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Printer's Fair

Come to Mt. Pleasant!

Download the full poster!

Come to the 17th Annual Printer’s Fair in beautiful Mt Pleasant Iowa! Come to play with the Printer’s Hall collection of type, presses including Vandercooks, Heidleberg Windmill, Babcock newspaper press(steam powered!), and this year’s debut machine The Hickock Ruling machine, a marvel of technology! See the Linotypes in action, pull a print from an iron hand press or presses powered by antique gasoline engines.

If you’re looking for supplies or to build up your collection of type, stick around for the Swap Meet and the closing Auction. Have stuff you’d like to sell? Get a table to peddle your surplus.

Event begins on Thursday with workshops, demonstrations and camaraderie. There will be instruction on various pieces of equipment, playing with type and lots of shop talk! Friday sees vendor set-up and more work/project time. Saturday is the Sale/Swap Meet from 8 am sharp til 12 noon. Auction begins at 1 pm. Come ready to bid and get a great deal!

Accommodations include local campsites and motels. For details on the event, lodging or a table at the swap meet, contact Chuck Wendel at pchazman@hotmail.com or (319) 241-2999 or Rick von Holdt at vonholdt@netins.net or (515) 677-2301

SMP666

SMP666 posters

Check me out using my new (old) Line-O-Scribe sign press to print posters for the 666th annual Scary Movie Party, an event I helped create that is going public baby! Yeah!

This method of printing is called “Use What You’ve Got” or as I like to describe all my printing, Quick and Dirty. I picked up the press that day, and using only what came with it (two interesting cabinets of drawers full of very worn lead and badly damaged wood type) plus some borrowed ink, we banged out a bunch of blurry, slimy glossy inked prints on coated paper. (My fellow printers, you can assume the challenge that posed, like grease on a banana.) Needless to say, they were a hit with the hipsters, as was the show.

The “new” Line-O-Scribe:

Locked and loaded.

Locked and loaded.

The forme. Because this is a galley height press,(I think, either that or the roller is REALLY shrunken) I had to substitute a cut apart cereal box for the underlayment to bring the forme to proper height. mmm Kashi.

Kashi is a good galley

Kashi?

And then, in real Quick and Dirty style, we inked it up three colors at once. Behold, the messiness:

Quick and Dirty inking

Quick and Dirtu Inking

(Are you keeping track of the beer bottles? Its funny to watch them pile up. Scrimshaw was appropriate…)

And then, we print! First, because of the condition of the roller (don’t ask me how much this cost), I had to pack the forme to get an impression and to keep the filthy roller from marking the reverse of the prints. I used a piece of polyester felt Jessi had that seemed to work just right.

Felt

Felt Packing

VIOLA! The first print!

The First Prints

The First Prints

And finally, the Artists Formerly Known as Sane People, Jessi and Jenny! Big round of applause for their mediocre production!

Artist?

Artists or drunks?

But we had fun. At least it looks like we had fun. I was so sleep deprived by the end of it I don’t really remember much of the printing. Ugh. Art hurts sometimes. :)

And not a word about the fact that its December 6 and I just now got around to posting about something I made in October. Shush!

Last weekend was the Amalgmated Printer’s Association Wayzgoose, also called the Playgoose, and the Iowayzgoose because it took place in Mt. Pleasant Iowa.

Mt. Pleasant is a middle-of-nowhere kind of town. Unmarked roads, faded vinyl siding, its not too much to see really. But they have the Midwest Old Threshers, a big fairgrounds with several buildings on it, all housing turn-of-the-century equipment for industry and farming, even a few exhibits on homestead technology from when the Pioneers settled and farmed Iowa and the surrounding region.

The Midwest Old Threshers is also home to a wonderland of giant steam powered machines, including a steam-powered electric generator from a mental hospital that generated its own power up until the 1960s:

A life-size Steam Locomotive Train on a 1.25 mile track around the grounds:

And even a Printer’s Hall with a steam powered printing press!

This year, the Annual Great Northern and Midwest Printer’s Fair ALSO coincided with the Annual APA Wayzgoose, making this event a double-your-fun, double-your-excitement weekend.

I camped out over the weekend, out by the trolley tracks (yes, they have a working trolley too!) and a lot of time exploring all the museums had to offer. Steve Alt, one of the volunteers there and an all around awesome guy (who not only prints on a 100 year old press powered by an antique gasoline engine, but also restores antique cars and engines), gave me a few great tours of the place. He took me into the boiler room and its his voice you hear in the first video explaining the mechanics of the generator. He also got me into the cab of the No. 9 and on the caboose for a ride around the track!

He let me print a few pieces on his Gordon Press for the APA print exchange bundle, which was so much fun! I used it powered by the engine, and also foot-treadled it manually. Its a fantastic little press!

A Few Prints

A Few Prints

The Swap Meet was great! There were a lot more vendors than last year, and a lot more people from the outside I think. I sold a good amount of things from Mr. Meers, and then put a lot of the rest into the auction. We made some good coin at the auction! I was very pleased. I ended up selling 75% of what I had lugged up there. Awesome!

