“Letterpress is a sculptural way of working with language. It is the drawing of sounds. You have to build the silences.” – Rebecca Childers
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With roots in the literary world, Rebecca didn’t fall into letterpress until she housesat for her poetry professor the summer after she graduated from college. As the professor gave a tour of the house and went over guidelines, he stopped at a glass case filled with books. He then instructed her, in case of a fire or other such emergency, that the first shelf of books were to be saved first, and then the 2nd, and then, finally (time allowing), the final shelf. All of these books were limited edition books created by book artist Bonnie O’Connell with text printed by letterpress.
Rebecca spent the whole summer on the couch reading those books – feeling them, touching them, looking at them. “I loved the tactile quality of the books,” she said. “It brought writing into such a beautiful vessel.”
She applied for the MFA writing program at the University of Iowa and then took classes in bookbinding and letterpress through the Iowa Center for the Book. After spending a year trying to make a living as a commercial printer, Rebecca switched gears and went into teaching the craft. She founded her press, Seedbed of Irony, in 1995, and has produced fine press, sculptural books, and ephemera ever since – this time, on her own schedule.