UNT Letterpress Revival (Part 2)
As promised, here’s part two of last week’s UNT Letterpress Revival post (part one here).
Inside the sandblasting cabinet.
In 2011, Professor Lari Gibbons and Laura Drapac, Linda Lucia Santana, Cat Snapp, and Christopher Wallace, four graduate students at University of North Texas, collaborated on a major letterpress restoration project. Over the course of a semester and a summer they made operational a total of four presses (and still found time to make their own work too!). Three of the presses belong to UNT’s P.R.I.N.T. Press and the other to the UNT Printmaking program. Clearly this kind of project requires a lot of energy so let’s give credit where credit is due. According to Gibbons…
I had been researching the presses since 2009, but the project didn’t really get going until the students got involved. We worked together during the spring semester of 2011 to get as much done as we could. The students did an incredible amount of research and devoted many hours of hard physical labor to the project. Our budget was very tight and most of our solutions were made possible by the ingenuity or generosity of people who became interested in our project.
The project is mostly complete–there’s still a few final adjustments that need to happen. We don’t have a good type collection, so many of our first images were completed with blocks routed in a CNC router, polymer plates mounted on “faux” backers (made of MDF–cheap!), and linoleum blocks.
The last post focused on the presses themselves but clearly tons of work went into the restoration. So without further adieu, here are a bunch of images documenting various stages involved in restoring these old workhorses. Blood, Sweat, tears, and no doubt, some laughs… all captions provided by Lari.