Monday, September 28, 2009

Wood Type Letterpress

Lately, it's all about the wood type.
I was actually a little nervous using this very large "W" as a background piece given how widely it was used during the past presidential administration...if you know what I mean! ;) With revamping our letterpress studio, we are finally been getting all our wood type out of their boxes an into cases. My in laws have been amazing in helping me clean some very dusty wood type. Old wood type gets an almost charcoal like dust on it--probably from sitting in somebody's old barn or warehouse for 50 years! Here's our most recent poster in process. We are used 3 different wood typefaces.
Gotta love the vandercook! I just got new paper guides--sweet! Nothing like new shiny guides to make your life happy!

Class Pics

Meandering books class Heres some pics from recent classes. We are so bad at taking photos during classes--mostly becasue we are teaching! It feels good to get back into the teaching groove!
Here's a couple of photos from Star's pendant class. She is really a terrific artist and instructor!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Collage A Day - Artist Randel Plowman

One of my favorite mediums to work in is collage. I've got at least 20 different collages on canvas in process and I just need to sit down and finish them! So let's talk about someone who does finish their collages.
For the longest time, I've been meaning to blog about a fabulous collage artist, Randel Plowman. Randel is an artist living and working in Northern Kentucky. A Collage a Day is an ongoing project that involves creating and posting a new 4" x 4" collage to this site every day. Each collage is offered for sale and cost $25.00, which includes: 8" x 8" archival gallery matting, documentation and free shipping.
He's gotten quite the following for his Collage A Day Blog. Go and buy his very reasonably priced original artwork! Goodness knows The Paper Studio could have an exhibition just of his work that we have purchased. These are some of his new images that are available at the time of this post. Randel was featured in the June issue of Artists Magazine. I love reading about other artists and how they work. This is a nice article where he talks about his process and creating daily collages.

You can even have his daily collages sent to your mailbox. What a visual treat to get in your inbox! Subscribe on his site today.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Circus Poster at LA Printers Fair

Okay, here's my last post on the printer's fair. I had to post this because I love circus posters! This was the view from our booth and must have looked at this 100 times over the weekend. I'm not sure of the actual size of this because it was mounted way up high on a very tall wall. It was circus-sized X-LARGE. I love that they have all the wood cuts mounted right there besides the finished poster.

One ferocious tiger. ROAR!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

LA Printer's Fair--People

Here's a pic of Mark Barbour announcing the raffle winners. The raffle was quite the anticipated event with lots of prizes! That's Rachelle Chuang, Book Arts Institute Director, on the right who was the powerhouse coordinator of this event. I don't know anyone who has as much positive energy as that gal!Mark deserves heaps and heaps of credit for his vision and perseverance on this museum. The museum has been going for over 20 years. 20 years!! Just think, letterpress has had a major resurgence in the past 5 years as evidenced by the number of beginning printers at the fair. He had to be one of the very few to passionately believe in preserving letterpress 20 years ago. Thank goodness he did.

You just never know who you will run into at these events. Gary and I were delighted to see Kelly Kilmer (right) and her friend Kara. Normally we see Kelly when she travels to AZ to teach classes. She's a California gal--an incredibly popular collage artist & instructor who is also a prolific blogger. Check out Kelly's blog and teaching schedule--she might be in your area soon. Get your creative on and take her classes!
Out with the old--this is some of the type we took to the fair in addition to gorgeous decorative Japanese papers of course! Note, there is no photo of the wood type that we took--all of it was sold within the first 10 minutes!

In with the old! New, old dusty type that came home with us. I think that printers really just trade their stuff around and around and eventually we'll end up with the same stuff what we started with!

