I was really excited to start my internship at the Western New York Book Arts Center (WNYBAC). However, when I started last week, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would be doing besides letterpress. I am learning letterpress printing, but also almost everything that goes on at WNYBAC, from business to managing a store to actual creative work.
My first day I made buttons. As boring as that sounds, I actually really enjoyed it. The process included finding images in magazines, cutting them out, punching them into a circle, layering a metal frame with the image, a plastic cover and a metal back, then pressing it all together to create a cute, little pin. The buttons are actually on sale at the store and the reason they had me make them was because they ran out. The best part was, because a lot of the customers are creative people, the more obscure the image, the more people would like it. I made them with landscapes, images of people, images of animals and holiday ones.
My second day was a long day. Because there was a gallery opening that night, most of the day was dedicated to cleaning up the store, yes with a mop and broom, and folding programs. It was as exciting as it sounded, but the last half of the day I got to actually work with the presses. Well. I got to first learn how to clean a press with baby oil and even though I had gloves on, I still got black ink all up my arm! But later I got to help print some cards, and then clean the press again.
I really am enjoying my internship so far. Even when doing boring work, like folding programs and cards, I still have fun talking with my supervisors and other volunteers. They offer me coffee too, which is always a plus. My next project is learning screen printing and I am super excited to learn more about that!