Introductory Letterpress Course NSW Australia

If anyone is interested in attending an excellent introductory course in Letterpress printing in NSW Australia I can highly recommend William Amer. I recently attended a two day ‘Letterpress 101’ course conducted by William in beautiful historic Rockley village in NSW. In the company of two other enthusiasts I learnt a great deal in the two days of ‘hands on’ instruction from this very knowledgeable, dedicated and encouraging instructor and craftsman. It was wonderful to leave with our very own hand composed and pressed designs as our first attempts. See the Classifieds section under Workshops and Instruction for William’s details.

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Is there a mailing-list for letterpress in Australia?


Hi, Newbee Press,
can I direct you to my website
click on the Letterpress button.
If you are looking for letterpress instruction, I should be able to help.
William Amer, Australian

Hello Terri,
what a fabulous review of the weekend just gone. Appreciate the sincere comments. I think 3 students per course seems to allow ample personal instruction, don’t you think?
Also congratulations on your website, designcalligraphy,
it is an honour being part of your development.

I also attended the letterpress introductory course along with Terri and would like to extend sincere thanks to William not only for his wonderful instruction, but also his attention to the individual creativity of each student. William was genuinely impressed with both the traditional and contemporary design the three students brought to the course. He was excited to integrate our individual styles with the traditions of letterpress, resulting in samples we were proud to take home. As a brand newie to letterpress I was unsure of what could be learned in a weekend “101” course, but the entire course was hands on, we were granted access to a large collection of fonts and each had a letterpress to call our own for the weekend. Thanks again.

I also attended a fabulous Letterpress 101 course with William in beautiful Rockley. William is a wonderful and natural teacher and his passion for his craft is contagious. He answers all questions candidly and is open to exploring new ideas and techniques.

The course progresses quickly and William begins with a quick exercise in typesetting your name, inking your press and printing. Within an hour or two you will have your first pieces printed. You then begin a more thorough exercise of composing and printing an invitation in two colours.
I would recommend this course to anyone interested in letterpress.

Thank you once again to William, Trish and Satchmo for hosting such a wonderful course!

Demelza, its been my pleasure. A thrill passing on the knowledge and experience of over 40 years.
William Amer, Rockley, New South Wales

I also attended William’s letterpress 101 course with Terri and Rach.

I am getting married this year and wanted to make my own invitations and came across the beautiful creation of letterpress and hence the reason I decided to take the introductory course with William. I can highly recommend this two day course to anyone who is interested in introductory letterpress. It was great to be hands on all weekend whilst learning from a teacher who has so much experience and passion. We were able to choose from many different typefaces and inks and by the end of the weekend all three of us had our very own pressed cards to take home.

I look forward to doing another course with William when the time comes. :)

Erin, how is your Adana working now, after last Saturday’s workshop on it. Don’t forget to send me a sample of the invitation.
You might want to shim with a fine metal sheet the “hole” that the inking disk rotates in. Don’t forget to keep it well oiled and capitalise on the beauty of a hand machine and pull the impression lever slowly and firmly, don’t forget the “dwell” time.
regards, William Amer

William, the Adana is working beautifully, the ink is perfectly even and I was lucky enough to get an impression with some of my type blocks.. I will send you samples when I have finished printing this weekend. I have been keeping it well oiled and my hand is getting much better using the lever, I feel quite consistent now and haven’t forgot the “dwell” time :) Thanks for your expertise and help getting the press working, I’m so happy with everything, its going much better than expected! Check your email, I’ve sent some photos. Speak soon, Erin.

Congratulations, Sammy from Queensland, Alex from South Sydney and Nathan from North Sydney on completing the revise Letterpress 101.2 course, now inclusive of the operation and capabilities of the Chandler and Price Platen.
The course introduced you to letterpress principles and gave you hands-on practise of hand-lever and flywheel platens.
Your reaction at the end of the course said it all to me.
The best of achievements to you all.
William of Rockley, NSW

I just wanted to provide a review of William’s 2-day course, which I attended in early September 2010.

The course was amazingly awesome. It involved intense learning - combining both theory and mechanical skill + coordination. William was really good at teaching and passing on tips - and I highly recommend it to any beginner based in Sydney / East Coast, who is serious about taking on letterpress.

While this is obvious to most people here, letterpress definitely isn’t a weekend hobby for impatient princesses/princes to kill time with. It’s a serious trade that I’ve realised is going to take many years to get semi-decent at.

I think this is especially true for us “younger” generations. I’m 29, pretty good with my brain, but no expert with my hands or mechanics. Getting hands-on with the course was a polite, but necessary wake up call to know what I was going myself into.

On the first day of the course, we started off by going through basics; Working off an Adana 8x5 tabletop press, hand-setting type, and learning the basics of inking up, make-readies and cleaning. I’m a type nut, and exploring his cabinets of typography was amazing!

On the second day we used his Chandler and Price to produce a 3 colour job, which was fun.

The whole experience of going to a country town was awesome too. Rockley is really hospitable with down to earth people you don’t find in the city. When I arrived on the Friday night, I went to the pub to check into for the night. The pub was crowded with farmers + miners having Friday night drinks. As soon as I opened the door, the whole place suddenly went dead quiet, with everyone staring at me, wearing a black leather jacket, scarf, and green shoes.. (…I’m of Asian background too). But after a few g’days in my most bogan accent, it was all good - as though I was their best mate.

From the experience of the course, I was able to decide whether I was serious about letterpress or not. (I would have hated to invest so much cost + effort, only to give it up 1 week later).

Today I bought my new press! - a Heidelberg Windmill. I realise I’m not out of the woods - in fact, I’m about to step into it.

Anyway, if you’ve found yourself reading this thread, and are half considering taking on the course, I’d recommend you do it. We only live once. Make the most of the opportunities out there :)

Thankyou, “Noftus” for your wonderful comments on my letterpress courses here at Rockley near Bathurst. By the way, it is the big Bathurst races right now, remember the night drive around Mount Panorama when you were here, well now you’d not be able to get anywhere near the place, but when you see the TV news reports, just remember you did the circuit as well!
It is pleasing that you left that weekend with so much enthusiasm for the trade, more so for me that you have committed to a serious machine. As with all my students, your committment to the course has opened a mentoring relationship, feel free to contact me in support of your journey in letterpress printing. I will enjoy being part of your enterprise.
Consider my newly launched Costing and Estimating course, I gave the first lesson last weekend to Terri, who was amazed at the depth of detail, and even more amazed at how she could eventually and confidently make profits from her work when knowing exactly what her costs were and what her profits needed to be. Enlighting to Terri, was how to calculate paper costs, among other things, and how now she was in control of her enterprise.
Too many printers in the past and even today think that by owning a press is all that’s needed to make money. After decades working as an estimator and cost accountant for printers … well, I’ll say no more.
Enjoy your work,
William of Rockley, NSW