Labor of Love
Monday was a day of productivity in the Lit House print shop. Emily and I were hard at work on our beloved book project all the cloudy, rainy holiday afternoon. Although our end and cover papers are on backorder, for our text paper we are using a lovely mold-made creamy white German paper that we found in Master Printer Mike Kaylor's personal stores in the print shop and purchased from him. So that was at hand and ready to be printed, as soon as we could cut it down to size: 7.5" x 12". Mike had just had the blade sharpened on his enormous paper guillotine, so he helped us with that. Then we moved the poem type (which had already been set over the last few weeks) to the beautiful Vandercook press that we would be using for printing. We managed to run off all three poems in their batches of 50, except when I got home, I discovered to my disappointment that even though I thought we had thoroughly proofed them, the 50 sheets of "Jack" still managed two delinquent letters: a "d" instead of a "b" and an "n" instead of a "u". I guess I let my excitement get me carried away. Oops. So now we have to print those 50 all over again, and the faulty pages will have to be put to use somehow--we can't just waste that good paper. But we still made some progress. We finished printing both "Childling King" and "Queen of Clover" with only a slight punctuation error (a semicolon in place of a colon, but that's not enough to matter, really--this perfectionist is still satisfied with that run).
Here's Mike at the massive paper-cutter (that he bought on eBay for only $20! He just had to move it himself):
A poem in the Vandercook and the ink rollers good and blackened with our ink:
Two proof pages (we decided to print the correlative card-suit symbols in the place of page numbers in the bottom left corners):
And here's Emily taking her turn cranking the press:
A printer's hands at the end of a good day:
Your site is excellent--I'd enjoy learning more about the Ladies of Letterpress. Also, I'd like to invite you to join an arts/music/letters organization here in Ctown--next time we meet, I'll explain.