The Inquisitive Printer: Extra Things That Caught Our Eye

From cool printing events happening in central New York and across the border into Canada (as well as a nifty pitstop for an unusual store in Alabama), we focus in on amazing things happening that captured our attention this week. We hope you enjoy this latest edition of things that caught our eye (and maybe jump-start some new project or travel destination plans!)

Madeline Bartley: Outside of working in the Boxcar printshop, I play with other forms of printmaking. Such as carving a woodblock. Like a really big 4 foot by 4 foot block. I really enjoy working with large scale imagery. The making of this woodblock is leading up to an outdoor event called the Big Ol’ Steamrollin’ Print Invitational.

Instead of a large printing press, you rent a steamroller to apply the pressure to transfer ink onto fabric. This will be my third year participating in the Big Ol’ Steamrollin’ Print Invitational and overall my sixth time I have been involved with steamrolled prints.

The Big Ol’ Steamrollin’ Print Invitational will be taking place on Friday, June 29th during the 2018 MWPAI Arts Fest. It is free and open to the public.

PrattMWP Gallery is located in the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Museum of Art
at 310 Genesee Street, Utica, New York.

Cathy Smith: I have been emailing with a gentleman from Canada who bought a press last year – a Heidelberg Wiindmill 10×15 – and he says it’s part of his retirement program!  He also enjoys a little public speaking and wood engraving. Why buy the press?  He started a Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge, Ontario 18 years ago and it’s time to embrace a new challenge.  Check out the Butterfly Conservatory as it is beyond impressive in terms of programs, exhibits, and gardens.  I love when customers share cool things with me!

Rebecca Miller:  For your next trip to the library or bookstore, we heartily recommend checking out “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” by Mason Currey. A delightful book that logs the daily routines and anecdotes of famous creatives from Charles Dickens to Benjamin Franklin (a fellow printer, we might add). This delightful book is a page-turner for the trivia-enthusiast as well as the creative artist or printer seeking inspiration for organizing their day-to-day workflow.

Ever wonder where some of unclaimed luggage goes to? Although we can’t say whether the Unclaimed Baggage Store in Scottsboro, Alabama has a container of pied type or a case of vintage lead type, we love the notion that there is a “catch all” brick-and-mortar store for those bags that are never claimed.

Never fear, the items & luggage that are in this store go through a rigorous 3-month tracing period by the airlines. Once the all-clear is given, the Unclaimed Baggage Store buys the items before putting anything on the shelves for sale. If something cannot be sold but is still in good condition, the store then donates them to those in need.

Do you have a cool thing you’d like to share with us, an awesome printing event coming up that you’d like to give a shout-out to, or see something cool that catches your eye? Email us at info@boxcarpress.com as we’d love to hear from you! We’re always on the look-out for wonderful + fun things!

Inquisitive Printers Want to Know – Unique Things that Caught Our Eye

As letterpress printers, we’re always aiming to keep our curiosity on its toes, we round up this week’s feature of unique things, beautiful wonders, and items that keep the mind buzzing with creativity. We hope you are fascinated in this week’s finds of farm-friendly temporary tattoos, the gorgeous world around us and new technology that can “read” a book without opening it. Enjoy!

From Cathy:  Tater Tats – Who doesn’t love fresh food from the garden?  Boxcar Press is a big supporter of Community Supported Agriculture and small-scale farms, so these fun tattoos with fruits and vegetables that also fund small sustainable farms are a huge appeal.  

tater tats(image courtesy of tatertats.com)

A cool read about the preservation and use of one of the largest private type collections that now resides at two Northwestern colleges – purchased over his lifetime by William “Bill” Thorniley.

A video from the UK on letterpress printing.  It’s so rich and soothing to hear a printer talk about and ink-up a forme, like you are just hanging out with them in their shoppe.

From Chris: As I walked my dog back home after a passing storm, I couldn’t help but gaze into the sky and take a moment to enjoy what I saw. A moment that God himself created for me and others to view. As His word teaches, even a storm can bring something beautiful.beautiful-world-chris

From Rebecca:  For our history-loving printers who just happen to have an antique book that is too fragile to open: Swiss engineers at EPFL have developed a technology that can “read” a book without opening it. The technology uses both x-ray tomography and an algorithm to “read” letterforms by scanning the levels of iron in the ink on each page layer of the book or document. So far, a sealed and unopened Italian letter from 1351 has been “read”.

Researchers and engineers at EPFL are continually improving the technique. Imagine what new information historical old tomes can reveal (including undiscovered typefaces and calligraphy)!

We hope you enjoy some of our links and perhaps learn a smidgen bit more about what interests us here at Boxcar Press. See something cool that catches your eye? Email us at info@boxcarpress.com as we’d love to hear from you!

Top 20 of ’18 Mother’s Day Letterpress Gift Guide

From being your Queen Bee to the one who knows whether you like the crust cut off your sandwiches (or not!), we rally up the 20 of ’18 of the most beautiful, humorous, and heartfelt Mother’s Day letterpress gifts to show Mom who’s tops. See a gorgeous must-have that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

mothers-day-letterpress-gift-guide-1

1. Therapist-Approved Mother’s Day card by Shed Letterpress  | 2. Wine Bottle Tags for Mom by Chez Gagne |  3. What I Learned From My Mother Broadside by Campbell Raw Press  | 4. Mom Yelling – I Love You card by Ladyfingers Letterpress  | 5. Super Mom card by Hello Lucky

mothers-day-letterpress-gift-guide-1

6. Mom’s Recipe card by Blackbird Letterpress  | 7. Super Mom card by The Fingersmith Press  | 8. Mother-Daughter Timeline letterpress card  from Chez Gagne |  9. Orange Bouquet card by Sesame Letterpress  | 10. Needlepoint Mother’s Day card by Greenwich Letterpress

