Posts in Letterpress
Because Summer is ending and because I can never have too many awkward locker room situations, I joined a gym. Let me be clear, the other women in the locker room aren’t at all awkward – only me. They undress shamelessly while I wrestle my sports bra off like Houdini. They meander from locker to shower completely nude while I fashion and drape a towel-sari around my body.
(That’s me and Lucy.)
I expect the entire Winter to be a blur of snow and uncomfortable nudity.
Thoughts of this inspired a (birthday?) card:
Hurray for pulled pork and coolers stuffed with beer! Hurray for giant, brain-rattling jumper moonwalks! Hurray for dollar-store Chinese lanterns and garage sale face paint! Hurray for not working!
The intern packed up her carpetbag and rode away. I felt like we should hug but we didn’t – hugs are best left out of print shops. She made this before she left:
Go, my young grasshopper, go and use the life-skills I so generously shared with you.
That’s a true story.
Nobody needs to see a photo of us taken in February.
I regret not jumping into Lake Superior last week. I’m kidding, I don’t regret that. I regret not pushing that weird guy into Lake Superior last week. He was yelling, “the effing dog ate my pills! The effing dog ate my pills!” That poor wiener dog was trying to end its own sad life. Anyway, here’s a photo of Lucy and Jenny braving the frigid waters:
Lake Superior is the poor man’s ocean, just like my Reprex
(notice the vice grips)
is the poor man’s Vandercook.
But I must make do.
I must make do because that’s how I was programmed. The project du jour is a print involving lots of words. And because I’m a daredevil, I decided to lock up the type in a vertical formation. This is not for the faint of heart. The type and I both felt creepy when it was over and now we can’t even make eye contact.
METRO Magazine thinks their readers might like to see a how-to on letterpress printing. Strangely, they asked me to put one together. It should be online in a week or so but I’ll post it here first because I’m generous. °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°#1) This is called a printer’s block or advertising cut. All Zeichen Press cards start with one of these.
#2) These backwards lead letters are called type. Before computers, they were the only way to print anything. We have cases and cases of them and I like to arrange them into words.
#3) Everything is locked into a heavy-metal frame called a chase using furniture (wood and metal blocks) and quoins (expanding metal wedges). This weighs about as much as my firstborn child. (Ten pounds. TEN POUNDS.)
#4) The chase is pinned into the bed of the press where the rollers can roll over it.
#5) This 1,500 pound printing press was made in the 1930’s by the Chandler & Price Company in Ohio. That round thing in the upper right is called the ink disc. A little ink is dabbed on it, the rollers ride up the rails and onto the ink disc – get covered in ink and spread it across the forme (the type and printer’s block locked into the chase pinned into the bed of the press). I love this press because it is capable of creating beautiful things and crushing your hand.
#6) A blank piece of paper is held onto the platen using little pins. The paper will meet the inked forme when the press closes like a giant evil clam. I always smile like this when I face danger.
#7) Jen will print a bajillion of these and they will be added to our line.
is the perfect way to welcome the new kids to the block. I don’t care if they meant to use this card:
I’d rather live in a neighborhood full of limbless, historical reenactors.
Now that Mother’s Day is over (good riddance) – it’s time to write Mother’s Day cards. This is how the Greeting Card Calendar works. Don’t ask questions.
Here’s one for all of you silent-letter/mother-lovers:
I made this card
on the Poco No. 0
before Don Draper was a twinkle in Matthew Weiner‘s eye.
Or, a wiener in Matthew Twinkle’s eye.
I’m pretty sure that’s Don Draper, sans cigarette, putting the “A” in MAN. Don Draper, or my idea of the perfect man: Briefcase in hand, exiting the home.
REAL SIMPLE must feel the same way, because they included the card in their Father’s Day collection. I love that magazine. Like Martha Stewart LIVING, it makes me feel inspired andinadequate. I think that’s called having the eye of the tiger. Right? No? Oh, I don’t know.
I was right in the middle of a dream where both of my eyeballs were, curiously, weeping blood. This was, of course, followed by an intense search for a public toilet and, AS USUAL, the only available toilet was in a high-traffic area of the Southdale Mall.
Thank God Jen called and woke me up. But not before I reluctantly (why do I always do it??) sat my bare bottom on the toilet.
If I’ve learned anything in my life it is how to be wrenched from a sound sleep and into a car in under 5 minutes.
It’s not pretty but neither is childbirth.
Jen and I stopped for our traditional latte at the May Day Cafe and then it was onward to the State Fairgrounds. The Fine Arts Building was our cold and unwelcoming host, its huge doors left open to remind us that April can be just as cold as November.
I’m sure the whole building was full of crafty-goodness but unless tables were set up on the way to the bathroom, I wasn’t going to see them. For eight hours, I did observe the folks running the Burlesque of North America table. They are screen printers – a craft that I have always had a crush on. Anyway, despite the sweetness of their prints, they were just as freezing as us.
Our big experiment for this year’s fair involved a QR code
that led to our latest Watch and Share card.
It was successful. If you measure success in terms of wishes and smiles. Which I do.
Fred came over this morning (why was it snowing??) and showed me how to score cards on the Heidelberg. In exchange, I made him a mediocre latte and he spat it in my face.
I deserved it.
The rest of the day was just a blur of lugging boxes from the warehouse to the shop (the basement to the garage) and watching the Windmill do what it does: