Entrepreneurship is central to Catapult’s mission. Catapult Press assists in this part of the mission by providing space, equipment, and opportunities to learn the art of letterpress printing.
Letterpress printing is valuable in both fine arts practice and in the reproduction of images. It helps the artist to highlight fine craftsmanship and originality when producing quantities and to explore the commercial aspects of letterpress operations.
We house three historically important working printing presses with lead and wood type. With this equipment, you can create unique posters, invitations, announcements, thank you notes, and personalized stationary.
The Press is available for Southeast students and faculty. Community members may have access to the press through workshops and studio memberships. Assistant Professor Hannah Sanders is the press coordinator. Hannah's assistants are three work-study students from the Department of Art and Design at Southeast.
Letterpress Printing Area Policies and Procedures
Workshops are provided at least once per semester in various processes involving letterpress printmaking. Workshops are provided for Southeast Missouri State University students and faculty. There are also workshops directed towards community members.
Workshop fees are determined by time, material usage, 5% for maintenance of the equipment, and benefit to the artist. Work study hours may also be considered as a factor. Any remaining funds collected will go towards improving the letterpress area, outreach/education through the letterpress area, and bringing in future visiting artists. See “Visiting Artists”
Workshop fees are distributed as following: 5% to Rustmedia for equipment maintenance, then the remaining fee monies are divided 50%/50% between the letterpress area and the artist/instructor.
Workshops may be taught by visiting artists and/or the Catapult letterpress coordinator. If taught by the Catapult letterpress coordinator, after the 5% for Rustmedia is deducted, the remaining funds will go towards the Catapult Letterpress Area.
Taking a workshop will start the process for an individual to have studio access to the letterpress area. The level of access will depend on the level of proficiency the individual demonstrates in the process(es) they intend to carry out in the studio. Our utmost concern is safety of the individual and others working in the shop as well as the well-being of the equipment and the space.
All members work during open studio hours, which coincide with the business hours of Catapult Creative House. Catapult’s director, general managers, letterpress coordinator, and/or the work study student(s) for the letterpress area must be present while members work in the studio space in order to ensure safe access for all. It will depend on the proficiency of the individual member whether the letterpress-specific employees including the press coordinator and/or work study student(s) for the letterpress must be present while the member works in the space.
Memberships are designed for individuals who can demonstrate an appropriate level of experience in techniques used in the letterpress area. We require all members have the ability to use the facilities correctly, safely, and with consideration for the equipment, space, and others who utilize the space. All members must start by enrolling in one or more workshops offered through Catapult Press. Level of proficiency will determine if the individual members may work independently during open shop hours or whether they need to be working in coordination with the letterpress area coordinator and/or letterpress area work study students in order to ensure safety of themselves, others, and the equipment. Exceptions may be made in special cases at the letterpress area coordinator’s discretion for those individuals previously trained on letterpress equipment or for faculty/students/community members who may be working collaboratively with the letterpress area coordinator and Catapult Press work-study students.
Members may only use equipment they have been trained on and certified to use including: type and blocks, and the Vandercook SP20. The Chandler and Price Paper Cutter, Heidelberg Windmill Press, and Chandler and Price Platen Press may not be utilized by those without a high level of experience and supervision, as these pieces of equipment may be extremely dangerous.
Appropriate communication and consultation will be maintained with Rustmedia, the owner of the equipment, in order to keep the space and equipment safe and functioning properly.
All members will have access to a shelf and/or flat file space to store their personal supplies. Members will have use of ink and cleanup solvents as well as some rags and other miscellaneous studio supplies. Members may purchase paper through Catapult Press or elsewhere. Members will receive a 10% discount on most workshops. Studio members are asked to keep worktables clear/clean when not in use by stowing their supplies, especially during times when workshops are scheduled in the studio.
Becoming a Member
All prospective members must begin by registering for one or more workshops and demonstrate proficiency with the equipment they wish to utilize. See Proficiency, above. Prospective members should submit a 1-2 page typewritten statement outlining:
- Project(s) planned for the space
- Materials they plan to use
- How their project relates to the mission of Catapult Creative House
- Timeline for use of the space
- Assistance they feel they will need
Prospective members will meet with the press coordinator to discuss access, proficiency, safety, and other topics before the potential member is certified to access the space. A contract will be signed delineating the level of access the member has to the space (including level of supervision required) as well as certifying that the member has been given copious safety information and trained in appropriate safety and use of the equipment.
