Local Artists Showcase Details in Tools Used for a Letterpress

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Red Door Press and local photographer Paige Peterson are teaming up to showcase the details you will find on an important tool used in letterpress.

A “cut” is an image block that is placed in a particular order to create an image or message.

Red Door Press Co-Owner Tammy Winn said the cuts come in all shapes, sizes, and images.

“Every color that we put through the press has to be its own layer. We can’t do five colors at one time. We do one and then change the type and do the next,” Winn said.

Winn said there is little room for error when working on a project that has multiple colors involved. It can take hours to complete one design depending on how large the order is.

Co-Owner Adam Winn said showcasing the “cuts” allows people to see how detailed each block is.

People can see the enlarged high-resolution photos taken by Paige Peterson on the First Friday at Main Frame Studios.

“The centerpiece of this show for Friday is actually going to be a big sailing ship that’s been blown up into three giant posters,” Adam Winn said.

Adam and Tammy Winn have a few hundred copper cuts in their current collection. They have been collecting the tools for the last seven years. Some are more than 100 years old.

“If you really want something that is special an image that has a sort of je ne sais quoi like it’s got character and it’s got flaws and it is really interesting letterpress is definitely the way to go,” Adam Winn said.

You can see the full exhibit November 1st from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Main Frame Studios located at 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines.

The photographs are available to purchase.


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