Creative Blast with Woodtype

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Wednesday night, September 9, from 6:30-9:00 at the Prairie Center of the Arts.  A short fun workshop will invite participants to use antique wood to create immediate and powerful letter and word compositions.

Just lately, I personally have been experimenting with setting wood type diagonally in the press bed, using triangular wedges and magnets for some inventive lock-ups. Combining that with hand-inking using multiple rollers and cutting and folding the paper after it has been printed has been leading to some intriguing avenues of investigation that I hope my students will pick up on and give me some surprises!

Wood type’s versatility always amazes. It can be old-fashioned in the sense of a wanted poster, or it can be painterly, atmospheric, almost abstract. it can communicate a message with utmost clarity or it can be subtle and nuanced, Meticulously planned or totally spontaneous.

Here are some of my recent experiments.,link,name,images,album&limit=12

IMG_3750 IMG_3752 diagonal woodtype lockup IMG_3749 boo book IMG_3369 boo booIMG_3754 IMG_3761 IMG_3765 IMG_3766 IMG_3775 IMG_3777 IMG_3778

Intermediate Letterpress Class demonstrations

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Some demonstrations in letterpress printing for my intermediate letterpress class at the Prairie Center. First, printing a polymer plate with text using a some pressure print shapes affixed to the cylinder, so the type only prints in the shapes defined by the pressure print areas. Second, making a low-relief plate on MDF board with cut paper shapes and sealed with polymer gel medium. It is good to let the process take over and show provide some surprises.



Directions Home: a book of poetry in the form of a bundle of travel-related items




A new book from the Gold Quoin Press, 2013,  printed letterpress in an edition of 200 copies. Now available for purchase. (signed and in hardcover box).

Directions Home is a collection of poems inspired by the names of specific streets, roads, avenues, lanes, and highways found in one Midwestern town. The poems were written by the Grandview Hotel Poets, based in Peoria, Illinois, who meet regularly to share and discuss their work. The group’s earlier collection is entitled Bluffs and Five Bridges: Poems from Peoria. The variety of items included in Directions Home seeks to engage the reader in a physical as well as a literary exploration of the complex feelings about traveling from—and returning to—home.

This book came to fruition through collaboration between the Grandview Hotel Poets and the designers and printers associated with Bradley University’s Gold Quoin Press, all of whom share a love of the printed word and the creative possibilities that spring to life under the caring hand of the craftsperson.

Poems by Barbara Clevenger, Jannett Highfill, Mark Liebenow, Janeil Page, Thomas Palakeel, Burt Raabe, and Elizabeth Klise von Zerneck

Design by Sharon Conlee, Joe Fitzanko, Becky Krohe, Kevin McGuire, Lisa Nelson Raabe, and Robert Rowe, design coordinator

openMapProduction Notes: This book was a collaborative effort between the Grandview Hotel Poets and Gold Quoin Press. Working together, the authors and designers printed and assembled this book at Bradley University’s book arts studio in four very busy weeks in July and August, 2013. All printing, with one very small exception, was done on a Vandercook Universal One and an SP-15 press using photo-polymer plates, pressure printing, collagraph, and wood type. Special thanks to OSP Printing in Bloomington, IL for die-cutting.

The Gold Quoin Press at Bradley University is dedicated to promoting collaborative endeavors between writers and designers, with an emphasis on experimental letterpress printing and hand binding. The press provides instruction and studio facilities to students and the community. Other titles published by Gold Quoin Press include Unclose the Door by Madeline Wiseman (2012) and Great Day for a Run by Kevin McGuire (2011).

Gold Quoin Press © 2013 Peoria IL                                       ISBN 978-0-9839535-1-7

This book was printed in an edition of 200 copies.

ThreeCoasters Libenow-close groupimage   Printing Map  Libenow-close groupphoto Directions_photo



Gold Quoin Exhibit at the Paper Nest in Iowa City—month of June

I installed prints and books from the Gold Quoin Press at the Paper Nest in Iowa City, June 7th. the exhibit will run through the month of June. The opening was Friday night, June 7, which coincided with the monthly gallery walk, so there was a continuous stream of people for three hours.