Two levels of membership are available: regular and assistant. Members at the assistant level must have taken 3+ workshops, be approved by the letterpress coordinator, and have ample knowledge of the processes and equipment used in the space. Assistant level members must be willing to participate in routine shop cleanups, dis type, assist at workshops and other Catapult press events, and otherwise be available for service to the space around 3-5 hours per month.
At this time, prospective members may be Southeast Missouri State University faculty members, staff, or students. Community members may also be allowed access depending on proficiency, availability of space, and relevance of proposed project(s) to the mission of Catapult Creative House and Catapult Press.
Single project, 1-3 weeks: Cost TBD on basis of project at a minimum of $10-$15/week. Printing assistance may be provided for projects.
|6 Months Assistant||$30/month|
|6 Months Regular||$35/month|
|1 Year Assistant||$25/month|
|1 Year Regular||$35/month|
Membership Rate for Faculty and Student of Southeast Missouri State University
Catapult Creative House Scholarship students are automatically eligible for assistant level memberships after appropriate safety/usage training (through workshops or otherwise) is complete and proficiency demonstrated. Community members may be approved for this rate if they demonstrate a significant level of proficiency, allowing them to work completely independently in the studio.
|1 Semester Assistant||$35|
|1 Academic Year||$85|
|1 Academic Year Assistant||$65|
Particular faculty may desire to bring their class to Catapult for a special workshop, demonstration, or project utilizing the letterpress area equipment. In order to cover the cost of ink, clean-up, and other associated materials, we ask that each student (or the class/program) be prepared to pay $2-$5 each, depending on the project. Paper is available for sale from Catapult Press during Catapult Creative House business hours, or the students or faculty/program may provide their own paper. Please consult with the Catapult Letterpress Coordinator on paper type before purchase if you plan to supply your own.
The Catapult letterpress coordinator and/or work study students will be scheduled to assist the visiting class with their project, teach a workshop, open and close the studio/building, etc.
Due to the scheduling of assistance and necessity of stocking supplies, it is best to consult the Catapult letterpress area coordinator a minimum of three weeks prior to visiting. Impromptu visits may be possible depending on availability of space and assistance. Applications may be made by emailing the Catapult Letterpress Coordinator , Hannah Sanders, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Catapult Press has a visiting artist program with a current budget of $1,000 per year. Other funds may be sourced through the Catapult Creative House Visiting Lecture Series. Potential visiting artists may also be sought out by the Catapult letterpress coordinator. Other interested parties are invited to submit materials via a digital submission process.* A process is being developed for involving students in the selection of artists for the visiting artist program: currently, once per year potential visiting artists are presented at a Print Club meeting. All art department students and faculty, Rustmedia representatives, and other interested parties are invited to attend the meeting to vote on which artists they would like to be invited for the following calendar year.
It is asked that 35-50% of work created by visiting artists using the Catapult Press Area be donated to Catapult Press for archival in the Print Collection. This will be negotiated with the artist prior to their arrival at Catapult. A portion of this may be sold to raise funds for future visiting artists through our Print Subscription Program: Catapult Editions.
Visiting Artist Program
Catapult helps young artists learn how to be entrepreneurs. We facilitate this by fostering interactions between entrepreneurs at various points in their career and students. Our visiting artist program brings professionals, students, educators, and community members together in shared experiences with artists from near and far.
