Part project archive, part process notes, part personal anecdote: stories about the things we make, what we think about while making them, and the people we work with with. Poetry, type, design, letterpress, books, reading, poets, typography, printing, presses, etc.
Graveside poetry & pie: Late Fragment by Raymond Carver
Letterpress United: No to War
Making “Choreography of Ruin” by Ellen Bass
Poetry Unbound & On Being
Making “tó” by Sherwin Bitsui
What I’m most grateful for about the losses I’ve experienced in my life is their effect of making me suddenly, unexpectedly, excruciatingly present. The summer my older brother died I was painting a friend’s 2-story 4-bedroom house a soft pale yellow.
June Jordan by Sabina Smith
When I first read June Jordan’s “Poem about My Rights,” it was the first day of spring break. I was sitting at a coffee shop next to Expedition Press with my friend. We saw Myrna and she invited us over. On her wall in the shop there was a copy of the poem tacked up. I still can’t fully describe how powerful it felt, so full of emotion and honestly, I’d never read anything more mesmerizing.
Recently I was interviewed by a 13 yr old who asked me what the hardest part of my job is. “Time!” I said immediately. “Good lord, time management. Knowing what to prioritize when.” A week prior a journalist asked me about my relationship to time as if I knew some secret about detaching from the fast-paced pressures of the digital
Building an Art Show
A year ago, at a windy roadside stop in South Dakota with a couple flickering bars of reception, I checked my email. There was a message from the manager of a gallery in downtown Seattle. She was wondering whether I wanted to join next year?
Making Sweet Darkness
I first read the poem “Sweet Darkness” by David Whyte on a Friday, at the end of one of the worst weeks of my life. Husband demanding separation, step daughter screaming, mother gone missing.
Ode to Morning Pages
It’s a simple practice. Write three pages, first thing every morning, longhand. Can't imagine not writing them.
On Propaganda & Personalizing
I watched the election results come in with increasing sickness. I went to bed early and woke up numb. The rollercoaster ride since recalls the early days after my brother died: anger, shock, despair, and overall a grand penetrating sense of pure disbelief.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my voice as an artist and my role as a publisher: how they inform and whether they inhibit each other. I feel a strong insistence that I should divide these actions and define them. Then I forget.
Design Process with Metal Type
People often gawk when I give a typesetting demo, sliding each metal letter one by one into the composing stick, tilted at an angle to keep them in line, upside down and backwards.
Letterpress Workers 2016
I’m just back from two weeks in Italy, the first in Milan, the second at Tipoteca Italiana and then Venice. I am sitting here back in New York feeling a little sad, missing all the lovely new friends I made and knowing I won’t see them for quite some time. Oh time. But what a time!
Artist Residency at Wells
I spent the last two and half weeks printing up a storm in the Wells Book Arts Center, at Wells College in Aurora NY. I camped out in the new press room with five Vandercooks, reams of Mohawk Superfine, a 3lb can of black ink, and tunes, snacks, and a water bottle.
Starshaped Press: Handset at its Best
Halfway through my cross country drive, I had the great honor to spend two evenings and a full day with the very talented tough-as-nails Jen Farrell of Starshaped Press.
Letterpress Zion: Platen Press Museum
I arrived at the Platen Press Museum in Zion, Illinois, at 12:30pm on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Paul Aken’s collection is truly a wonder to behold.
Moving Day: Colt’s Armory Press
It’s here! We welcomed a 14×22 Colt’s Armory Press into the shop a few weeks ago. Feel lucky, blessed, lots of degreasing and rust removal ahead.
Welcome Colt’s Armory Press!
Big ol’ heart throbbing welcome to this 14×22 beautiful new beast, previously owned by Harold Berliner, now employed in the service of literary letterpress.
How to Publish a Poetry Book
When it comes to publishing, I have only one criteria: I must love the poems. I’ve always known that so long as I love something, I can make something beautiful from it.
Thousandth Time: Broadside Construction
Letterpress Origins: Mainz, Germany
September art show is up!
‘Space Available’ is now filling the Blackbird Bakery on Bainbridge Island.
William Stafford broadside
“A Story That Could Be True” by William Stafford. Commissioned for a wedding keepsake, this print was a surprise gift.
Letterpress in Barcelona & Amsterdam
Expedition’s off to Europe!
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.
Etching Steel Book Covers
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.
Full Immersion—Sally Green
Collection of poems by Sally Green, published by Expedition Press in 2014. “The title refers, beautifully, to a pool of moonlight: we step into it from the shadows and are “rinsed wholly through to the bone.”
Simplified Binding for Metal Books
Inspired by Eileen Wallace’s work, I knew a book with steel covers was possible. 18 months and many prototypes and doubt-filled days later, I made it work.
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 metal book covers.
We’re 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 –
The Press: Golding Jobber No. 6
Scraps of Red
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?