Learn the Timeless Craft of Letterpress Printing - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Learn the Timeless Craft of Letterpress Printing

Lee Jones and Joe Strickland of King University's Dept. of Digital Media Art & Design working with students at The Sign of George letterpress.

BRISTOL, Tenn.-Va.. (March 6, 2024) – Immerse yourself in the artistry of vintage letterpress printing at a special workshop coming to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The program is in partnership with King University’s Department of Digital Media Art & Design (DMAD) and takes place on March 16, 1 – 3 p.m. ET. The event offers participants a hands-on experience, steeped in the rich history of print making.

“We are very excited for this opportunity to partner with the museum to offer this unique experience to the community,” said King DMAD Assistant Professor Lee Jones. “We are fortunate to have the letterpress here at King University as a valuable resource to demonstrate to students in the Digital Media Art & Design program how the traditional process has influenced the contemporary and vice versa.”

The class will be led by Jones and David Winship, whose father, George “Pat” Winship, started “The Sign of the George” letterpress facility at the university back in the 1970s. David, now retired, learned the ins and outs of the press from his father and now operates it with the support of King DMAD.

“We’ve partnered with King University on a number of programs over the years, but this one is very unique,” said museum Head Curator Dr. Rene Rodgers. “This event is the perfect companion to our special exhibit A Cardboard History of Blue Ridge Music, which participants will also have the opportunity to explore during the program.”

The workshop will feature an exploration of the history of letterpress printing, an opportunity to examine and have hands-on time with key elements of letterpress printing, including block letters, and interactive sessions on a portable letterpress. Each participant will have the chance to print a workshop-themed poster, leaving with a tangible memento of their time in the workshop.

As a special highlight, attendees will also enjoy a guided tour of the museum’s special exhibit, A Cardboard History of Blue Ridge Music, which showcases letterpress-printed concert posters and show cards from a bygone era. Following the 2-hour workshop, participants are invited to join Jones and Winship for a tour of King University’s “The Sign of the George” facility, which houses the institution’s 1920s era Chandler & Price clamshell letterpress. Light refreshments will be provided.

Space for this exclusive workshop is limited to 20 participants, so early registration is encouraged. The cost is $20 (plus tax/fee). To register, visit the Events page at BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org.