On Thursday, June 20th the Honolulu Printmakers took over the sidewalk in front of R&D in Kaka’aka to conduct a pre-film letterpress printing demo. The film showing that night was Linotype, a documentary about the typecasting technology of the same name. We thought it would be a nice complement to the film to have an activity that familiarizes folks with letterpress printing.
The set-up was pretty basic— a Vandercook No. 0 proof press, a whole mess of random wooden type, some magnets to hold the type in place, and some ink and paper to complete the deal. Best practices (proper lock-up, careful inking, etc) take a back seat when you’re doing quick and dirty sidewalk printing. People are naturally drawn to wood type and we soon had a line of eager participants.
The Honolulu Printmakers is working towards inclusion of letterpress printing capabilities in its studio, but we’re short on space at the moment. In the meantime maybe we can explore letterpress in some more temporary circumstances…
Thanks to Sean Shodahl of Interisland Terminal/R&D for inviting us in, and of course Honolulu Printmakers volunteers Hans Loffel, Darren Zane, Noah Matteucci, Kyle Jablonski, and Jeremy Pang.