Please visit the Bixlers’ website at www.mwbixler.com to see specimens of the many Monotype faces available, or call Michael at 315-685-5181 to discuss questions. Students will live at Wells and commute to & from Skaneateles in Wells vans. Limited to five students; no experience in casting required, but letterpress printing experience preferred. Fee includes taking home up to 50 lbs. of cast type. Additional type charged at a nominal per lb. charge.

Michael Bixler has cast metal type and practiced fine letterpress printing and typography since 1965. He and his wife established their press and letterfoundry near Boston in 1973, and since 1983 have resided in Skaneateles, NY, where they continue to print limited edition books and provide cast metal type for numerous private presses and letterpress printers around the world. Michael is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and teaches letterpress printing at Wells College.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 9-15, 2017


Lorrie Frear – Italic Intensive for Beginning Calligraphers

During this interactive workshop, participants will be introduced to the letter families and proportional relationships between letter groupings in the Chancery Cursive (Italic) alphabet. Beginning with pencil and progressing to the use of broad edged steel nibs and penholders, participants will complete a cohesive, contemporary, and flowing exemplar consisting of lowercase and uppercase letters, numerals, punctuation, and swash alternatives during the week. Information will be provided to analyze the hallmark characteristics of an alphabet in order to learn more hands in the future. The class will experiment with brushes and other tools to create larger proportionate Italic letterforms for a collaborative class project to be exhibited at the conclusion of the workshop. Each participant will create a series of related compositions using ink and gouache as final deliverables. Designed for those with no prior calligraphic or lettering experience, this workshop will be fun and relaxed…perfect for a summer break by the lake!

Lorrie Frear teaches Graphic Design and Calligraphy as an Associate Professor in the School of Design at Rochester Institute of Technology. Lorrie is fascinated with just about everything related to letterform design and typography, and she shares this passion readily with her students. Lorrie has conducted lettering and calligraphy lectures and workshops for several universities and organizations, including the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum and the Western New York Book Arts Center. Lorrie’s objective is to make letters and words come to life, and to infuse in students a life-long passion for and appreciation of letterforms. More information about Lorrie’s teaching and work is provided here and here.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 9-15, 2017


Samuel Feinstein – Hand Tooling with Gold Leaf & Foil

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In this week-long intensive, students will learn the fundamentals of blind tooling and gold tooling on leather focusing on straight lines and using BS glaire to affix the gold, as well as hand tooling with foil. Line-work is one of the most important, fundamental, and versatile decorative techniques used on tooled bindings, and is used in both traditional and contemporary designs.  Students will also have time to explore the use of curved lines and decorative tools.  A final plaquette will be completed using the techniques covered. This is an introduction for beginners as well as a step forward for those who would like to build on their existing knowledge.  The goal of this workshop is to familiarize you with the processes involved and prepare you for further practice.

Samuel Feinstein trained formally at the North Bennet Street School program under Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley.  Since graduating in 2012 he has been in private practice specializing in fine bindings, luxury clamshell boxes, new bindings in period style, and gold finishing for other binders. His work can be seen on his website

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 9-15, 2017


Jesse Marsolais – Introduction to Lettercarving in Stone

Lettercarving in stone may at first glance appear to have little relation to letterpress printing. But if one considers the printing press as a product of the Renaissance imagination, one must also remember that the Renaissance imagination spent most of its time reflecting on the material legacy of ancient Rome. As acceptance of the printing press migrated to Italy and beyond, the shapes of letterforms in use as metal type bore the direct influence of their local inscriptional and calligraphic sources, yielding the typographic binary – Roman and Italic – we recognize today as carrying the vast majority of printed communication in the western world. This class will focus on the traditional methods of carving letters in stone by hand with mallets and chisels, with an emphasis on the broad-edge brush and pen as the primary tools of lettering design. The class will also look at the typefaces of modern designers who infused their work with calligraphic and inscriptional flair.

Jesse Marsolais is the proprietor of Marsolais Press & Lettercarving in Millbury, Massachusetts. After graduating with a BA in Creative Writing from Naropa University, with an unofficial Minor in letterpress printing, Jesse returned home to the Boston area to work in publishing before getting a job as a pressman for a commercial letterpress greeting card company. From there he began what became a six-year apprenticeship with Master Printer John Kristensen at Firefly Press, Boston, which included formal training on the Monotype and Linotype machines and all other aspects of hot-metal typography. Towards the end of this apprenticeship, Jesse began another in lettercarving, spending a grant-funded six weeks with Nicholas Benson at The John Stevens Shop in Newport, RI. Since establishing Marsolais Press & Lettercarving at the end of 2012, Jesse has rendered typographic and inscriptional services for a wide range of private and institutional clientele.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 9-15, 2017


Sara Sauers – Letterpress Fundamentals on the Vandercook

This class will focus on the basic mechanics of letterpress printing and on core elements of typographic design as they apply to edition printing on Vandercook presses. Beginning with hand-set metal type, and including wood type, ornaments, vintage printing blocks, and student-cut linoleum blocks, participants will produce at least two pieces of their own design: a multi-color typographic print, and a broadside that combines words and images. Additional projects can be completed as time permits. Students will learn the essential press adjustments and settings for obtaining high quality Vandercook results! This hands-on course is designed for those without prior letterpress experience and is also suitable for experienced printers who would like to hone their skills.

