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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (319) 241-2999 or Rick von Holdt at email@example.com or (515) 677-2301
A friend of mine recently bought me dinner in exchange for a a few hours of printing instruction on his new Golding Official No. 2 Printing Press. It was a fun time, showing him how to clean and keep up his press, some basic type setting and making a list of supplies he still needed before he could really get rolling. I really love teaching people about printing (my first love, er, well second after my Other Half…)
So I got to thinking, maybe I could offer private letterpress printing lessons. Over the last coupla years, I’ve had people ask me if I could teach them how to use their new press, or if they could come to my house and learn to use mine and see if they should make the commitment to buying a press. (I always wished I could, but my print shop is the size of a postage stamp so two people in there is really hard to maneuver. ) Also, several people I know have presses that just sit unused because they’ve become discouraged trying to teach themselves to print with a press that might just need a tune up, or with type too worn for a crisp print. These are problems a few good Lessons could really help empower New Printer!
Here’s what I’m thinking: say you just bought a cute little table-top 3×5 hobby press from eBay for the affordable price of one arm (let’s hope you had the forethought not to pay with your printing arm), one leg and your first born child. It needs to be cleaned up, and you’re just unfamiliar enough with the mechanics of a table top press to want to start taking it apart. That’s where I come in.
You send me a message, and tell me you just got this press, and we set up a time for me to come over to your house or studio or class room, wherever the press is kept(its easier to go to it, than bring it to me). I’ll bring with me a small box of supplies in case you’re not sure what exactly you need yet. This way, you can get a good visual of any tools or miscellany you might not have acquired, and some hands on experience with things like quoins and gauge pins.
First things first, you will learn the Care and Feeding of your new little Kelsey. We oil and clean, adjust the platen, tighten loose bolts or pins, adjust the rollers, getting quite intimate with the machine. The lessons would be billed by the hour, so we can take as much time as your schedule and budget allow, but for the sake of example, today you only have 2 hours to spare. We get the press clean and moving freely for now, while setting up another date for Lesson 2.
Then maybe you’d like to know more Basic Printing, learn some typesetting skills, more vocabulary, make-ready and packing the platen. Perhaps Lesson after that if you want to keep going is getting more in-depth typesetting techniques down, or working on locking up your forme. It can be tailored to what you, the student needs as you progress. Then, one day you won’t need me anymore. *Sniff. *Tear. But I’ll say “So long for now, Good bike, Good bilt, good bauble!” because I’m just terrible with good-byes. You’ll be printing on your own, with hands-on knowledge to get you off on the right foot.
While I’m no Paul Moxon, I do have a bunch experience on Vandercook proof presses, C&P platen presses and a myriad of other table top proof presses so I could help get the ball rolling with more than just your little table top lever presses. I’m imagining all these sessions to be informal and a lot of fun for both of us.
Is this something you budding hobbyists would like to have available? I’m sure to get responses about “I wish you were in my area!” and maybe that could be worked out, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll schedule a Tour!
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:
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.
And then, in real Quick and Dirty style, we inked it up three colors at once. Behold, the messiness:(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.
VIOLA! The first print!
And finally, the Artists Formerly Known as Sane People, Jessi and Jenny! Big round of applause for their mediocre production!
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!
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.
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 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!
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:
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.
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…
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.
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:
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.
After the proprietor’s card I made didn’t meet my standards of quality, (too bad I printed up 700 of them…), I decided to make a new business card in actual business card size. Opting for more of a calling card style, I printed up these simple and elegant business cards. I hope these convey a more relaxed and social message, like “Hey drop me a line anytime!” because I like being friendly.
The ink is a light grey with some silver metallic powder in, just for kicks. I used vintage coated linen finish black paper with a deckled edge.
The LKP monogram is made with Hollywood Initials, a new old stock in the box lead font. The other lead type is Franklin Gothic and an unidentified serif. Garamond I think.
I carry these around in my wallet, and when they are gone, i might even make more, because I do like them very much.
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.
Printed on vintage coated yellow card stock in purple and teal with 4 white envelopes. Available on Etsy!