Tuesday, November 19, 2013

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA-A Letterpress Class or Gifts.

Give your friend a Letterpress class for Christmas. See the January Blog post for three ideas. Your class can be 2, 3 or 4 hours, depending on what you are interested in learning. Send an inquiry for more information.

Monday, September 9, 2013

I am teaching a short class in October/November for beginning printers. To sign up go to this link.

Introduction to Letterpress

In this six-week course, students will explore basic letterpress typesetting and printing on both cylinder and platen presses. Utilize Foothill’s large collection of antique type and get an introduction to the history of hand-set type and related terminology. Students will learn to set type, lock-up a press, mix inks, operate and print their projects on a press. Students are encouraged to have a project idea in mind, such as a wedding invitation or greeting card prior to attending class.

Class ID: 2792
Friday 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm; 6 sessions starting October 4, 2013, ending November 8, 2013
Course Fee: $199.00   Materials Fee: $30.00
Instructor: Day
Location: Foothill College , Rm. 1801       Map
Registration Closes On: October 11, 2013 11:59 PM

Sunday, July 21, 2013

FREE Letterpress Demonstration

I am giving a hands on Demonstration Saturday, July 27 from 3:30 to 5:00 PM at the City of Sunnyvale Library located at 665 W Olive Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94086.. Print a card on a Colombian No. 1 Table Top Platen Press. You can hand set 2 or 3 lines of type then print them yourself. Here is a link to the Library site. Look for "Printing Old & New" in the middle of their web page.
Tying up type while in a composing stick

Monday, May 27, 2013

DIY Wedding Invitations

Ever wondered if you could print your own wedding invitations? A couple of clients recently did just that. The first client, Terry had an elaborate package of 6 pieces. The usual Invitation, RSVP, and envelopes with an addition of Menu Covers, Place Holders and Save the Date. All toll, about nine hours of printing. The second client only printed an Invitation, RSVP, Place Holder, Thank You and a Mailing envelope. Her design was one color with a blind deboss. All 5 pieces plus some business cards took a little over six hours. They both will tell you it was hard work but also they were pleased with the results. Sound like something you want to try. Contact me by email.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Painting a C&P Old Style Press

Many Chandler & Price Old Style presses had very elaborate decorations such as pinstripes and flowers on various parts. The Old Styles were made from 1884 up to 1914. After Chandler & Price Company shifted over to the New Style, all the beautiful decoration went away. I assume they thought it looked more business-like and professional. By 1914-1915, they were selling more than a thousand a year, a thriving business. Chandler & Price went on to be one of the largest manufactures of platen presses, the last presses being made in 1964.

As an example of the decoration, I included five photos from my circa 1901 press. I originally chose this one because of the stripes and flowers.
Flower pattern on each side of bed.
Close up of flower pattern.

When I begin restoration my intent was to redo all the striping with Sign Painters Gold. I did the throw off lever and linkage, rocker arms and back plate. I started to do the flywheel but decided against it when it proved too difficult to duplicate in terms of line quality and matching the gold. The new paint, Sign Painters Gold has flecks in it but the original does not.

More decoration on side arm
Another decision was to try for the look of the original black. The press was originally first painted with an ultramarine blue primer then an overall coat of black over the primer. You can see part of the blue on the side arm where I have cleaned off most of the dirt. I ended up only painting the parts without pen striping and touching up black around the striping. The entire painted area was finally coated with a Satin Gloss to protect the paint and restore the original look.

Below you can see the double stripes on the flywheel. Another C&P OS made in 1905 can be seen at this link. It is beautifully preserved. On the flywheel, the original painter put a single stroke on each spoke. Bungalow 36 did a wonderful job of restoration. They even redid much of the striping using the traditional fine pinstripe brush that gives a consistent, even, thin line in the hand of the right artist.

Double stripes on each wheel spoke.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bring In the New & Old

THREE NEW LETTERPRESS RESOURCES have come to my attention. Letterpress Commons, Letterpress Hotline and Letterpress Printing by Bill Elligett are all full of information about printing, presses and everything to do with letterpress. The Hotline comes in the form of a human voice, something unusual in this day and age. Here is a little information and links to each one

Letterpress Commons is the brainchild of Harold Kyle of Boxcar Press and Jenny Wilkson from Seattle. They have gathered information from several sources-The Press Museum from Briar Press, and a travel map showing printers all over the US to mention two. One of the things I like is that the Museum allows readers to edit and add to descriptions for each press. It has always bugged me that the Old Reliable photo is of a press with many of the parts missing. Now I can send in a photo of the one I work with to replace it. Harold said the site was designed as a "Wiki" for contributors to offer more information about different subjects. But look for yourself at Letterpress Commons

The Letterpress Hotline was introduced to me a few days ago by Marjorie Wilser of the San Jose Printer's Guild. This site is a free Hotline to call with letterpress questions. Really, dial (866) 218-6927. The hours when a person(s) is available are posted on the site. The experts at the other end are not your ordinary printers either. The names I have seen are some of the better known, accomplished, letterpress and book arts people is the country. Don't take my word for it. Go check out the Letterpress Pocket Hotline.

The last site has been on the Web for a number of years but I frequently go back to it because it has so much information. Bill Elligett was a Melbourne Australia printer and Linotype operator who started collecting information early in has career. For a number of years, he posted a new scan of some type of letterpress equipment every month. Bill passed away in 2009 but his site is still being maintained by his family I believe. It isn't just photos of equipment either, there a many how-to articles included. Check it out and bookmark it because you will come back again and again to reference something you saw previously. Letterpress Printing in the 60s.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

One-on-one Letterpress Classes

One-on-one Letterpress Classes resume February 2nd. They are designed for beginning and advanced students interested in learning about printing on platen presses. Classes are held at my studio in Sunnyvale or can be at your studio if you prefer. No wine and cheese, only hands-on learning focused on what you want to know. With individual instruction you learn faster. The following are offered:

Class 1: Introduction to Floor or Table top Platen Press
Date: TBA
Time: 10:00am-2:00pm
Tuition: $200
Class Limit: 1-2
Skill Level: All

This class is aimed at people who want to learn to print on a platen, and may or may not have one. If you are considering going into letterpress, this is a place to start. We will explore set up, locking up in a chase, inking, printing and cleanup. You can work with wood or metal type from the studio’s collection. If you have a short phrase or poem you wish to print, bring it to the class.

Class 2: Project Design and Print
Date: TBA
Time: 10:00am-3:00pm
Tuition: $250 plus $25 for supplies
Class Limit: 1-2
Skill Level: All

This session will be for students who have a specific project in mind, such as business cards, an invitation or other artwork. You can choose type from the studio's collection or use your own. If you are using photo polymer plates, your design should be developed in a computer graphic program such as Adobe Illustrator. Negatives and plates must be ordered several days in advance or furnished by the student for use on a Boxcar base. I can guide you through the plate preparation process as part of the class. You will do all the printing but I will  assist and guide you as needed.

Class 3: Platen Press Maintenance
Date: TBA
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm
Tuition: $150
Class Limit: 1-2
Skill Level: All

This session is all about the press. How to maintain it; oil and lubrication, cleaning, impression adjustment, adding parts like a fountain, counter or motor, and moving a press. The class can be held at my studio or yours.

Private individual one day weekend workshops start at $200 (4 hours) and two day sessions start at $425 (8 hours). Evening classes are available by prior arrangement. Consulting is $50 per hour. Specific projects can be scheduled as well as extra classes to complete larger projects. The cost of supplies is extra for large projects.