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Illustration of a black and white bee over a yellow swirl of lines, letterpress printed from photopolymer plates by The North Press.
The North Press
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Long-Distance Letterpress: DIY Photopolymer Platemaking

with Carl Youngmann & Ellie Mathews
Saturday, October 1
10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
$50.00 – $75.00


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Why you should take this class

Photopolymer plates—relief plates made with photo-sensitive plastic—are a useful way to combine custom graphics with traditional letterpress materials. They allow you to incorporate digital or hand-drawn elements in your designs. But having plates made requires long lead times and can sometimes be expensive. Did you know you could make photopolymer plates yourself? Ellie Mathews and Carl Youngmann have come up with a kitchen sink method that is easy, affordable, and accessible—and they’ve never looked back.

What you’ll learn

In this edition of Long-Distance Letterpress, you’ll look over the shoulders of Ellie Mathews and Carl Youngmann as they demonstrate their kitchen sink approach to photopolymer platemaking. This class will explore the trade-offs, costs, and considerations of equipping yourself to go DIY. Over the course of two hours, we’ll cover:

  • The limitations of in-home DIY methods
  • Using an inkjet printer to make film negatives
  • Choices of ultraviolet light sources—from the sun to specialized flashlights 
  • Developing a photopolymer plate in an ordinary kitchen sink
  • Curing, proofing, and printing the final plate
  • Tools and materials 

All participants will receive a one-time discount on DIY platemaking supplies from Boxcar Press. 


This workshop consists of a live demonstration and interactive Q&A, with no advance preparation or supplies necessary to participate. 

Who should take this class?

Letterpress printers, printmakers, and anyone curious about making their own photopolymer plates at home.

Will this class be recorded?

All of PiP’s online classes are live and unrecorded — we find it’s a lot more fun and interactive this way. They are closed captioned using Zoom’s Live Transcription feature; to make the most of this tool, update to the most recent version of Zoom.

Visit our FAQ page to learn more about PiP’s class policies.

About the Instructor

Carl Youngmann & Ellie Mathews
Port Townsend, WA
Ellie Mathews and Carl Youngmann are partners in The North Press. They acquired their first press on a whim early in their marriage. Carl had been a printer’s devil during high school, and Ellie had been working as a designer. Their backgrounds are in cartography and graphic software development. Ellie currently focuses on producing poetry broadsides. Carl keeps the presses running while adapting contemporary techniques of image making to letterpress.