I got to put a lot  of faces to names, which was good too. Many people I’d “met” on printing forums or mailing lists, and never spoken to face to face. Now, I’m proud to actually be able to call them acquaintances. I got to rub elbows with of the fellows from the Hamilton Wood Type Museum,  Jim Moran. We talked about workshops and events up in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. I hope I can make it out there in December for a presentation by Jim Sherraden of Hatch Show Print.

It was a really great weekend, and I can’t wait for next years Wayzgoose in Huntington, W. Virginia!

The worst part of making so many note cards, like I do, is having to score and fold them all one at a time with a triangle and bone folder on my knees on the living room floor. Yes, the floor, because I there’s no where else, and the kitchen table is where the sewing machine lives so-

No more! I’ve found this handy little number among the heaps of junk in the Meers collection.

Score!

Score!

How cool!!!! An antique scoring machine. I love it already. It will score at least two sheets of card stock at once, nice and smooth. Its lever action would make short work of maybe four or more sheets. I’ll have to try it today.

When I pulled it out, it was covered in rust and really dirty. I wiped it down and took some 200 grit sand paper to it. It was tedious, because of all the ins and out and little grooves to sand out. Then, I wiped the whole thing down with a thin coat of machine oil, and oiled all the joints. I wish I had a “before” picture, but I was too excited to bother with pictures at the time.

The Paper Guide

The Paper Guide

The back of it has a lovely little paper guide that I thought was frozen one with rust but a little sanding and oil and it slides nice and smooth now. I don’t know why its green. I don’t think it was painted, I have a feeling someone used it as an ink mixing surface. :/ Hacks.

Its just so simple and beautiful and practical! It makes me actually WANT to score hundreds of note cards and envelopes! yay!

Today, whilst browsing our beloved InterNets and researching this fine fellow: The Elliott Addressing Machine

Elliott Addressing Machine

Elliott Addressing Machine

I came across this fine fellow, Martin Howard, owner of AntiqueTypewriters.com.

The Crandall, from Martins Site

The Crandall, from Martin's Site

Such cool stuff! He seems quite passionate about what he collects, and is actively buying selling and trading typewriters and other office and printing related equipment. (I have to in all fairness say that I followed a series of links from Early Office Museum.com to find Martin’s wonderful site!)

He has an amazing collection of typewriters listed on his site, with photos, descriptions and even documentation of items from newspapers and trade journals! You know what I didn’t know that I learned from Martin’s site? Some early typewriters didn’t have keyboards! They used dials, or selector mechanisms instead. (Gods I’d love to take one of those things apart… The springs! The cams! The gears! oh my!)

We had a nice email exchange about collecting, about printing, about what we might want to buy/sell/trade with each other, and I was even able to inform him about a few pieces he had in his collection that he wasn’t sure of their purpose (yay! now everybody got their shout-out).

If you’re interested in nostalgia, office equipment, the industrial revolution, steampunk or fancy hunks of metal, do visit his site. Its impressive and very enjoyable! Be sure to check out the detail photos when they’re there. Some of these typewriters have the most delicate little flowers and filigrees painted on them! What ever happened to that kind of craftsmanship?

Like, seriously, really, completely the grossest thing in the world. Excepting maybe eating a snail. That’s number one. Termites, Numero Dos.

A few weeks ago, we had a big clean out of Mr. Meers property. His three adult children and a few grand-kids came to Chicago to help go through all the trash and junk. They cleaned out the third floor, the garage, the basement, the building next door and the basement for the building next door: Three full dumpsters. You know those big long roll-off can type, not the bins behind buildings, no. The giant ones. Full. Three of them. I wish I had thought to snap a photo of just ow full these things were with all the trash we threw away.

Down in the basement of the house, we cleaned out a giant pile of paper that had been a termite colony for some time, and then abandoned by them (termite nuclear war?). I was so relieved to see that pile get thrown away. Going in that corner of the basement made me sick, because I could HEAR the termites burrowing. GROSS.

The worst part was the beautiful Hamilton oak type cabinet under neath the paper. Sweet Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it was like the termites thought they were bees, and living in a type case beehive. Gotta see it to believe it:

Termite Cabinet

Termite Cabinet

We literally had to get a wide flat shovel and shovel each case into a bucket. They were obliterated. Turned to dust. The type was encrusted with termite poop, I guess, or whatever they build their tunnels of. The cabinet beside it has some damage to the top, but the cases are unscathed, thank gods. I took a photo for comparison.

termites or no termites?

termites or no termites?

On the right: Termites. On the left: Sans Termites.

Once we shoveled out the cases (cry!), the empty hull of the stand reminded me of shipwrecks, or skeletons or something else eerie and desolate…

Ghost Cabinet

Ghost Cabinet

So, one cabinet destroyed, a lot of paper lost, but all in all, it was a small sacrifice from this huge collection. And now that its been taken care of, i can get to all the other stuff that needs attention.

