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Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival

  • Rhode Island Street San Francisco, CA USA (map)

About the Festival

The San Francisco Center for the Book’s 14th Annual Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival is a day-long public printmaking and book arts extravaganza that includes free hands-on printmaking and book arts activities, demonstrations, 50 arts and crafts vendors, art gallery and studio tours, and more.

About Steamroller Printing

With roots going back hundreds of years, relief printing -- a process where a protruding surface is inked and brought into contact with paper - is one of the oldest methods of printing illustrations in books.

During the Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival we celebrate this interesting fact of book arts history in the biggest, over-the-top, spectacular way we can think of, by printing linocuts using a 7-ton 1924 Buffalo Springfield steamroller and linocuts using a 12-ton 1916 Kelly Springfield steamroller -- both provided by Roots of Motive Power - combined with the road surface of Rhode Island Street as a humongous makeshift printing press. In this way a team of featured artists, printers and steamroller operators create large-scale Featured Artist prints and smaller Personal Prints Artists prints, during the Festival.

See for yourself! Come to the Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival. Admission is free. 

The resulting "Featured Artists Roadworks" prints are then sold for $500 (3'x3') and $250 (18"x18") and Roadworks "Roadworks 'Personal Prints' Artists'" prints are sold for $40 each as a fundraising activity to benefit San Francisco Center for the Book. Thank you in advance for your support!

The Roadworks Steamroller Printing Festival has become a popular tradition in the Do.Re.Mi (Dogpatch-Potrero-Hill-Mission) Arts District of San Francisco, that attracts art, printmaking and book art enthusiasts of all ages, including adults and kids, from far and wide.

Roadworks Featured Artists

Each year San Francisco Center for the Book selects artists and invites them to be Featured Artists at Roadworks. These artists are provided with a 3' x 3' piece of "Battleship Linoleum" and are asked to create a linocut from it to be printed at the Festival. This year the steamroller printing of linocuts by six artists are the central attraction of the event: Josh Korwin & Alyssa Zukas (link is external) :: Kristina Micotti (link is external) :: Rik Olson (link is external) :: Ryan Putnam (link is external) :: Eric Rewitzer (link is external) :: David Tim (link is external)

Earlier Event: September 10
Open Shop Sunday
Later Event: September 24
Open Shop Sunday