One of the first few days after our arrival in town, I was hanging out with Jon in the glass studio when an older woman entered. Jon introduced us. As she asked me about my interests, I examined her necklace: an image of Jesus with two sparkly red gems where his eyes would be. My attention returned to her face when she said, “You should sit in on my letterpress class.” Not having a clue what exactly letterpress entailed, I enthusiastically responded affirmatively, because I wanted to get to know the woman who wore such an outlandish necklace.
In the short time since that day, I’ve learned quite a bit about letterpress, art, and generosity. By allowing me to actively participate in her class, she has made me feel so welcome and so capable. In the past, one of the things with which I struggled, is feeling accepted in Jon’s artistic world; I’m often embarrassed by my lack of experience, talent, and ideas. I’ve not once felt that way being here, and my letterpress friend has been a big reason why.
Before this letterpress class, I had never been to, let alone participated in a College Art School Critique. In our third critique last week, I felt at ease discussing my work and others’ works and I was actually excited to share what I had created. I feel like this class and my friend have helped me to tap into my creative capabilities.
Unlike almost every other craft in which I’ve dabbled, letterpress doesn’t allow for a great deal of spontaneity. It requires a high level of patience, planning, and meticulousness. Despite (or perhaps because of ) the fact I don’t possess those traits in droves, I am inspired by the parameters of letterpress; I am enjoying the push to think and create in a completely different way.
I’m not sure that I’ll pursue letterpress very much after this class ends, but right now I am loving it. I relish having due dates for my creations. Knowing that others are going to be examining and critiquing my work forces me to push myself to create to the best of my abilities. I know it won’t last forever, but I’m kind of high on letterpress right now.