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!
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. On my cross country drive to New York, I thought a lot about partial/broken letterforms, watching paint peel away on many a weathered building across the western mountains and midwestern plains. Plenty of thinking time. No books, I decided. Too much work. I knew wanted to make things bigger, like the signs I’ve recently done, but vaguely thought no, no, I’ll be printing of course. And I thought, I’d like to work with those forms in print. But can’t break the type. Cut the paper? I just really wanted to build, not break. [Read more…]
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. She has built a business based on exquisite precision of handset ornamented images from metal type, constantly pushing new limits for our rigid old craft.
I’ve been on the road for almost a week now and I have seen and learned more than I imagined and just as I expected. Following ones gut always leads to the right places and if you are just open enough, you get the gift of wide open spaces both inside and out. [Read more…]
Off and traveling for seven weeks! Expedition 2016: cross country drive to NY with stops at the Platen Press Museum, Starshaped Press, and Virgin Wood Type. Then a three week residency at the Wells Book Arts Center, and then off to Milan for LetterPressWorkers. Two weeks in Italy and then a cross country drive back to the West! Who knows what kind of letter-and-literary trouble I’ll get into – follow along here on the blog, and/or Instagram and Facebook.
The shop is semi-closed until July 1, but never fear, my awesome intern Bridget is there holding down the fort. So please, do order books and prints while I’m away.
And let me know where and what I shouldn’t miss along the way!
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…]
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.