Best Letterpress Haven Phoenix 2013 - Pyracantha Press at Arizona State University
Pyracantha Press isn't easy to find, but once you wind down the staircase in the Art Building on ASU's massive Tempe campus, hang a sharp left, and find either a printmaking student or kind professor to let you into the door, you'll want to remember its location — and find a way to sign up for a few credits.
The underground classroom is a trove of letterpress resources. Established in the early 1980s, Pyracantha Press officially is the production and research imprint of the School of Art's book-arts program, according to ASU. The countless drawers of metal and wood type and presses that date back a hundred years are overseen by professor John Risseeuw as well as Dan Mayer and Gene Valentine, who have taught hundreds of students the basics of letterpress and the art of crafting a message with type, ink, and paper. Lucky us, they're continuing a tradition — and opening the studio from time to time for public demonstrations and interactive activities.