Muted leaf letterpress print

Taking a letterpress class when you can’t stray very far from home isn’t as impossible as it sounds.

In this installment of Long-Distance Letterpress, we’ll explore printing with plants found right in your own neighborhood. Directly printing from plants and objects found in the natural world has been done for centuries by scientists, naturalists, and artists to preserve the ephemeral beauty of nature. Letterpress educator and book artist Rebecca Chamlee has these techniques down to a science, and learning them will allow you to create incredible works of art—with or without access to a press.

This online, interactive workshop explores a variety of botanical printing techniques to create images on paper with fresh and pressed plant materials—both with or without a printing press. Like an ink-stained Julia Child, Rebecca Chamlee will demonstrate nature printing using a variety of materials and techniques: An electric turkey roaster, plant printing in the Gyotaku, or “fish rubbing” style, creative use of brayers—and for the grand finale—printing plants with a printing press. In addition to a special print made during the workshop, participants will receive a detailed list of instructions and resources so they can recreate these techniques on their own. Watch and get your questions answered as Rebecca covers:

  • Collecting plants for printing
  • Different inks and their use in nature printing
  • Eco printing using water and heat to transfer natural dyes
  • Printing leaves without a press
  • Making a botanical plate with foil for editioning
  • Serial monoprinting on a Vandercook or etching press

All participants will receive a copy of the class project via snail mail.

International students: please email [email protected] to register.