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Long-Distance Letterpress: Uncommon Color

with Mike Hepher
Friday, May 7
10:00 am – 12:00 pm PDT
$50.00 – $75.00
A Zoom link will be sent in advance of class


PiP is committed to limiting financial barriers when possible. We leave it to you to decide if your income, wealth, or privilege status warrants a scholarship. All tickets support event production.
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Why you should take this class

From the first time we take hold of a box of crayons, we are taught that trees are green and the sky is blue. Now we know better, and, more often than not, the colors of our world available to us as artists are more diverse and inspiring. Michael Hepher of Clawhammer Press will be your guide as you wander off the normal path and step out of your comfort zone with unique color combinations, layers, and split-fountains that will help you develop your own sense of style and place. Michael will use his decades of experience as a designer, painter, and printer to teach you how to use color creatively to capture emotion and create unique works of art that still feel “right.”

What you’ll learn

This edition of Long-Distance Letterpress will examine ways of using color to create depth, emotion, and find a unique voice for each print. We will tackle a practical approach to intuitive color mixing, making agile adjustments along the way, and stepping outside the realm of “normal” with our color selections. We’ll cover:

  • Fundamentals of color theory (we’ll skim it to make sure everyone has a baseline understanding)
  • Intuitive ink mixing: mixing ink without a scale or percentage guide; trusting your gut for color selection
  • How to predict (within reason) how colors will layer, and how to adjust to surprises
  • The use of gradients (split fountains, rainbow rolls) for depth and interest
  • Planning color for reduction cut illustration or multi-layer compositions
  • On-the-fly troubleshooting for multi-layered prints

All participants will receive a copy of the class project via snail mail as a tangible reminder of the experience.


This workshop consists of a demonstration and interactive Q&A, with no advance preparation or supplies necessary to participate. A knowledge of basic color theory is an asset but not a requirement.

Who should take this class?

Letterpress printers, printmakers, designers and artists looking to step outside their usual color palettes.

About the Instructor

Mike Hepher
Fernie, BC
Michael Hepher is an interdisciplinary artist working as a printmaker, letterpress printer, illustrator, and oil painter. He founded Clawhammer Press in 2011 as an escape from website design, and has been printing since 2003 when a Chandler & Price platen accidentally landed in his garage. A versatile artist with a broad knowledge of the creative process, Michael has to his credit a wide variety of successful exhibitions, public art projects, and private commissions. Notable recents include work shown in the New Impressions exhibit at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum (2019 and 2017), and a feature profile in Uppercase Magazine’s PRINT/MAKER edition of the Encyclopedia of Inspiration. Recently he painted “All Kinds of Beauty,” a 16’ x 96’ mural inspired by his printmaking style (2019) and “Backroads BC,” a travelogue of oil paintings shown at the Fernie Museum Gallery (2018) and Smithers Art Gallery (2019). Currently, he’s touring a solo exhibition of prints and paintings titled “In This Together: an exploration of Canadian Rockies geography, lifestyle, and culture.” An elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists, Michael continues his diverse work from his home-based studio in Fernie, BC. Canada.