A New Apprentice in the Shop

For most of us, the first day in any new environment, be it a job, classroom, or even a store, is usually filled with anxiety and curiosity. My first day as a letterpress apprentice featured only the latter. I left all presumptions at the door as I walked into the Painted Tongue Press’s studio space. Between the art and paper sculptures covering the walls and ceiling and the colorful drawers and cabinets scattered throughout, I knew this wasn’t any ordinary letterpress studio.

After quick morning meeting with Kim and Liz, I got right to work. I already had some experience with the Vandercookpress so I familiarized myself with it by giving it a thorough cleaning. Then,to my surprise I even got to print on my first day! Kim showed me how to do ablind emboss as well as how to print with a small amount of transparent ink tocreate a beautiful gloss effect. The rest of a day went by so fast it seemed like a blur. However the one moment that stood out for me was the first time I saw the Heidelberg running, the speed and precision of this machine was beyond my imagination. I learned so much from just my first day that it excites me tothink of how much more there is for me to learn.

Peter Pham

Letterpress Apprentice

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