And if you know and adore BPS, you probably know all about a pica pole and you’re going to want to wear their pica pole bling! First, some background.
Kyle Van Horn and Kim Bentley are a husband and wife team who own and run BPS, a public-access letterpress and screenprinting studio. The studio is located in Baltimore’s Station North Arts & Entertainment District. Holding combined degrees in illustration, painting, and design, both have adopted their love for printmaking over years of occasional classes, personal projects, and commercial work.
Together they manage studio hours, offer letterpress and screenprinting workshops, and as BPS, tackle commercial work.
In addition to running BPS, Kim and Kyle both currently have day jobs.
Kyle works full-time for the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), overseeing a rapidly growing printmaking department. Kim is a full-time graphic designer and works as part-time faculty at MICA in the graphic design department.
Through Baltimore Print Studios, Kyle and Kim offer a number of classes—non are better than these two:
A one-day letterpress workshop that covers all the basics of letterpress printing. You’ll learn how letterpress printing works, how to hand-set wood and metal type, mix ink, print from type and polymer plates, and how to troubleshoot printing and press issues. You’ll leave the class understanding how to operate the presses safely and efficiently.
Their one-day screenprinting workshop covers all the basics of screenprinting. You’ll learn first hand how properly coat, expose, print from, and clean a silkscreen. Differences in inks, printing substrates, screen mesh, and filmwork will all be discussed, and various multi-color registration techniques will be covered.
Now about the bling from BPS!
I love my vintage pica pole; I’ve had it since the early 1970s. I’ve kept it with me as I’ve moved from place-to-place over the past 40 years. I keep it at work and, while I no longer measure picas on a regular basis, it serves many other purposes—not the least of which is to help ground me in a digital age where so much is measured remotely by algorithms.
Kim and Kyle say, “Our miniature Tools of the Trade pins are perfect for showing off your love of print. This Pica Pole Pin can be used to measure up to 6 picas! This pin is stamped into brass, filled with hard enamel, and then gold-plated. Measuring just over 1.25″, it looks equally at home on your apron strap or as a tie-tack. Proclaim your love for the inky arts even when you’re not in the studio.”
I’m ordering—and at just $10, I may need several for me and my vintage friends.