The first full studio day at the Dawson Daily News Print & Publishing Symposium began Saturday with a variety of different workshops for printers, artists, and writers.
At noon, in the Flatbed Studio, local artist John Steins ran his workshop on Woodblock Printing. Students selected a design and drew out a concept, and were then shown how to transfer it to a wood block, and start the process of hand cutting in preparation for printing. Participants spent the afternoon with chisels and gouges in hand, and a variety of beautiful woodcuts emerged, as Steins offered tips and techniques.
Adjacent in the Letterpress Studio, Peter Braune demonstrated the operation of the two hand letter presses being used for the Symposium, and showed visitors some examples of exquisite artistic books that are being produced by craft printers. Thanks to a little fine tuning by Peter, the restored antique Chandler & Price letterpress finally saw service again for the first time in decades, and ran off a variety of hand prints.
In the Gallery space, interested local writers were able to take a free master class called Improve Your Creative Writing Skills. Berton House Writer-In-Residence Colleen Murphy ran the class, supplying feedback and suggestions to writers who read samples of their work, and discussed issues they were wrestling with in their writing process.
A new series of workshops were then offered at 3 p.m. Jo Cook gave a session on Alternative Printmaking, and workshop attendees were able to use a variety of printmaking tools and techniques, both traditional and off the wall, to make a large poster or bookwork. Adjacent to her, Shannon Gerard gave a hands-on demonstration of Bookbinding, starting with simple approaches to more elaborate applications in an informal and interactive setting.
Ray Fenwick ran his ongoing letterpress project throughout the afternoon. Called New Titles From Babel Press, the project prints an ever-increasing collection of title pages of fictitious books. Symposium attendees were able to contribute title ideas, as well as get hands-on exposure to manual letterpress printing in the process.
In the Gallery, curator Michael McCormack of The Kitchen Party exhibit was on hand to discuss the exhibition, present other printed materials, and discuss print culture in general.