Classes at SFCB

I’m planning on taking some letterpress classes at the San Francisco Center for the Book. It looks like a great program, but I wanted to ask y’all if you have any experience with the place, know whether or not the classes are worthwhile, the instructors knowledgable and helpful, so on, etc. Thanks much in advance.

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The SFCB is great. Nice space, with good equipment and lots of type. I took a Vandercook maintenence workshop, and learned a ton. Very informative, and a good vibe overall.
I have not taken a ton of classes there, but I hear nothing but good things from other people who have taken classes as well.
Instructors tend to be local experts with plenty of experience, from what i have seen.
Definately the most wide spread and comprehensive offering of classes around.
I would reccomend it. :)

cheers, thanks for the reccomendation

I agree that the SFCB has a good setup and program, although it’s been years since I was there taking a class and I know they’ve added things and made it even better. But part of it depends on what you want to learn, where in the Bay Area you are, what your budget is, and so on. SFCB is only one of several options in the area, including classes at Foothill College in Los Altos, and one-on-one training from members of the San Jose Printers’ Guild at History Park in San Jose.

Dave Robison, SJ Printers’ Guild

inre: SJ Printer’s Guild

That’s exciting stuff, I was unaware that you folks did one-on-one training. I’m travelling in Mexico right now, will be until early-mid Oct., but I plan on living in SJ when I come back to the bay. The idea was to Caltrain up to the SFCB, but if I can get personalized training with you folks that would be wonderful. I will definitely have to come knock on your door in about a month and a half.

However, a question comes to mind- the classes at the SFCB are not cheap, so I would guess that one-on-one training would be even more costly, almost certainly pushing that out of my budget. Is this the case? Would bartering volunteer time (I cook! I clean!) at History Park for classes be possible?

Thanks Kindly,
Sean M.

The San Jose Printers’ Guild at History Park may offer real “classes” someday, but for now it’s just occasional training sessions and mostly something more like apprenticeship - working with more experienced Guild members in the shop. The only cost is time, as you’ll probably have to attend a couple of the monthly Guild meetings and spend some hours in the shop before you get to run the presses, and when you’re up to speed on things we’ll ask you to volunteer to interpret the shop to visitors perhaps one day (five hours) per month. Feel free to email me at [email protected] for more info.

Dave R, S J Printers’ Guild