Friday, September 4, 2009

progress report.

Until you start seeing some printed cards, this blog is all a lot of talk. Still, process being what it is, there is so much to learn.

Current accomplishments:

1. The chase has arrived! With the help of Sherwin at Craftsmen Machinery, we were able to identify my press as a Craftsmen Superior 6.5 x 10. The serial number had been painted over, so we measured each part. The chase is actually a bit smaller than the above measurements and it is, basically, the frame that holds the type or graphics in place. Everything is set very, very tightly within the chase, and then the chase is locked into the press. It's approximately the size of a license plate, and mine is brand new and surprisingly lightweight. When it arrived, I immediately tried locking it in place and... it fits!

2. Crane's Lettra paper samples also came in the mail the other day. I had previously taken a (disappointing) little lunchtime excursion to Kelly Paper on 10th Street, south of Market, and learned that they mainly stock and sell standard 8.5 x 11 paper for business use: letterhead, copier & printer paper. They do, however, sell rubber-based ink. The man helping me advised me to check out Arch, which is one of my favorite art supply stores, so I will definitely follow through. Any excuse to go to Arch...!

In the meantime, I tried to start thinking about how one orders wholesale and it (finally) occurred to me that I could request samples. Crane & Co. carries a line of paper specifically for letterpress printing. They sent me a variety of shades of white, in all different thicknesses:

There is something about plain white paper that I love. To a writer, a blank sheet can be intimidating. It stares you down and dares you to write something that doesn't suck, but if you knew that the paper might one day carry someone's handwriting - that of someone you cared about, who might say thank you, or express love - that's altogether different.


  1. I am thrilled to see things starting to come together. I can't wait to see it all in person and hopefully get a chance to use it some day (pretty please!) And I agree with you about a blank white page...except I see it through designers eyes. A blank page offers so many opportunities, yet its perfect as is. It's like every design I do better respect the page.

    ...on another note, I really enjoy the photo of the stack of paper sample. It's simply interesting.

  2. yey for the Chase.. and for the samples! Ahhh blank white paper.. I agree with you both.. to an artist it is so intoxicating.. nowadays your clean slate of canvas paper is really a piece of silk to me :)

    Congrats on your progress - do you have a sign up list for orders? I'd like to place an order please

  3. Oh, you're getting so close - how exciting! I can't wait to see your first run!