At summer’s close, here’s a jaunt back to June and the week I spent in western Germany. This leg of the trip was largely unplanned until I arrived in Amsterdam. I knew about the Gutenberg Museum, of course, and I booked a few extra days in the city based on intuition alone. A spontaneous visit with Thomas Gravemaker of Letterpress Amsterdam the week prior proved that intuition correct. Perhaps the greatest gift he gave me was an itinerary for what to do in and around Mainz; the Gutenberg Museum being just the tip of the iceberg as far as he was concerned. And oh my, was he right! I left Thomas’ shop with a bunch of scribbled notes on small scraps of paper which I tucked into my pocket until I was on the train from Münster headed south and the Rhine came into view. Here’s a smattering of travel notes and a few photos from my type-soaked days in the birthplace of letterpress printing. [Read more…]
‘Space Available’ is now filling the Blackbird Bakery on Bainbridge Island. Opening reception is tonight from 6-8pm. We’ll be celebrating with plenty of prints and good eats. If you can’t make it out today, no worries: the show will be up through the month of September. And if you’re far away, you can have a look online! Most pieces in the show are available in Expedition’s online store. To purchase a framed piece in the show, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks to Heidi at the Blackbird for the invitation to show, and for such warm attention to detail with the hanging. It’s an honor to have my work in such a well-curated space where so many delicious things are made every day!
In my recent travels I had the great fortune to tour three letterpress shops and three museums of printing and typography. I am sure this is only the first of many trips, as well as the beginning of several important long-lasting friendships. First up: highlights from Spain and the Netherlands.
I first encountered Granja Gráfica via Instagram and immediately connected with their work and philosophy. Gaby and Elies gave me a warm welcome to their shop in Gracia, a hipstery artisan neighborhood in Barcelona where the graffiti is as good as the gelato. We fell to press talk, print analysis, and small business shenanigans so quickly and with such ease you’d never guess there was an ocean and a continent and a half between our two shops. And in case the connection wasn’t sweet enough already: granja means farm, echoing the nickname of the shop where I apprenticed, Stern & Faye’s beloved Print Farm. [Read more…]
I will be abroad for the next three weeks, tromping around Europe in search of old friends, cold brews, and all things letterpress. From Gaudi to Gutenberg, I’ll keep you updated via social media. General trip updates will be posted to my personal Facebook account, and letterpress-oriented photos will be posted to Expedition’s Instagram account. Do follow along and let me know of any letter-filled destinations you’re partial to in Barcelona, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and western Germany. Hurrah hurrah! Hooray for travel and investing in widening perspectives.
The shop is now closed until Monday June 22nd. I will have intermittent email access while out of the country, but I do not expect to be able to respond with substance until late June. I look forward to catching up with y’all upon my return and crafting a few trip-related posts.
And I’m off! Have a great month.
The steel book saga continues! We’ve arrived at the cover treatment, which consisted of etching the cover art into the steel and then applying a rusted patina. There’s plenty of info online about etching solutions for copper and zinc, but not so much for steel as it isn’t used in traditional printmaking. When researching less-toxic solutions I came across the Edinburgh Etch and the Saline Sulfate Etch (what we’re doing here). I was skeptical at best, and I had a hard time locating copper sulfate. Then one day [Read more…]
I first came across this binding structure in the Penland Book of Handmade Books with their showcase of Eileen Wallace’s work. I was immediately inspired by her metal books and the broad range of cover materials she incorporates so seamlessly. Years later when I received a commission for steel books I thought of Eileen’s work and knew it was possible. 18 months and many prototypes and doubt-filled days later, I came up with something that works. Quite well, in fact. This blog post outlines the process I used, and the photos are from the final working prototype.
But first I need to say a huge thank you to Eileen Wallace. After consulting [Read more…]
Riveting may seem an odd topic to file under bookbinding, but nevertheless it came up in a recent commission. I used copper rivets to attach the covers of an edition of metal books.
I didn’t know anything about riveting when I took on the metal book project. It turned out to be the best attachment solution, so I rolled up my sleeves and figured it out. Hopefully you get to the hands-on practice faster than I did! [Read more…]
I love the challenge of color – and believe me, it’s almost always a challenge. In fact, many printers will attest that only three colors exist: black, red, and the white of the paper. What letterpress printer doesn’t love constraints?
My favorite color to print is black. But often, something extra is needed. Illumination, embellishment, a calling-out if you will. When the question of a second color arises, red is always my first consideration. If it’s been working for the craft for the last 500 years, surely it will continue to work now. Especially when it comes to literary prints. There is nothing quite like crisp black ink on white paper with a red accent. [Read more…]
We’re packing up the shop. Box after box, day after day, week after week. All these years of talking about it and now we’re here, packing up the Stern & Faye Print Farm, wondering after each object and its potential destination. I don’t even have a shop of my own yet – that’s to come a year and a half later – but every time Jules holds up something and says “ya want it?” [Read more…]