Hello! It's Jennifer Larson, finishing our week of learning techniques. I'm here to share with you my journey to learn how to use Letterpress. I hope it inspires you to jump in, even if, like me, it becomes a process of Making Do.
I purchased some Letterpress plates when Studio Calico first offered them; at the same time, I had bought some on sale at Archiver's. I had enrolled in a class to learn how, but I never took the class. I also did not buy the Letterpress starter kit because I had most everything in it, all but the platform. I thought I would mess around to try to get it to work with what I had. Here's what I did:
1. Watched a video showing me how. I used the wonder of google to search for "Letterpress videos using the Big Shot" to find this video:
(Note: this video is also very good, which I discovered after I'd figured out how to made Letterpress work with my equipment. Watch it for its specific information.)
2. Got out my equipment. To do Letterpress, I had brought several things with me to an out-of-town crop:
- My Big Shot
- Letterpress plates
The one thing I didn't bring that I needed?
- Brayer to add ink to the plates.
Whoops. I also noticed that the paper I thought I'd brought disappeared, so I had to make do with the back of some textured cardstock.
3. Improvised with alternate ink. Since the Letterpress plate is a raised image, I decided to use my stamp ink on it. I inked the plate with some dye ink pads I'd brought.
4. Experimented to get the best inking. I ran the Letterpress again and again with different papers and numbers of shims to find the best fit. Some experiments went awry:
Ultimately, I found opening my platform to tab 1 (and taping the plate to the left and the paper to the right), adding about 6 pieces of cardstock as shims, and using one (only 1!) cutting board got the best results. Here it is in action:
And here's what I ended up with:
These three were the best--all the others that were poorly-inked I used as shims.
5. Put the Letterpressed images on the page. Now I got ready to design my page. I knew I wanted to use the slide frames as frames for these photos, so I cut out the centers:
And here's the final page:
I raised the Letterpressed images with dimensional stickers so they would add greater depth to the page; since the inking wasn't as crisp as traditional Letterpressed images would be, I selected weathered products to reflect the uneven inking. I like to say it's not a mistake, it's an unplanned opportunity for additional creativity.
Thank you for sharing my process as I worked my way through Letterpress, and thank you especially for joining us this week! I hope you are inspired to craft this weekend.