The Scripps College Press has served as a hub of creative expression of the College from the beginning. The Press has provided generations of students from The Claremont Colleges the opportunity to learn the art of traditional letterpress and printmaking with start-up funds from the Class of 1941. Continuing in that vein, a recent gift to support the Press is helping to expand the role of book arts on the campus and across the Scripps community.
This past spring, Antonietta Iannaccone ’14 facilitated a $5,000 gift through the Woodbury Foundation for new drying racks and additional printing supplies for the Scripps Press. This gift creates additional opportunities for students to explore their creativity in the design of cards and bound books. “The gift to the Press is in memory of my mother,” she says. “My senior thesis and the artist book I created there were the last project we conceptualized together.” Scripps is lucky to have an organization like the Press, as it provides a unique opportunity for students from all fields of study to come together and truly collaborate.”
While a student at Scripps, Iannaccone took intro to typography and conducted an independent study at the Press. She shares that these were some of the most valuable experiences of her undergraduate career, and she wanted to give back so future students will also have the resources to excel. “I want students to continue making books,” Iannaccone explains. “The process and skills learned are invaluable whether someone stays in typography and printing or moves into another field entirely.”
Tia Blassingame, director of the Scripps College Press and visiting assistant professor of book arts, highlights the impact of the drying racks to The Scripps College Press, and is excited for future projects. “Previously, [The Press] used every flat surface to stage project materials and dry prints. The addition of a large format drying rack will aid students in safely processing their print and bookwork,” she explains.
The new drying racks also help support Blassingame’s goal of introducing aspects of printmaking studio etiquette and professionalism to students working in a communal studio where peers are creating complex, editioned art projects utilizing the book form. Since joining the College in 2016, following the retirement of former director Kitty Maryatt ’66, Blassingame has continued to build the reputation of the Press with her teaching and outreach.
She describes the Press as “an experimental letterpress and bookbinding laboratory.” Students learn traditional and experimental letterpress printing, book design, typography, and relief printmaking techniques while working with antique printing presses, metal typefaces, and wooden typefaces. Under the Scripps College Press imprint, students create limited-edition artists’ books that are held in private and public collections at colleges, universities, public libraries, and museums nationally and internationally.
Iannaccone is currently a graduate student in the occupational therapy program at the University of Southern California and serves as a junior board member on the Woodbury Foundation. “As an alumna, there are a number of ways to get involved. This is just one way in which I chose to give back.” Iannaccone acknowledged that she feels lucky to be part of a foundation that is able to make a gift like this. She hopes that other alumnae, friends, and families see the impact in the small ways to give back. She hopes others choose to prioritize Scripps in some way.
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