(From left to right) Kevin O'Sullivan, Marcia McIntosh, and Courtney Jacobs (or the 3Dhotbed crew), hosted a hands-on book history workshop for Digital Frontiers 2017.

(From left to right) Kevin O'Sullivan, Marcia McIntosh, and Courtney Jacobs (or the 3Dhotbed crew), hosted a hands-on book history workshop for Digital Frontiers 2017.

The 3Dhotbed crew recently hosted a hands-on workshop at the University of North Texas for the annual Digital Frontiers conference.  Part presentation and part maker fare, the workshop provided attendees with an interactive introduction to the 3Dhotbed project as well as an opportunity to engage with the materials in the teaching toolkit. In the first part of the workshop, the group discussed their process developing 3D models of the tools and hosting the resulting data in a digital repository. They also discussed instruction and outreach programming made possible by the toolkit. For the workshop portion, participants had the opportunity engage in activities to learn about the various aspects of printing during the hand press era using both historical artifacts as well as 3D-printed facsimiles.

 Artist and 3Dhotbed partner Syd Webb led a printing station with a platen press from her letterpress studio, 4 ACRE PRESS.

Artist and 3Dhotbed partner Syd Webb led a printing station with a platen press from her letterpress studio, 4 ACRE PRESS.

Attendees used the 3Dhotbed teaching toolkit in a mock classroom setting to mimic the multi-step process of designing and casting type by hand. At another station, they practiced composing and setting metal type in 3D printed composing sticks.  The freelance artist we worked with to develop and print the models was there to live-demo the software used to create the data necessary for a functioning toolkit. At the printing station, attendees got a chance to ink and print a pamphlet cover image using a tabletop rollerpress and a letterpress poster to take home. Syd Webb, a printmaking instructor at UNT, facilitated this station and even brought two of her personal presses for the event!  Printmaker and book artist Sarah Ellis, along with UNT Special Collections staff member Emily Aparicio, helped attendees fold and sew a quarto pamphlet using their printed cover image at the binding station. 

 Attendees printed a mini-poster to take awat from the event.

Attendees printed a mini-poster to take awat from the event.

The 2-hour event was a great success, and we hope to do more programming like this in the future!

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