I think that it is probably true for a lot of Reed students, at least at that time, that you really felt very insecure in the academic pursuits. I was surrounded by people from Phillips Exeter and other prep schools who were much better prepared for scholarly work than I was. So the workshop was kind of a haven, or a hideout place to escape the toughness of the academic world. It was not that I didn’t care for the academic work, but if you’re given—or if you have a tendency or a desire to make an object, to make an object rather than manipulate an idea, there’s no real substitute for that. And, it was really the making of objects—whether they are letter forms or lines of type or broadsides or printed books, the making of the object that had great appeal. And you could do those things in a workshop and it would seem like it was always open.
—Clyde van Cleve ’ 55