Stephanie Newman – Fast Max: Letterpress Maxim Accordion Book (Interview)

Stephanie Newman & Sukha Worob – Fast Max: Letterpress Maxim Accordion Book

Stephanie Newman and Sukha Worob are partnering to teach Fast Max: A Letterpress Maxim Accordion Book in 3 Days. Following is an interview with Stephanie Newman.

Let’s get the most obvious question out of the way – how did you get started and what do you love about letterpress?

When I was in graduate school, I stumbled upon a letterpress display in a hallway and fell in love. I love how it looks and feels. I thought, “I want to do that.” I love letterforms and the meaning of words – letterpress offers me the opportunity to marry printing and reading.

Everyone’s got their own sources of inspiration – what are yours?

I’m usually inspired by what I read. I also find that movies and television offer great combinations of words. I also pay attention to things that are happening in the world today. I keep a file of quotes and pull them out when they’re a match for a project – they have to be something I want to share. Right now I’m working on a collaboration about the history of women jazz singers, which was influenced by both music and literature.

I love tools – what’s your favorite tool?

Can I say my #3 Vandercook Proof Press? It’s the first press I bought and it’s my favorite – it’s mostly reliable, gives a good a impression, and I know it really well. I can trust it. It really is a sturdy, wonderful press.

What other art techniques do you incorporate into your work?

I’ll sometimes use letterpress on top of screen printing using oil-based inks. I love the smooth, flat look that you get with screen printing. Debossment and transparent inks also work well with letterpress.

What can students learn in your workshop that wasn’t mentioned in the course catalog?

My teaching experience straddles both design and fine art. This combination of skills will allow me to teach students a reliable method for producing a successful printed design. They’ll learn how to set both metal and wood type, along with a few different methods for applying ink. Students will also learn a simple, nearly adhesive-free accordion binding with a tension cover.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know that I haven’t asked?

My teaching partner Sukha is a wonderful artist and printmaker. We have different backgrounds and bring different things to the table. Based on feedback I’ve received from former students, I believe that workshop attendees will end up with something they enjoy. They’ll also find the process fun and satisfying.