Sessions Run From Traditional to Radical

Attendees of the Wood Block Printing workshop try their hand at cutting their own printing blocks.
Attendees of the Introduction to Wood Block Printmaking workshop try their hand at cutting their own printing blocks.

One of the beauties of a symposium dedicated to the craft of printing and publishing is the variety in the subject matter. Two of the afternoon’s sessions at the 4th Dawson Daily News Print & Publishing Symposium showed the broad range in those topics.

At 3 p.m. resident Dawson artist John Steins gave his popular Introduction to Wood Block Printmaking workshop. This involves showing attendees how to conceive and carve their own wood block prints – a technique that has been around for centuries. While the end result is a straightforward black-and-white print, the techniques used to simulate shading and create stylized effects are varied and intricate. Despite it being the first effort for many of the participants, the results were impressive, as was the satisfaction of seeing one’s first print come out of the press. The workshop comes in two parts, and a follow-on session will take place Sunday at 3 p.m.

At the end of the day, a panel discussion was held entitled From Notepad to Bookshelf: The Writer’s Journey. The panel consisted of current Berton House Writer-in-Residence Emily Pohl-WearyCrispin Eldridge of Barbarian Press, who is not only a master printer and publisher, but a poet and essayist as well; George Filopovic, Editor of One Throne Magazine, and moderator Dan Dowhal, Writer-at-Large in Dawson City. The session was well attended, and much of the discussion covered the changing landscape for writers, including internet publications and self-published zines. One of the key messages for aspiring writers was that, although technology platforms have radically changed the writing world, the need for dedication to your craft and perseverance for the writer in the face of rejection have not.