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Showing posts from January, 2012

Sortin' the sorts

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I can now check quite a few items off of my letterpress to-acquire list. I discovered that, in fact, I already had a chase for my press. Silly me, I'm still getting the hang of identifying all of these cast-iron press parts; and what I had assumed was one piece was actually two--the chase being released by a little hidden lever at the back. Next, the rollers which had been held for me by my personal letterpress godfather, master printer Mike Kaylor, have come home. So I ordered the roller trucks from NA Graphics and they arrived a few days ago. Things are really starting to come together.

Then, on Martin Luther King Day (a blessed day off work), Mike invited me to come along with him to move a local press and some type from a fellow printer looking to downsize. It was a cold day hauling type cases from a cold garage; 
but inside the house where the press (a beautiful Golding Pearl) lived, it was warm and cozy, heated by a lovely woodstove and periodically punctuated by ringing from …

Even more book arts

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Lately I've been a bit feverish in my antique book re-purposing. I love having projects to work on. Here are some of the antique book cover collages I've been building:

I thought this title was just wonderful. And by wonderful, I mean hilarious.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. And I loved the castle engraving on this battered hardcover copy that came through the library donations. This is my favorite collage so far.
And I'm not the only one who loves to use books for crafting. Apparently quite a few crafters have been using old books as materials and medium. 

A couple of good related books I've been looking through recently:
The Repurposed Library by Lisa OcchipintiBooks Make a Home by Damian ThompsonGreat ideas and photos. Both are definitely worth your time. In the latter title, there is a passage that caught my attention that I wanted to share here. It actually sounds a bit like something I said a few months ago
Whether you'd place yourself at either e…

Bring it, St. Valentine

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I have never been one to celebrate Valentine's Day. Ever since the hoopla of grade school, it has become more a source of unwarranted alienation than a victory for romance. It's silly, really, so I usually try to let it pass unnoticed.

But I am trying to be a better Etsy shop owner, so I have updated my item titles and tags to reel in some possible Valentine's Day sales through keyword searching.

You lone writer-types can show your typewriter some love with a kitschy typewriter cozy from Thread Lock Press! Or you can continue to look down your bespectacled nose at those lovers with secret rendezvous in the library stacks with this Anti-Valentine's Day, Library Etiquette letterpressed broadside.

Special guest star

This is just a quick note to say that today I am appearing as a guest-blogger on my friend Annie's Scribbling Glue. Have a look and check out her past posts on the joys of letter-writing!

There is no cure for bibliophilia

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The library gets so many wonderful book donations. And while most of them are intended for the semiannual Friends of the Library Used Book Sale, some of them have become just too deteriorated to sell and so they are sent to Creafill to be recycled. Of course, we library employees get to take a first look through these even before they are handed over to the Friends; and in this way, I have managed to snag a few (very old) battered books with broken, rotted spines but absolutely beautiful covers that are relatively intact. Newer books just aren't made with this sort of care and skill anymore. These hard covers will have fantastic illustrations engraved into the fabric covering the book board, the titles printed in fabulously decorative fonts. Like any good bibliophile, I couldn't bear to see these books thrown out or even recycled. These covers are ART.

So when I come across a book that meets these requirements, one that has a cover that affects me in some way, I bring it home. …

Bigger things

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And still I am not satisfied. Here is a list of the bigger things I am wishing for in the near future. These will require a little more saving.

1.
A 6.5 x 10" chase for Captain. This is the bit that the set type is locked tightly into, which is then placed inside the press to be inked and printed. It's like a cast-iron picture frame for a composition in type.


2. 
Rollers and roller trucks for (again) Captain. The rollers are, well, rollers that apply ink to the type for printing; and roller trucks anchor and guide the ink rollers over the ink plate and then the print-ready type.



3.
I still need a few sizes and fonts of type for, well, printing!










4.
Then a few cans of rubber-based ink (easier for cleaning than oil-based), in a small variety of colors.



5.
And a book press. For book binding.



With these few things, I will be print-ready. I think I may be able to acquire them all before the new year is through.

Little things

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Even though I got so many wonderful letterpress items for Christmas, there are still a few small things (as there always are) that I would love to treat myself to in the weeks to come. 

1. 
The newest issue of the Fairy Tale Review was just released this week. This is one of my favorite literary magazines. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of The Brown Issue.





2. 
I bought a bunch of these T-shirts from Natalie Dee for Christmas presents this year. But there are still a couple fun ones that I would like to get for me.



Like this one -->





3. 
And in the home improvement area, I'm slowly replacing all the bland off-white light switch plates in my house with funkier ones from Fondue. I love the vintage wallpaper designs that they scrounge up to decoupage.







4. 
Having a large, hyperactive dog means the nice china will inevitably be broken. I have had a couple tea cups and saucers sacrificed this past year. But when I came across The Broken Plate Pendant Company a few days ago, it seem…

O Captain! My Captain!

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This has been the Christmas of the letterpress. My beautiful Chandler & Price Pilot (whom I have decided to name Captain, referencing Walt Whitman's poem) has been outfitted with many of the necessaries, and we are moving closer to shipshape. In the morning I unwrapped my new 18" guillotine paper trimmer:


























Look at that beautiful blade.

















Later in the afternoon, I received a mixed bag of letterpress goodies:

from left to right:
Heavy-duty gauge pins (guides the paper while printing)Type gauge, or line gauge (for measuring type, spacing, etc.)Curved, pointed tweezers (for precisely grabbing small pieces of type while editing set type)Quoin key (for tightening/loosening quoin)Quoin (locks type tightly in chase when ready for printing)Composing stick (For setting type. I gave this one to myself actually. They're a bit harder to find  these days.) Ink knives (for applying ink to ink plate)Not pictured: red pressboard (for padding underneath paper to get the best quality impressi…