Print shop courses return to the Rose O’Neill Literary House

By Sophie Foster

News Co-Editor

The Rose O’Neill Literary House is once again offering print shop courses this semester for  students interested in learning about printing techniques and bookmaking.

According to an email sent to the campus community by Assistant Director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House Amber Taliancich on Sept. 1, the “famed” and “free” classes, taught by Master Printer Mike Kaylor, will begin this week and be held over the course of seven weeks in the print shop located in the literary house.

“The print shop is broken up into two sections,” Taliancich said. “We have the main part, that has all the printing presses along the sides, and then we also have the book arts in the back of the room.”

The first of the two courses being taught will focus on usage of printing presses. Introduction to letterpress will be taught on Tuesday nights and will educate students on how to “set text and operate…antique presses,” according to the email.

Students enrolled in this class will have the opportunity to “play around with different fonts, understand how to do the measurements…and then you learn how to actually implement and put it in a press,” according to Taliancich.

The latter of the two courses, the book arts workshop, will be held on Thursday nights and teach the processes of creating books by hand.

“Everyone gets to make their own book,” Taliancich said. “It goes over different types of book bindings, how to create the cover, how to set your pages, that sort of thing.”

Due to the size of the space and the interactive nature of these courses, only six spaces were available in each class, according to the email.

“The classes filled up quickly,” Taliancich said, indicating the program’s uniqueness to WC as a factor driving students to the workshops.

“I did not have any sort of opportunities like this [as an] undergraduate,” Taliancich said. “Just the fact that this exists here alone is super special…and once you take the classes, we’re really open with that space.”

According to Taliancich, beginner students interested in connecting with the printshop should not be dissuaded by nerves about interacting with unfamiliar areas of the College’s campus.

“Being in college alone is all about trying to do things that make you uncomfortable, and really, sometimes to get over the anxiety, the only advice you can give someone is to push through it and [not] be afraid,” Taliancich said.

According to the literary house’s website, “our job is to help students grow as artists and to envision the lives they can have as writers, editors, and publishers once they graduate from WC.”

Taliancich wants students to know that connecting with the literary house can be easy, and the house is a resource for all students. Anyone interested in learning more about either the print shop or the house can visit Taliancich on weekdays on the second floor of the building with any questions, or email their questions to her at aallen5@washcoll.edu.

Photo courtesy of Katie Tack

Photo Caption: WC’s print shop holds three operable antique printing presses.

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