Catapult is in partnership with Rustmedia and Southeast Missouri State University to provide access to a beautiful range of equipment and type including:
- Chandler & Price Oldstyle Automated Letterpress. Prints up to approximately 10” x 15”
- Vandercook SP20 Cylinder Proofing Press. Prints up to approximately 18” x 24”
- Chandler and Price Paper cutter, cuts up to 26” x 40”
- Hidelberg Windmill Blackball 10” x 15”
- Hamilton Etching/Relief Press with Felts, prints up to approximately 15” x 18”
- Linotype (for viewing/historical purposes only—not functional)
- Two large metal work tables with comfortable stools
- Flat files for paper/print storage
- Large drying rack
- Storage room with copious shelving and 2 desks
- Macbook Pro Laptop for cataloging type and work made in the studio
- Assorted Quoins and Keys (high speed and old style)
- Slug Cutters (2)
- Metal and some wooden furniture in cabinets
- A couple of lead type fonts
- Several large to medium sized wood type fonts
- Image blocks from local printing jobs in the olden days like animals, nuns, local logos, local buildings, and other antique “clip art”
- Galley cabinet with trays
- Assorted Chases
- Leading cabinet
- Rulers and Point/Pica Sticks
- Two (2) large self-healing cutting mats
- Ink Knives
- Razor Scrapers
- Room for our type collection to grow in our many type cabinets!
- Boxcar Base for Polymer plate printing – 2, 6” x 9” (can be used alone or butted up together for a larger area up to 12” x 9” or 6” x 18”
- Press Packing/tympan Paper
- Assorted Sizes of Small Brayers
At our River Campus, we also have a Takach etching/relief/litho conversion press, Brand etching/relief press, and facilities for screen exposure including darkroom and printing, ferric chloride copper etching and intaglio printing, stone and plate lithography with estisol, and more.
We may be able to supply materials in addition to this, depending on funding, but our base supplies generally include:
- Victory and/or Van Son Holland Rubber-based inks in basic colors plus low-tack black, transparent white and opaque white
- Vegetable oil for cleanup
- California Wash for cleanup
- Simple Green for cleanup/degreasing
- Dish soap + water for cleanup/degreasing
- Masking tape
You can choose from a range of activities during your time as a visiting artist at Catapult including, but not limited to:
- Give a public lecture about your work, process, and/or entrepreneurship as it relates to your particular experiences.
- Do a demonstration during a First Friday or other evening opening, generally 5-9 p.m.
- Offer a free workshop for Southeast Missouri State University students.
- Teach a paid workshop for community members, price to be negotiated with profit towards the artist, profit towards Catapult to fund future projects/artist visits and cover supplies used, and 5% to Rustmedia for maintenance of the equipment.
- Exhibit your artwork on the gallery wall in the letterpress studio (track lighting, rare earth metal magnets available for hanging unframed works.)
- Create an edition or series of works to be split 50/50 between the artist(s) and Catapult Letterpress Area. Works left with the Catapult Letterpress Area will be used for educational purposes and may be sold to generate funding for future visiting artists and programming at Catapult Press.
- Studio visits/critiques with Southeast Missouri State University art students and other Southeast students involved with Catapult.
If you have been invited to participate, you need not observe this process below. But please feel free to share our application process with others whom you think may be interested in working with us in the future!
Applications are reviewed twice a year in April and September. Please submit materials by April 30 at 11:59 p.m. or September 30 at 11:59 p.m. to be given full consideration. It is our goal to bring in 1-2 visiting artists per year.
What we are looking for: At Catapult, we are open to a range of experiences, including but not limited to those who engage in: cross-disciplinary collaboration, innovative use of equipment, combination of new and old technology, community engagement, education, experience bridging the gap between fine art creation and production for sale, and artist/professionals at all stages of their careers from emerging to experienced.
Submit the following via a website link, Google Drive file, or DropBox file to Hannah Sanders at email@example.com.*
- 10-20 images of recent work, ideally including work that will exhibit how you might make use of the equipment available at Catapult 300 dpi, 1000 dpi max on longest side: .jpg, .png, .gif with a .docx slidelist or a .pdf of thumbnails with slidelist or a webpage link
- A 1-2 page proposal for your visit to Catapult, with particular attention to how you might provide entrepreneurial inspiration, which activities you might like to present, funding/supply needs, etc. weblink or .docx or .pdf
- A 500 word or less bio weblink or .docx or .pdf
- C.V. or Resume with your current contact information including email, phone, and mailing address. weblink or .docx or .pdf
Reservations and Other Information
If you have questions about Catapult Press, membership, workshops, and printing projects, please contact Hannah Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org.