Letterpress & Printmaking

Blackbird Arts' Book Arts and Press provides printmaking facilities and services available to all artists. The studio has tools and equipment for screenprinting, letterpress, relief, and intaglio printing. Certification classes allow beginners to learn the processes and use the studio independently for their own projects. 






Letterpress printing is an entirely hands-on process that uses moveable metal and wood type to transfer images and words to paper. The words and images are inked and stamped into paper using vintage, cast-iron machines. These impressions give the images a unique 3D like feel. Intermediate students are welcome to bring in their own projects to work on under the guidance of the instructor.


4 Mondays, April 23, 30 & May 7, 14; 3-5:30pm.

Cost: $175 includes all materials. Once certified, students may use the studio for their own projects during open studio sessions.

Instructor: Chad Pastotnik of Deep Wood Press

 Students who complete this course are eligible for independent use of the Blackbird Book Arts and Press  studio and equipment with director permission. 




DIY Letterpress Coasters

This quick and fun workshop lets participants experience the joy of creating with vintage type and machines, while adding a modern twist. Participants mix and match images and type to create personalized coasters. We'll have a coaster swap at the end so everyone takes home a full set of 12.  Afterwards, join us at Rare Bird to sample some beverages!


Wednesday, April 11, 5:30-7:30pm

Cost: $35 includes all materials and coasters. 

Instructor: Clay Maas


Printmaking techniques


Relief prints are created by carving an image into wood or linoleum, adding ink to the surface, and transferring the inked image onto paper. Intaglio [in-tal-yoh], is a family of printing techniques in which the image is incised into a metal plate or plastic plate and the marked lines create the image with the assistance of an intaglio press. Other processes will also be covered such as mono prints, collographs and embossing.

Together, these processes provide an exciting range that opens new possibilities for artists or those wanting to experiment with new art forms and the tradition of print. From the caves of Chauvet to the modern era, from rubber stamps to the dollar in your wallet - prints are all around you. All levels welcome but come prepared with drawings which will then become the basis of your printed artworks.


4 Mondays, April 23, 30 & May 7, 14, 6:30-8:30pm.

Cost: $150 + $20 materials fee.

Instructor: Chad Pastotnik

Open Studio Sessions

Students who complete a certification class or those who are experienced printmakers may use the studio and equipment independently during open studio sessions. Open studios run most Sundays, 1-5pm as well as select Tuesday evenings. Cost is $15 and includes use of all tools and equipment and most inks. Advance registration either online or via phone (231) 421-8085 is required.

Students are also able to rent the studio privately for half days (4 hours) for $45. Please email melissa@blackbirdartstc.org to inquire about availability. 


Equipment and Supplies


2x 6x9” Pilot Presses

8x12 Chandler & Price platen press

Vandercook SP15 cylinder proof press

48 cases of various type

All necessary equipment and tools for type setting and printing



Sturges Etching Press with a 18x48” bed

Tools for engraving, linocut & wood engraving


26” Guillotine lever paper cutter


Book Press, sewing cradles, drying rack, cutting mats, etc.