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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…)

A Printing Student Pulling his First Prints

A Printing Student Pulling his First Prints

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!

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Admit it. You like a steamy romance novel now and then. Fabio the Pirate rescues Evaletta, the Mermaid Princess and makes sweet sweet underwater love until Evaletta’s evil Mer-king father finds out and – well, you know how it goes. But I bet you wouldn’t be caught dead reading that novel in a coffee shop. no no. Coffee shops are where you bring your Kafka and your Pynchon to advertise to the world how cultured and well read you are. But you really want to find out if Evalette lives through that avalanche, without the scrutiny of your caffeinated peers.

They look great on the shelf

They look great on the shelf

Enter the BOOK COVER!!! Yes, you can wrap your romance novel, your biography of Richard Simmons, or The History of Paper Clips in an air of secrecy while you sip your latte. Give people a clue about what tome you peruse by using the labels appropriately, or just put on the brown cover labeled BOOK and keep them guessing.

Borrow books a lot? Friends tired of you forgetting you have their copy of Pride and Prejudice? Wrap your on-loan volumes in a BORROWED cover so you don’t forget to whom the must return! You can even write on the cover to keep a record of who you borrowed from and when! COOL!

Book covers

Keep them organized

These covers are highly functional! They keep the original dust cover from being ripped, torn and otherwise abused in your purse/knitting bag/back pocket, while at the same time preserving the cover of the book whether it be hardcover or paper back! A few simple folds and VIOLA! force-field of protection around that copy of Why Cats Paint!

On the Shelf

Superior protection against nicks and dings

The Cream colored set is letterpress printed from vintage wood type, hand-inked in blue, brown and orange for a unique marbled texture, and set includes 4 covers, one each of FANTASY, MYSTERY (not pictured), BORROWED, and FAVORITE.

The Green set is 2 covers, FICTION and NON_FICTION printed from wood type in brown on textured green paper.

And not in a set, but sold individually, is a brown textured linen finish paper stock printed simply with the word “BOOK” along the spine. Durable and reuseable!

But if you want them you’ll have to come by the Green with Indie craft show next weekend. They are sure to go fast, so shop early and often!

The book plates are done. Have been for some time, but I’m lazy and sometimes the internet is a jerk. Here they are in their purposed application:

Modern Bookplates

Modern Bookplates

Pulling a print for the kids.

Pulling a print for the kids.

On Sunday I was invited by Eric of Firecracker Press(where I teach letterpress printing classes), to participate in some demonstrations of printing techniques to coincide with the opening of the Ming Dynasty Exhibit and the on-going Nocturne of Printmaking at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Matty at the Baltimore

Matty at the Baltimore

We dragged two small presses to the museum, a 100+ year old Baltimore table-top press, and a flat bed proofing or sign press. I had a few wood and linoleum cuts to put in the proof press, and Matty manned the Baltimore with hand set wood and metal type. The kids were either very impressed or not impressed at all, and most of them were happy to receive a print or two that I made right in front of them. I love kids and it was a LOT of fun to show them how I do what I love, answer their questions and make sure they used their pleases and thank yous when requesting prints. :) One little African-American girl, maybe 4 years old with super cute hair in tight little pipe curls watched intently and as I lifted a print form a wood block she literally squealed in and jumped up and down in amazement. That cracked me up. I think her mom was surprised at the reaction. Perhaps we had a future print maker in our midst!

Printing on the proof press

Printing on the proof press


Showing the print

Showing the print

The Post-Dispatch was there filming too, so when the video and story are up I’ll post the piece.

A fellow Craft Mafiosa, Courtney W. of Twisted Handmade, has featured Moi on her weblog! Head on over there and read my babble about design, letterpress and the economy!

Inspired: A Moment with Lock and Key Press

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…

What Day is it Anyway?

September 2017
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