The exhibit includes poetry broadsides with texts by Katey Schultz and Laura Madeline Wiseman, artist’s books by Robert Rowe, and collaborative book projects by classes at Bradley University and by the Peoria community letterpress group.

For gallery hours, call 319-455-6378 or visit the web site below. Openinginstalltionshottwosopeningtwo

Gold Quoin at the Mission Creek Festival Book Fair

The Mission Creek Arts Festival is an annual event in Iowa City that brings together music, poetry, fiction and publishers. This year, the Gold Quoin Press has a table showing and selling books and broadsides produced in the last year by students, faculty and community collaborations. There were many  publishers of small and large literary journals present along with university presses from the University of Iowa and Illinois. Sales were good and and venue is the pleasantly-down-homey Mill restaurant and bar.


Poet Laura Madeline Wiseman will read at Bradley University: March 25th

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Poet Laura Madeline Wiseman will read and discuss her work Unclose the Door and other poems at the Bradley University Library from noon to one pm on Monday, March 25. Visit her web site at The reading is free and open to the public. The poems recount the life of Matilda Fletcher, a 19th century Illinois-born suffragist speaker, inventor, and author. This reading is being held as part of Women’s History Month.

Going to Mission Creek Publisher’s Fair in Iowa City

Well, it is official. The Gold Quoin Press will be setting up a table at the Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City on April 6th at The MIll in downtown Iowa City, IA from 11 AM to 6 PM. We will be showing and selling books and prints including Great Day for a Run and Unclose the Door, as well as broadsides of Madeline Wiseman, Katey Schultz and others.

The publishers fair is held at The Mill, which is a Pizza and Beer Hall establishment. I went last year and it was a blast; a great place to meet writers, small press publishers, and generally have a great time.

Check out the web site for the literary part of the festival:
The festival goes on all week with music, readings and other performances. I  would love to go there Friday night for the Lit Crawl, but that is our symposium day at Bradley University- Check it out the schedule for the the Inland Center Symposium

Kindergarten class visits Gold Quoin Studio at Bradley University

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We gave warm welcome this morning to 16 potential freshmen and their parents in the art department. The Kindergarten class from Peoria Academy made a trip to Bradley’s letterpress studio to learn firsthand about printing and to see their artwork converted into a two-color letterpress poster. With the help of Bradley students and members of the Peoria letterpress print club, students (in 45 minutes) experienced the process from the initial design stage on the computer, setting of metal and wood type, through the making of plates, mixing inks and actually operating the press. Each student got to see the printing of the poster up close, and then actually operate a press to print a commemorative keepsake card. Progressing around the studio in small groups to individual learning stations, there was no down time and every one, including parents and teachers, seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience.

great new lead type lockup in progress by student

Jake Guzan's poster in progress

Jake Guzan’s poster in progress

I can’t wait to see a proof on this type lockup; The metal itself makes a beautiful very Deco composition. It is a call for entries for the campus literary magazine “Broadside.”  Bradley Student Jake Guzan is working on this in the letterpress shop.  Looking forward to the proofs. I will try to post them here.


Edition of “Unclose the Door” now available

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Christine Huggins puts the finishing touches on some of the 100 hard-bound books produced by the Department of Art at Bradley University and the Gold Quoin Press. To purchase a copy, see the “shopping” link on this site. The book is for sale at $75 per copy.

Almost all of the run of 100 copies of “Unclose the Door” by Madeline Wiseman, are completed. Designed, printing and bound by students, faculty and studio staff at the Bradley University Books Arts center and the Gold Quoin Press, these books are 36 pages, hard bound, letterpress printed in two colors, and trace through a cycle of poems the life and career of Matilda Fletcher, an Illinois-born 19th Century traveling speaker and advocate for women’s rights.