Sara Sauers has been printing on Vandercook presses for over twenty years. She teaches letterpress printing and book design at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and is a freelance book designer for the University of Iowa Press. From her letterpress shop in Iowa City she publishes literary fine press books under the Catstep Press imprint and operates Bun Fight Press for selected job printing.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 9-15, 2017


April Sheridan – Technology of the Broadside

The term broadside once referred to one-sided printed sheets with news or political statements, but it is now used almost exclusively for printed poems. With this transformation, the object went from a very public to a private piece of paper.  This class will explore the technologies of making broadsides. Printing poetry can be a great way to discover new readings of favorite works or to delve into your own writing. Students will create a unique print edition dedicated to one piece of writing. They will make the paper themselves, hand set type, and print it on a Vandercook press. They will also examine the public space of the material forms of language by displaying their work in and around the campus.

April Sheridan is a letterpress printer who is particularly interested in the the broadside: its artistic and experimental possibilities and its historic place in American culture. She has printed over one hundred and fifty broadsides and for ten years managed the letterpress printing, papermaking, and bookbinding studios at the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. She has spoken at the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum Wayzgoose/Educators Conference, the Letterpress: Forward Thinking Conference at St. Bride Library in London, and at the & Now Conference at CalArts. She currently serves on the board of the WasteShed and the Journal of Artists’ Books (JAB).

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 16-22, 2017


Barb Tetenbaum – Hybrid Structures for Hybrid Voices

In this part artist-book-ideation / part artist-book-structure-exploration class we will examine the opportunities that page design, material selection and book structure offers to the presentation and navigation of different textual and visual ‘voices’.  A variety of non-traditional book structures and component parts will be taught that encourage the ideas of this class: such as a split-page structures, ‘magic wallet’, use of page tabs and pockets. We will also explore the use of varied materials and page sizes. In addition to learning book structures, we will use ideation techniques to best take advantage of the structures we are learning.  The goal of the class is for each student to come away with working “dummies” for further refinement at home, and one finished project created from available materials and technologies.

Barbara Tetenbaum is a visual artist interested in the act of reading. She works in a variety of media including artist books, prints, installation art and animation. She founded her artist book imprint, Triangular Press, in 1979. She exhibits nationally and abroad; her work can be found in many private and public collections. She holds a BS (Fine Art) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently Professor and Dept. Head of Book + Print at Oregon College of Art and Craft.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 16-22, 2017


Jennifer Scheuer  –  Stone Lithography

This workshop will introduce stone lithography, a process of printing drawings and images off of limestone popularized in the 18th and 19th century. The lithographic stone is well known for reproducing autographic marks, washes and tonal ranges with ease. Participants will learn to grain, draw, print, and alter the image on the stone. The workshop will introduce the potential of different drawing materials (lithographic pencils, tusche, tablets, and rubbing crayons) and techniques for deletion.

Jennifer Scheuer is an artist and collaborative printer invested in lithography and the history of print. She received her M.F.A. in Studio Art with a focus in printmaking from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and the Graduate Student Fellowship from the Southern Graphics Conference during her graduate studies. In 2010 she devoted a year to the practice of lithography while attending the Tamarind Institute’s Printer Training program. Scheuer has worked and studied with many artists devoted to lithography and she has an interest in learning the complexity of print processes. He recent work utilizes lithography, photogravure, book arts and papermaking.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 16-22, 2017


James Grieshaber  –  Digital Type Making with FontLab

This intensive hands-on workshop will introduce the the students to type design and digital font making. During the week, participants will experiment with the structural elements of letters, and learn the fundamentals of sketching an alphabet. Participants will then use FontLab Studio to learn digitization, digital drawing, proofing, spacing, kerning, and ultimately generate a working digital font. FontLab Studio is the industry standard in font creation and editing font solutions. Prerequisites: Basic working knowledge of software applications for Bezier curves editing is suggested, but no skills are required regarding calligraphy or type design.

James Grieshaber creates and sells fonts through his own digital type foundry, Typeco. He also works for Virgin Wood Type in Rochester NY, where besides creating wood type by hand, he is responsible for digitally drawing customer special orders, replacement letters, and new & revival fonts. James has created fonts for P22 Type Foundry, Hamilton Wood Type, Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 16-22, 2017


Nancy Sharon Collins  –  Book Arts Entrepreneurship

As we are aware, most whom enjoy “making”—letterpress, printmaking, book binding, paper making—do not necessarily also enjoy the extra rigors of what it takes to make a livelihood from it. This class will provide language and methodology for managing client-based projects, exercises, and plenty of discussion about marketing, sales, rudimentary business practices, advertising and promotional strategies in the for profit market. Students will walk away with a some real-world tools they can use for promoting their art, and a feeling for what it takes to make a small business thrive creating products in the book arts.

Nancy Sharon Collins is the country’s leading engraved stationery expert working in her eponymous New Orleans company, Nancy Sharon Collins, Stationer LLC. She authored The Complete Engraver and writes for PRINT and HOW magazines about engraving, design, and commercial printing. She appears in popular media such as Departures, Town & Country, Martha Stewart Wedding, Veranda, The New York Times, and NPRCollins holds a BFA and MFA in design and taught graphic design for over a decade. Prior to that, she owned a graphic design studio in NYC with clients that included Clinique, Williams-Sonoma, Metropolitan Opera, and Museum of Modern Art.

REGISTER ONLINE HERE    Course runs July 16-22, 2017


For more details on the Summer Institute, visit our participant info page

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