Friends in Far Places


I have loved making real connections online since I began blogging ten years ago. I’ve ended up with running friends, teaching friends, and now letterpress friends all over the world.

The other night a friend from Australia (whom I’d met online and subsequently in person) tweeted me, and we chatted for a few minutes, catching up since we’d last seen each other in D.C.

These days, I connect less with teachers and not at all with runners. But I’ve discovered another community that feeds and supports me in many of the same ways. Letterpress printers. Whenever I have reached out, someone has been there with help.

Tonight I was reading about rubber mats that can be placed on presses to help the printing process. I was confused so I called Fritz at N.A. Graphics in Colorado to see if this was something I could buy. No, he said. They are for Vandercooks (my dream press, by the way).

But then he took time out from his busy day to ask me questions and offer some possible solutions to my problem. Tomorrow when I get back in the shop, I’ll trim my tympan paper and the rest of the packing to be sure it’s not causing the platen to hit the rails and not allowing the platen to touch the type fully.

He also suggested a “thumb test” to be sure I’m getting appropriate inking from the rollers.

I love this problem solving– made so much easier with good friends and folks willing to share so freely.

#letterpress #troubleshooting #nagraph