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I was approached by an acquaintance to print a set of wedding invitations for a happy couple three weeks ago. The client already had a design, made plates and bought paper. My part was to do the actual printing. The design was lovely: silhouetted wildflowers in sage green against a cream background with black text.

Now the paper was beautiful, but my little C&P just couldn’t give a good print on the linen finish.

bad printing

bad printing

I tried printing on the smoother side of the paper, upping the packing, and adding more ink, then thinning the ink, then putting a sheet of make ready UNDER the plate, etc. etc. and still, that linen finish that is so pretty just wouldn’t take a punch. The horizontals and verticals on the paper surface, that make it look like its woven, showed through no matter how much pressure I applied.

So, after calling a few people to ask if there was any trick to printing with this paper, I decided to rig up the cylinder Poco proof press to print the second color. rigged poco

Worked pretty well, even though it took a lot longer with hand inking the plate for each print. The prints were much more consistent, and the texture didn’t show through the more solid areas of the image. Pretty good, pretty good.
better print

The first classes went well over at Firecracker Press. The Digital Letterpress class was full plus one, the letterpress fundamentals class only has two students, and the one-day Letterpress Techniques had two people.

The workshop went well, but it was a long day and I didn’t eat lunch so I was getting pretty loopy by 5 pm. The 2 students were very good at what they were doing after the initial demos. I’d do few things differently next time, such as limit the materials available, encourage interaction between students, and really push the experimentation aspect of the class. With only two students who weren’t interacting very much, the class felt, well, dry. They came up with some good stuff, and one boy left with maybe 25 mono prints. The other gal produced a snarky greeting card with an text and image, and figured out registration pretty well too. All in all, it was a great day. I felt those two students took their money’s worth from the class for sure!

Next week we’ll have another full Saturday with the Digital Letterpress in the morning, and then Letterpress Fundamentals in the afternoon. I am always impressed by what people produce in these classes. It’s very inspiring!

Green with Indie!!!

This week I was accepted into the Saint Louis chapter of the Craft Mafia! I think this is very cool, and it will be very good for Lock and Key Press. I hope to be networking and craft fair-ing with all the members for the duration of my stay in Saint Louis. To see who’s who and who makes what, check out the newly added tab above titled Saint Louis Craft Mafia. All the members will be listed soon! Their are some incredibly talented people in this group and I’m proud to have been chosen to work among them!

Also, I have received my Membership packet from the Amalgamated Printer’s Association. I’m quite excited about this, as I’ve been asked by many of the printer’s I admire “Are you in the APA?” Now I can say YES! I am! Number #843! They even sent me a little tiny logotype that says “Amalgamated Printer’s Association MEMBER”.

member!

member!


All I’ve got to do is print up 200 copies of my “prop card” and send it in to make my membership “official”. So that’s what I’m doing today, as well as writing up the last bits of class materials, and making some color proofs for wedding invites I’m printing.

Maybe this momentum will continue and I won’t feel so much pressure about finding a full-time job…

Firecracker Press is offering the following courses for Spring 2009 Just in Time For Valentine’s Day!! Instructor is Yours Truly of Lock and Key Press! (Except the woodcuts class, which I’m probably going to take.) Call (314) 776- 7271 to register!

LETTERPRESS FUNDAMENTALS
Letterpress Fundamentals is a comprehensive five week course focusing on the traditional methods of letterpress printing. Students will learn the tradition of setting metal type, by hand, using our collection, make proofs and corrections, operate a Vandercook printing press and our antique platen press, mix ink by hand and learn the ins and out of paper. Each student will create an editioned piece of their design to exchange with all students, so everyone leaves the class with a small portfolio of fine prints! No prior experience needed.

Course schedule (5 weeks):
Saturdays from 1pm-4pm
Jan. 24th – Feb 21st

Cost: $245.00 all materials included
(Additional type deposit of $25.00 is required.
Refunded barring no damage to equipment.
Separate check please.)

LETTERPRESS TECHNIQUES
Letterpress Techniques is a loosely structured class focusing on exploration of composition, inking, finishing and creative thinking with letterpress tools and equipment. This class will consist of several demonstrations with lots of time for students to apply their own ideas and interpretations of the techniques learned while creating fine prints using wood type, metal type, and antique printing blocks. Students with their own woodcuts or linoleum blocks are encouraged to bring them to class. No prior experience needed. This class is a great precursor to Letterpress Fundamentals, and can be a fun addition to the Woodcut or Digital Letterpress classes.

Course schedule (1 day):
Sunday from 11pm-5pm
Jan. 25th

Cost: $125.00 all materials included
(Additional type deposit of $25.00 is required. Refunded barring no damage to equipment. Separate check please.)

DIGITAL LETTERPRESS
This course is a great way to combine old technologies and new ones. In this class students learn how to take their own computer based digital images and create photopolymer, relief plates that can be printed on our Vandercook printing press. Students will learn how to create a digital file, make a film negative of from the file, and then make a photopolymer plate using our platemaker. The Firecracker Press provides materials to get students started. The cost of specific project needs is up to each student and all additional materials can be purchased through The Firecracker Press. No previous experience necessary, but Letterpress Fundamentals or Letterpress Techniques is strongly suggested.

Course schedule (4 weeks):
Saturdays from 9am-12 noon
Jan. 24th – Feb 14th

Cost: $185.00 + $45.00 materials fee
(Additional equipment deposit of $25.00 is required. Refunded barring no damage to equipment. Separate check please. )

WOODCUT BASICS CLASS
Introduction to woodcut tools, materials, transfer methods, woodcutting techniques, inks and inking (brayers and press), paper, printing techniques. Students will dive into woodcut production using supplied materials and printing using supplied woodcuts, with self-guided projects to come. In addition to unique prints each student will create an editioned piece of their design to exchange with all students, so everyone leaves the class with a small portfolio of fine prints! The Firecracker Press provides materials to get students started. The cost of specific project needs is up to each student and all additional materials can be purchased through The Firecracker Press.

Course schedule (4 weeks):
Tuesdays from 6:30pm-9:30pm
Jan. 27th – Feb 17th

Cost: $185.00 + $45.00 materials fee
(Additional equipment deposit of $25.00 is required. Refunded barring no damage to equipment. Separate check please. )

Things I must do Today:

• price brown kraft cardstock at Xpedx

call Mr. Niehaus about Tulsa Hub job he die cut for me

• cut paper for mini-valentines

• print mini-valentines

• layout address books

• Drink more water, i’m getting a headache…

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Oak Slant Top Composing Top

IMG_0323

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What Day is it Anyway?

January 2009
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