Monday, September 13, 2010

Forward Momentum

After a long blogging hiatus, I'm back. Well, sort of. Only to say thank you for reading this blog, and possibly also my previous blog - both explorations of blogging in general, a method for holding myself accountable, or just to write things down.

The first bit of news is that I've ditched the "sublime paper goods" name in favor of something a little sweeter and more personal: rabbit et roses press, the logo for which has been outsourced to someone with superior design skill and know-how.

That said, Red (the press itself) and I have made a little progress of our own. The changes will appear subtle and hard to discern, perhaps, but those rubber rollers actually live on the press now, and there's tympan paper against the platen and makeshift paper guides, and everything has been adjusted to the height it's supposed to be - or, at least close enough to determine that the press, never used for printing by its previous owner, is in good shape, which is a giant relief.

What you see below is the chase, inside of which is a Boxcar base, quoins, furniture and reglets. I'm not storing this inside the press because keeping everything taut inside the chase will, over time, bend and stress the frame.

You'll note that my official printing apron showcases different types of pasta. I didn't know the apron was missing until I found it, buried in an old box of college art supplies. It's from a tourist's market in Florence, Italy. At the time I either thought it was funny, or I really intended to learn the different types of pasta. Perhaps one day I will. It was a happy discovery though. I can picture the market and the sunny plaza, and in some ways, standing before my letterpress is akin to being twenty again, alone outside the Uffitzi beneath a replica of The David, in a foreign country for the first time - a good, but at times bewildering experience.

The first print! Saved for posterity's sake. The sweet little bowls we printed during our test run are not mine. Rather, the deep relief plate was borrowed from Lisa Rappaport of Littoral Press. You can see that the bowl on the bottom did not print throughly. This means the platen is not level and though we fussed with it for an hour or more, Lisa's time was money and so I'll continue fussing with it on my own. 

Where I am going from here, I can hardly be sure, but a Christmas card will be both good practice and a good goal. (Also, S&S, perhaps some dinner invitations?)


  1. I dig the new name. Sounds very sweet. And what a mean machine! I would love to use one of those.