Posts in Room & Board
2010 has a short driveway and as we backed down it we (I) felt wistful. It seems like only last year we were freezing in Brainerd. Here we are again, eating thick-cut bacon and praying for the strength to survive round after round of Name That Tune. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions because the prisons are overcrowded as it is and also because the world isn’t ready for my style of leadership. (Deer-in-the-headlights.)
This was a big year for Zeichen Press – and as I sit in my Fiberglass Insulated Cell, I feel gratitude. I also feel greasy from all of the bacon, but like the sparrow, I will take a sand-bath to freshen up when the time is right. A new website, a fleet of reps, prints in Room & Board, the dog’s wig:
Who wouldn’t be grateful? I believe Jen and I are coming up on The Five Year Anniversary of Our Zeichen Press Partnership – we will celebrate by not murdering each other in cold blood.
Don’t worry, we’ll send out Save-The-Date cards.
Speaking of letters! The new prints arrived at all of the Room and Board stores across this great land. The photographs on their website are gorgeous and make me feel like I live in a crack house.
I have nothing against crack houses, I’m sure the people that live in them are perfectly lovely and are just misunderstood.
The legendary, Katie Dohman (Minnesota Monthly) already wrote a little something about them. I’m feeling pretty fancy.
I remember some sort of Mexican-standoff In an early apartment that involved my roommate, dirty dishes and refried beans. Neither of us wanted to do the dishes and so they were stacked, teetering on the counter – pots and plates on top of other pots and plates – the bottom of the pile forgotten like a lost tribe. My roommate, a vegetarian, had a particular pot that she favored for heating her refried beans – she used this day after day until one day it was forgotten – and the pot joined the pile. But not before she filled it with water, she believed in the pre-soak method. I’m not sure how much time passed – a forensic scientist would be able to determine that based on the evidence in the kitchen.
Oh, by the way: Before the flies, I finished those prints for Room & Board:
The shop has been a very sultry 90° for the past couple of days – which makes for nearly nude printing. The latest Room & Board project is half done and it’s looking frantastic – the ink loves the heat and lays down like a whipped dog – I also love the heat and yet I stand. And stand. I’d like to thank cold-press coffee from Sisters’ Sludge for helping me to keep it real.
I need to get into character for the big Room and Board project… “WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION??!”
In a post-apocalyptic world, one breathtakingly beautiful woman finds herself wandering through the residential remains of South Minneapolis. She stumbles upon a letterpress print shop – it is impossibly intact. She drags her shopping cart of possessions inside and studies her surroundings. Type, ink, paper, a giant wrench and an autographed photograph of Kelly Clarkson. This is exactly like her dream – except without Abraham Lincoln. There isn’t much time before the feral cats find her… But she finally has a method to preserve the dying language – at last! At long last…
Whew! That was intense! Okay, enough screwing around – the clock is ticking and the cats are coming.
Sunday: The Corpus Christi procession brought oodles of the Devout through Loring Park – all busses were rerouted and the Minneapolis Police department was on high alert for any shenanigans. Still, I couldn’t help but feel a little emotional as the church bell solemnly rang out and I watched Barb perform CPR on my husband.
Tuesday: Our new intern (Andrea Sanow) showed up with the enthusiasm of a 22 year old girl. We love her – and we’re not just saying that because she reads the blog and is, like, the strangest mix of a Type A Personality and totally laid back. What?! It’s true. Thanks to her, I got so much done: Here are the Room & Board prints in color:
It’s unofficially Summer around here and to celebrate I’m going to make some more prints for Room & Board. People always ask me (no, they don’t) if I feel lonely or maybe a little afraid working out in the studio/shop/time warp at night. But how could I feel lonely or afraid out there when I have all of those cabinets of cold, lead type and Mark Wheat‘s voice coming from the plastic radio?
I hit my head on the asphalt yesterday and when I snapped out of that familiar concussive daze, I thought to myself: Again? And: That wasn’t as bad as running into the tree. Or the windshield. Or the Christmas tree-stand. Or the windshield.
Walking my bicycle and openly weeping, I made it home just in time to work on the new Room & Board project:
Thanks MADGE for introducing me to the Polaroid app for my iPhone!!
Yes, well… As you can see, the dog was ready to meet with Room and Board today. We fought over the wig but there’s just no talking to her. I don’t even think the wig looks that great – her fur is a totally different color.
Whenever Room and Board stops out to visit, Jen dumps a case of type onto another case of type. I think it’s a waste of time but Jen loves wasting time – I have to be like, “Jen, quit wasting time.”
Oh, well – the meeting went great (I think they think we’re strange. Maybe the wig was too much??) They told us to make some more alphabet press-type prints.
That’s what they call those. I call them tickets to Cape Cod but that’s none of your business.
Alphabetically speaking, Zeichen follows Warhol in the Room and Board dictionary. Andy Warhol and Zeichen Press sit side-by-side on the Wall Art page – I don’t want to speak for Mr. Warhol BUT I’ll bet he is thrilled with the proximity… This might be just the thing to jump-start his career… Good luck, Andy!! You weird, prolific little man!!
So, back on the R&B website – here’s what the description DOESN’T say:
Produced entirely by hand using
vintage (super old) printing equipment,
Zeichen Press creates this letterpress
design exclusively for us in their
Minneapolis studio. Actually, they call
it a studio but really it was once the
family garage – an issue that nearly
cost the owner (Fran Shea) her marriage,
and more importantly, the garage.
I mean, studio. Using a centuries-old
manual printing method, they set salvaged,
antique type by hand in limited print runs
to give the work a one-of-a-kind quality
that feels both modern and classic.
They edited that copy down to the nub! But I suppose they know best.
Have a look at these photos: GASP! They make me want to buy one of my own prints!