My base for the Pearl arrived from Boxcar today, and I printed some of these bookmarks to hand out at our party at the studio tonight. Though I prefer working with my metal and wood type, I can see why people design with Illustrator and use polymer plates on their presses. Designing for polymer does give you more flexibility with type faces and sizes. And it’s faster–stick it on the base and print. Then wipe it off, peel it off the base, and you’re finished. Of course, the press still needs to be cleaned, which takes time.
Having two presses helps me problem solve. I was struggling with one plate that had a rather large illustration that should have printed black ink. Since the Pearl doesn’t give much of an impression, that section wasn’t printing. So I actually put the chase in the Pearl and let the rollers ink it up — then moved the chase to the proof press, to which I can apply more pressure. Ta da! Problem solved, and I didn’t have to hand-ink it.
Next week, I need to figure out if I can actually teach someone else to do this. I’ve had many requests for a workshop as there are not many people who do letterpress printing in our area. Even though I’ve been working at this for nearly a year, I still feel like a beginner.
I enjoyed seeing old and new friends at the party tonight, but it’s been a crazy busy week with two other groups I volunteer with. My introverted self is looking forward to some quiet time in the studio–after a trip to the mountains for some hiking and talking to the fall leaves.
Our Wednesday writing circle at the studio is one of my favorite times of the week. I offer a prompt, we write for ten minutes, and then we share whatever has come out of that. Often for me it’s trash, nothing worth using. I am not a someone who can spin a piece of writing into gold without time and effort. Actually, “gold” is not how I describe any of my writing. But what does happen is a release of sorts, a letting go of whatever is on my mind.
Without the writing, I can ruminate on, analyze, and project my worries about a topic forever. Once the words appear on paper (or keyboard), they have morphed to a new place. I love this quote by Tobias Wolff– we all want to get things right. Writing helps us move forward with clarity.
Marketing our studio takes more time and effort than I imagined. Some days the effort leaves little time for the art! What it does mean, though, is a chance to meet new people and visit new places in Fredericksburg (and online).
I am also joining Main Street #fxbg as a Board member. I really look forward to getting to know folks who’ve been creating and maintaining the kind of community I want to live in. Artists, shop owners, residents, and tourists share this town, and it is coming back to life.
As part of our one-year celebration at the studio, we are having a card contest. Yes, that’s right. In a few days, we’ll post on Facebook an opportunity for you to write your favorite quote. As long as it’s short (and I have enough type), it may be chosen. That means I’ll letterpress print your quote on a card or poster. You’ll be famous. Or at least the person you quote will be featured. Your prize? Five cards!
If you haven’t connected on Facebook yet, please do. And watch for the card contest.
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