Spring Has Sprung At WNYBAC









Is it just me, or have we been having a lot of rain recently? They say all these showers are supposed to bring flowers, but you won’t have any if you don’t plant some seeds. If you’re feeling behind on your planting, WNYBAC has just the workshop for you!

On Saturday, May 26th, WNYBAC will run a Seed Bomb making workshop. That’s this coming Saturday! So make sure you sign up!

You’ll get to create handmade Seed Bombs using paper pulp and fun molds. Take them home and plant them, and in no time your Seed Bombs will turn into flowers and veggies. These handmade Seen Bombs also make great gifts, so make them for yourself, or anyone else you know who may be in need of seeds. WNYBAC will provide all the materials you may need, and you’re more than welcome to bring your own favorite seeds. No papermaking or gardening experience is required!

WNYBAC actually has a ton of fun workshops planned for the next few months. We promise you won’t be bored this summer.

One of the workshops we have planned for later this month is our Letterpress Basics Workshop. This is a beginners workshop that can stand alone, or  be taken along with our Advanced Letterpress Workshop. Both Basic and Advanced Workshops are two sessions long, taking place on consecutive weeks, and the Letterpress Basics Workshop starts on the 29th. We still have a few spots left, so make sure you sign up!

I’ve actually taken the Basic Letterpress Workshop myself. As an apprentice, my time at WNYBAC is filled with a variety of activities, from the professional development I mentioned in the last blog post, to learning about the book arts through workshops.

In the letterpress workshop I learned the history of our presses, and of printing. I also got to explore all of WNYBAC’s different type fonts and ornaments. That’s definitely the most overwhelming part of printing. Decision fatigue, am I right?

Once I settled on the font and decorations I would use, it was time to set my type. This basically means pulling the letters you need and arranging them with the ornaments, then adding spacing so everything lines up.

Then you move the type onto the printing press and lock it all in using something called furniture, a few contraptions called quoins, and even more spacing.

Then it’s time to start printing. So here’s the thing about letterpress, it’s a lot more setting type than it is actually printing. I was only making a birthday card, so it took me about an hour to set everything up. But people used to print entire newspapers on Vandercook presses, and I can only imagine how long that would take.

Once you have everything set up, though, it’s pretty easy to run off a bunch of copies on the press. I only made seven because, honestly, how many “Happy 21st Birthday” cards do you need? However, on projects I’ve printed since, I’ve made a hundred or more copies, which is what printing presses are meant to be used for.

The idea of using an antique printing press may be daunting, but the actual printing process isn’t complicated. After the workshop and just a couple more projects, I feel comfortable to use a printing press basically by myself. Which honestly is a pretty cool skill to have.

Other workshops coming up during the spring and summer season include screen printing workshops, an intaglio printmaking workshop, and many more. We offer something for everyone! If you’ve ever been curious about and wanted to try your hand at something book arts related, this summer is the time.

Our workshops fall into four major categories:


In any of our letterpress workshops you will have the opportunity to use our historic, fully-operational Vandercook printing presses. Learn to set and lay type, and print your own poster or greeting card.








 In a screenprinting workshop, you will have access to our screenprinting equipment, and get to print your own t-shirt or poster as an end product.









Papermaking workshops allow you to make paper much more interesting than your standard pack of printer paper. Depending on the workshop, you will make use of different fibers and materials and a variety of techniques for crafting one of a kind paper.






We also offer a variety of bookbinding workshops throughout the year. In these various workshops, you can explore different methods of making and binding books, and will get to create your own journal or sketchbook.







The workshops in any of these categories are varied and unique. We offer something for everyone, and for every skill-level, including kid-friendly workshops, and workshops designed specifically for kids. And any one of our workshops would make a great gift. Stop in a store to pick up a gift certificate. We’re open Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm. Treat yourself, or treat someone else.

Have I piqued your interest?

Check out a full list here:

Spring/Summer Workshops

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders listed below, for providing support to WNYBAC's ongoing programs taking place throughout Western New York:

NYSCA M & T Art 4 Moore Zenger Group Evans Bank Community Foundation Baird Foundation
Cameron Jane Wendt Foundation StoryGrowing