Here's the best part of the printer's fair for me. I got this lovely little print is from one of my favorite artist friends, Kelly Rider from grad school. She moved from the east coast to CA last year. I hadn't seen her for 5 years and a few weeks ago, I emailed her about the event thinking that she lived close by. I forget that CA is like AZ and that everything is an hour and a half away! It was so wonderful to see her, reconnect and catch up. It does your heart good to see friends that you've missed! Now, we just have to think of way to get her to come for a papermaking/letterpressing/bookbinding weekend at The Paper Studio!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A&G Engravings--Letterpress Source

We met the folks at A&G engraving (super nice!) at the printer's fair because they were right by us. They do a whole plethora of things including magnesium and copper blocks. The letterpress pieces they had in their booth that were done with their plates were fabulous. We still use magnesium plates (in addition to polymer) so it is nice to find a west coast source! Here's a scan of a typical price set.

LA Printer's Fair--Letterpress Swapmeet

So now you've seen the facilities, here are pics of the letterpress swap meet held on Saturday. They printed a bazillion of these letterpress flags. So festive and fun!
Danger Will Robinson! I almost fainted on Friday when we arrived and I saw all the presses and other stuff for sale! I had to make myself focus on setting up--mostly I just wanted to wander around and drool over everything.
Now that is one ginormous nipping press for books! The one behind the lady above is also huge! Just think you could press all the books in you make in your lifetime in one fell swoop!
More and more stuff came for the sale on Saturday! People were on their cell phones calling their friends to get out of bed and get down here!
Why yes, that is a baby blue vandercook with a royal blue cover. Wonder if the former owner liked blue? It was sold pronto. So was the sans-blue vandy in front of it.
More blue, this time it's the tents for the vendors. There were lot o' vendors selling their wares. The downside of being a vendor is that it is so hard to have a chance to look at all the stuff and chat with other vendors when you are running your own booth. Gary and I took turns briefly buzzing around.
I met Marjorie at the event, I recognized her name from APA. She was delightful and had really cool cuts for sale. I'm kicking myself for not getting some of the type she was selling...
The work being sold at the event was really lovely!

LA Printer's Fair--Museum cont.

The previous post showed a small part of the equipment in the museum. There is another set of buildings across the parking lot that are connected with the museum. Here's their nice and bright bookbinding classroom. They just started a book arts institute where they now teach bookbinding classes. Yay!This is their letterpress teaching studio. Lots of type, but I had so little time to look since I was supposed to be setting up our booth. This is their portable printing museum. The first time I met Mark Barbour, the founder and director of the museum, was about 4 years ago when they came to AZ on their printers tour for the schools. My pal Colin worked them right out of grad school and they stopped by The Paper Studio. I was completely amazed the first time I saw this museum on wheels and and it still intrigues me today. Such a wonderful live history program for kids!
Wow, those are really, really heavy presses up there on the 2nd level! I thought moving presses and cabinets around our studio was exhausting. I cannot even imagine the work and coordination to get those presses up there!

LA Printer's Fair--International Printing Museum

The 1st Printer's Fair was held last weekend at the International Printing Museum. We'd never been there so we were not sure what to expect. Boy howdy, there was so much to look at we just couldn't take it all in. They house so much letterpress history, it makes your head spin!! The Museum did a great job of demos throughout the day.
Linotype machine in action. Such a behemoth of a machine!
They were actually printing a job on the Heidelberg Windmill. An absolutely amazing machine!
It is really wonderful that the museum exists to show letterpress printing throughout the years, provide educational seminars to schools as well as teach letterpress and book arts to the community. The museum is a non-profit organization mostly staffed with volunteers and the fair is one of their fund raisers. You can show your support for them and get their fun newsletter by joining the museum.

Road Trip!

Gary and I drove over to the printer's fair in LA this past weekend. Hoping for a break from the Phoenix hot weather....alas not so much--they were having record heat! I'm going to do several posts on the Printer's Fair but I just had to post this. I have never driven to LA from Phoenix--it's over 6 hours each way and mostly looks like this.
And this. And this. I think you get the picture! Although the above photo is The Badlands which is a little more interesting. I can see how the fires are spreading in LA. Everything was sooooooooooo dry--it is frightening. Let's all hope for relief for them SOON!