The what now? The Wayzgoose! Only the most important letterpress printing event of the year, duh.

Wayzgoose 2009

If you are a letterpress printer, printmaker, graphic Designer, historian, tech geek, type geek, letterpress printer n00b or just curious about steam power, you NEED to be at the Old Thrasher’s Museum in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa September 17 – 19, 2009.

The Amalgamated Printer’s Association will hold its annual Wayzgoose event where you’ll meet other members, participate in demonstrations, work on your own prints, play with machines like a Heidelberg Windmill, an iron hand press (Like Gutenberg used!), a steam powered Babcock press, Linotypes, Ludlows, and bears OH MY!

Then, Saturday is a big old Swap Meet and Auction! Come get a new hand press to play with, buy type, supplies and all manner if nifty things you didn’t know your letterpress shop needed but you MUST have. I’ll be there selling as well! I’ve got lots of treasures, but I’m not telling you about them, its a surprise.

So get your lazy can off the computer and start planning your September events calendar!

Well, things are going alright over here in Chicago. I’m working my butt off getting this equipment sold, and getting things in an organized manner about the shop area. I keep uncovering more and more and more STUFF.

Along with so much printing equipment I could be set for decades, I find lots of trinkets and things laying around. They are stuffed in drawers, under boxes and tucked in corners. This is one of the best finds this week:

Gas Mask!

Gas Mask!

That’s the kind of thing you find in a Veteran POW’s basement! I also uncovered a whole other galley rack, but it was too dark for pictures, and he hates when I take too many pictures.

Today, we moved an ELrod Slug caster, 4 empty Ludlow mats cabinets, a standing stitcher, a Ludlow Supersurfacer, and we did it all by ourselves. Well, we had a truck with a lift gate, some skids and a come-along. So that helped. But it was still hard work. I’m filthy too. I suppose I should go shower. I can’t think straight enough to make this post any more interesting anyway.

Its been another lead and cast-iron filled coupla weeks in Chicago, and boy am i bushed. My computer was out of commission for a week because I spilled coffee on the keyboard. but I bought and installed a new keyboard, so its up and running! I lost a list of people who had purchased spacing from me, but I think I’m getting them all back so far.

Mr. Meers and I did a lot of cleaning. We had many appointments for purchasing some of the equipment, and made a few significant sales! We’ve got an offer on a large lot of his hot metal casting stuff, but I’m wondering if we’ll find any takers for the Linotype things. Seems people are giving it away for the hauling out of the basement. We can’t compete with that kind of pricing!

I’ve had some success with Briarpress.org, and with craigslist ads, which is good. Craigslist keeps things local and Briarpress helps me reach the right people. If I can keep up this pace, maybe we’ll actually make a decent dent in the piles and a few dollars for Mr. Meers!

I found some cool WW2 memorabilia that Mr. Meers had from being Prisoner of War. I set a big box of stuff aside for his family to go through and told them any letters or things from when Mr. Meers was in the Air Corp that they don’t want, I will take and give a good home. I’d hate to see it thrown away, but it seems like Mr. Meers daughter doesn’t want much pf anything by the way of heirlooms.

I even got a few more areas cleaned up in the print shop. The C&P, Mr. Meers favorite, is uncovered! Its dusty and needs a good cleaning, but its intact. The Heidelberg is uncovered to, and his daughter exclaimed, “I haven’t laid eyes on the Heidelberg in years!”. Which amazes me. There was so much paper and junk and boxes of random stuff piled on top of it you couldn’t see it and its probably about 2/3 the size of a VW Beetle original style!

I cleaned off another type cabinet full of shiny new never used type! Its a gorgeous steel front Hamilton cabinet, with a slant top for composing and a rack for leads and slugs. (I will put up some pictures in a bit, I gotta find the hose for the camera…)

So right now, I’m back in STL for a few days to love on my patient and understanding boyfriend, get a kitty fix and clean my house, and then Wednesday i’m off to Chicago again for a whole month to continue this project.

Dragon Girl Note Cards

Dragon Girl Note Cards

I LOVE these cards. This Dragon Girl is so adorable! Look at her cute little feet, and her innocent smile. Plus, she’s got a dragon! Hanging on to him like he’s a plushie, and he wraps his tail around her so gently and lovingly. Yeah I REALLY love these cards!

The cut these cards are printed from is unique and antique. I found it in a box of old printing cuts I acquired. The really cool thing, is that it is 2 pieces that are not original to each other. The dragon girl is a professionally made magnesium cut from the 1940s. During its life someone decided that she needed to be a 2 color cut and then HAND CARVED into a wooden block the sections of blue for the dragon’s body. The juxtaposition of the two cuts is so interesting.

Dragon Girl Cuts

Dragon Girl Cuts

Printed on vintage coated yellow card stock in purple and teal with 4 white envelopes. Available on Etsy!

flickr

Oak Slant Top Composing Top

IMG_0323

More Photos

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