No, I Can’t…

Worst meditation ever, as if to prove to me that everything is, indeed, a practice.

Saturday I visited Natalie Kay for another lesson in setting type. It was so helpful–and I realized how much I’d forgotten. And how much I still need to buy–more leading, more spacers, more type. Sigh. $$

But I love this…..

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Meditation Update: Yes, I can focus on one thing


I am in the second week of a 6-week meditation class with Bill Brooks. I’ve been working through meditation on my own (books, friends, podcasts), but I wanted something face-to-face with instruction.

Last night’s talk about our thoughts–and how our brain works–was fascinating. Bill shared ways of focusing and “coming back to the breath” when our minds wander. I know now that mediation is effective for many reasons, and I’ve seen proof in myself.  Learning the practice reminds me of running. I needed to start with running for 5 minutes, then 15, and on–until I managed to run a half-marathon. It took time and effort.

So does meditation.

Early on I found two minutes of sitting still hard. Now I can do 30 minutes without fidgeting too much:) Yesterday as I set lines of type, a process that can be tedious, I found myself in a zen state of bliss. Hmmm, perhaps all this effort at quieting the mind is finally working.

Groans from the Studio

Morgan ChaseI decided to try to set type for one of my poems today. I’d managed five or six lines with some success, but this is a three stanza, 11 line poem–a challenge. The first stanza went well, and I slipped the 14 pt Caslon off the composing stick and onto the press. I locked it up with some furniture and magnets temporarily and turned back to the type cabinet to work on the next stanza. Five lines later and I was ready to slide it off.

I hadn’t realized the composing stick wouldn’t fit in the chase, so I had to try to pick up the type with my fingers, holding spacers to keep the lines of type together as I slid it off. Well, you know what happened.

Elizabeth heard me groan as the first two lines of the second stanza fell onto the bed of the press. Tiny metal letters everywhere. I had to start again (and with my eyesight, that’s not easy).

Next time, I’ll go from composing stick to press bed. Then I’ll put the chase around the type and lock it up. Duh.

And–this weekend, I’m headed back to the Visual Arts Studio for a refresher class. Onward.



Wood and Polymer

A few days ago, I tried to make a poster with both wood and polymer. I realized quickly that the when I place the plate on the base, it raised it enough that the roller touched the wood but not the polymer. Also, the wood printed in random places. I expect some differentiation. After all, these letters are old–some are damaged, worn, and chipped. But there’s something else going on. I need to measure carefully to see that it’s all type high. Maybe some paper under a few of the letters?

Today I’m going to try putting the polymer on something other than the Boxcar base. I’ve read about people building bases under type to be able to make it work. I love figuring this out….