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Heidelberg Master Class at SlowPrint Dubuque

2015 Master Classes

Presenting our 2015 course offerings, including Letterpress Master Classes, and the new "Emptiness is a Design Pattern" series of 'negative-space' studies... Updated 22 June 2015

Peter is a pleasure to listen to and his knowledge about the subject of printing is both extensive and impressive. His wealth of experience shows in how he teaches the class and understands the needs of each student.

Getting my hands dirty was the best part of the process for me. Coming from a pre-press background it was nice to  put that knowledge into action. Mixing colour setting up the press etc.

Great experience, Peter made me feel so welcome and the studio has a lovely warm atmosphere to work in, it was a real joy and was happy to come from Australia to learn from a master - thanks Peter. 

— Karen Adams (Queensland, Australia)


The intimate Letterpress Master Class (maximum of 4 participants) steps through the entire production of a two-color two-sided circular die-cut coaster on the Heidelberg 10x15 platen, (with all the attendant registration concerns...  concentric concentrics!) from digital prepress, initial press sheet trimming (critical for two-sided jobs!) to the die-cut delivery. We thoroughly cover the principles of feeding, roller setting, registration and operations for the press, the majority of which applies to any platen press (which we demonstrate on our old-style C&P). Please contact Peter directly for more information.


Peter has taught and consulted in venues from Berlin (Gallery P98a) to Barcelona to Two Rivers, Denver and Chicago, and will be in Iowa for Type on the Cob letterpress conference this summer. Workshops are held in his shop at Slowprint in Dubuque. Private and semi-private seminars at your location are also available. Please inquire!


Course content is adapted in consultation with the participants. Each course also typically covers important pre-press issues for digital type and polymer, including typographic finesse, adjusting type outlines for polymer, and spot color separations with Adobe tools (we use Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat Distiller) 


Upcoming later in the summer. The first person to commit to coming to Dubuque can help determine the dates!

Woodtype Experimental Print Making on Dampened Paper

Heidelberg Windmill 21st Century Letterpress Master Class

Achieving Perfect Inking and Impression on the Hand-Fed (qv Chandler & Price) Platen


The three-day class on the C&P Platen will address how to produce perfect inking and impression with photopolymer plates on the elegant hand-fed Chandler & Price. (Three full days) Please pass it on!


I’m excited to also mention the possibility of a workshop at the wonderful San Francisco Center for the Book. I was fortunate to meet the program director when I went to see the wonderful 60 Years of Janus Press exhibit in March. 

More on that to come!


We’re booking dates now through 2016, and we’d be very grateful if you would pass this link to your networks!

Please contact Peter directly for more information.

Updates via twitter @ideaswords

Many thanks


Original Announcement (February 2015)

Dear Letterpress and Letterform Friends


I’m happy to present our 2015 course offerings, including Letterpress Master Classes, and the new "Emptiness is a Design Pattern" series of 'negative-space' studies...


These include 

Windmill Master Class, with a focus on the Heidelberg Windmill 10x15, including perfect impression, registration, paper transport, die-cutting, etc.


Experimental Letterpress with Woodtype, which focusses on the flatbed Vandercook (ours is a 219 with a 19"x26” bed) and why and when to print on dampened stock. 


Introduction to Letterpress (Dubuque)

This course is eight hours over two days. Depending on interest, we can arrange for this class on short notice.


Any of these topics can be also covered in private courses, whether in our SlowPrint Letterpress Studio in Dubuque, or at your press. 


We already have two confirmed private tutorials coming this spring and early summer (including one printer coming all the way from Australia!), and will be continuing to reserve dates now through the rest of 2015 and 2016. 


I also have a four-day intensive private session covering a full range of letterpress topics planned for the week following Type on the Cob, the (amazing) Ladies of Letterpress conference (June 11-13) in Mt Pleasant, Iowa. Dubuque is a couple of hours north of Mt Pleasant, right on the Mississippi, across from the Illinois/Wisconsin state line, in the lovely Driftless region!


We'll probably run from 16-19 June, final dates still to be determined. This is an intensive course covering everything from digital typography and color separations to the Windmill press, and even die-cutting and paper dampening. 


I'll also be teaching at Type on the Cob! Hope to see you there!




N E W  S E R I E S - “Emptiness is a Design Pattern


Learning to perceive Negative Space as an Incubator for Creativity 


I’m also happy to announce my new series “Emptiness is a Design Pattern”, which explores principles of creative development through calligraphic and drawing exercises complementing contemporary neuroscience and Zen meditation. Please see


We use the drawing of letterforms and abstract marks with pencils, markers, and the east-asian brush as a exercise in perception of negative space and non-obvious pattern relationships. 


The principles behind this series have been inspired by the groundbreaking work of Betty Edward's "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" and "Drawing on the Artist Within", as well as the teaching of Welsh master calligrapher and lettering designer Ieuan Rees, MDesRCA; Zen Shodo master Kazuaki Tanahashi; and my own practice.


Outcomes can be executed in numerous ways, including as eraser-carved rubber stamps, cut with a scalpel to experience the physical meaning of negative space. However, the lasting benefits are an increased awareness of one's own 'boundless' inner-space and an introduction to methods of accessing the well of creativity within.




Any of these workshops can be adapted for institutional seminars, university or corporate retreat settings. Please share with your networks! 


Please use the tags #emptiness_is_a_design_pattern or #letterpress-master-class


I'm happy to work with sincere and committed students, offering various apprenticeships or scholarships, but note that these still require payment for the seminar of at least 50-75% of the tuition.