11. Buy Mom a yearly membership in Ladies of Letterpress  | 12.  Happy Mother’s Day Tulips by deeandlala |  13. Mom Heart by Karolin Schnoor from Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress

mothers-day-letterpress-gift-guide-1

14. Tip-top Mother’s Day card by Anemone Letterpress  | 15. Mothers day specialty letterbox from sky of blue cards  |  16. Gal Who Fixes Everything card by Igloo Letterpress  | 17. Beautiful Letterpress Coasters by Haute Papier (pick a fun one for mom!) |  18.  Fun and colorful letterpress notebooks from Hammerpress  |  19. Letterpress Flower coasters by Ruby Press  | 20. Boxcar Baby T-shirts from Boxcar Press (for moms-to-be)

Inquisitive Printers Want to Know – Even More Things that Caught Our Eye

Always on the lookout for intriguing & eye-catching things, ephemera, and cool “must-bookmark-this!” items, this week’s installment features delicious, edible type (you heard us correctly), letterpress printers in Chicago, and vintage tunes from around the globe (great for those long hours while and you itch for Brazilian music from the 1920s.) We hope you are delighted in this week’s finds as much as we are!

From CathyDon’t lick the lead type but you can eat all you want of this chocolate type from this site in Germany.

typolade-chocolate
(photo courtesy of typolade.de)

You can eat your chocolate while you read about The History of Print from before 1399 up to 2017.  The photos are magic and the info is entertainingly diverse. You will want to read it again and again as you flip between every 50 years.

Lastly, not print related but if you are not a fan of stink bugs then you can build this stink bug trap.  This seems to be the time of year they get in the house in the Northeast.

From Anthony I enjoyed reading this article about how letterpress and specialty printing can grow and flourish. Especially in Chicago, in a place that was a know for large industrial printing and now the small guys are keeping the presses going. Makes you proud about others in letterpress getting recognition.

From Rebecca:  Keep this gem-of-a-website bookmarked for those late-night printing sessions, radiooooo.com is all about sampling and tasting music from around the globe in different decades.

radiooooo-com-radio-throughout-the-decades
(photo courtesy of radiooooo.com)

Want to hear the vintage tunes from Brazil in the 1920s or maybe sway to the latest songs from Finland in the 2000s? Radiooooo.com is the ship to catch for a musical cruise throughout time.

We hope you explore some of our links and perhaps learn a little bit more about what interests us here at Boxcar Press. See something that catches your eye? Email us at info@boxcarpress.com as we’d love to hear from you!

The Inquisitive Printer: More Things That Caught Our Eye

Our focus lately has gone from New York to New Mexico and over the water.  We hope you enjoy what has captured our attention this week.

From Carrie: A windmill printer at Boxcar Press.
On the Letterpress Digest podcast: As a giant letterpress and book nerd, I was so thrilled to hear about a new product devoted to my beloved particular form of the Black Arts. The host, Jordan, interviews printers, suppliers, and others active in the field.  It has been a treat to hear my letterpress heroes talk about their adventures and get to know others I may have missed out on otherwise.  The interviews have been engaging and educational and had me laughing at things only other print nerds would find funny.  Even though only a dozen episodes have aired, I can’t wait to hear who will be next.  This is exactly what my printer’s heart was longing for – hearing letterpress things while making letterpress things.

From Cathy: On Facebook, there is a great resource of printing brains and experience over at The Heidelberg Letterpress Page so I have been encouraging all to join this group.

Next, I am a big fan of knowing how things are made, so this story in the New York Times combines some pretty nifty photography with a good story on one of America’s last pencil factories.  It raises my respect for this basic tool.

tom leech(photography courtesy of savingplaces.org)

So excited to see an article about the Print Shop and Bindery at New Mexico’s Palace of the Governors, with an interview with printer, Tom Leech.  Tom and I have corresponded over the years so am loving this peek into the working shop / museum.

From Rebecca:  Coming in May 2018, the inspiring folks over at the Corning Museum of Glass (just a day-trip drive from our location here in Syracuse) will be launching the GlassBarge ship.

barge(photography courtesy of Corning Museum of Glass)

This barge ship will sail through the New York Waterways (visiting & stopping from ports in Brooklyn to Buffalo) this spring while giving free glassblowing demonstrations to the public in each port city on its itinerary. A rare and wonderful event that we’ll be checking out when it comes to town!

We hope you explore some of our links and perhaps learn a little bit more about the things that caught our eye here at Boxcar Press.  Email us at info@boxcarpress.com the things that delight you also!

Inquisitive Printers Want to Know – Things that Caught Our Eye

Those of us here at Boxcar Press are a searching, probing, questioning bunch of folks.  We are drawn to many things creative, fascinating and colorful.  Letterpress definitely fits those criteria, so we have to believe all of you out there are like-minded as us.  It should be no surprise we discover through reading and listening and yes, emails from you, a goodly number of interesting stories that are parts imaginative, informative, and just plain neat.  We are sharing folks too.  Every other week, we endeavor to pass on to you a few bits of knowledge that have caught our eye and think you might ooh and ahh over as well.  So, here goes…

From Cathy:  A video on a German papermaker that is hypnotic and soothing as you watch him at his craft.  

From Norway, the Future Library – An incredible story of a forest that was planted in 2014 and in one hundred years will be harvested to make paper to print 100 books written in that time period. The part I particularly like is that they are also preserving a printing press and instructions to operate it, in the event that books may not even be printed on paper in 100 years.  I think a letterpress machine is perfect for this and have pondered which press might be fitting. The whole undertaking of the Future Library fascinates on many levels.

haunted press in Toronto, Canada
(photo courtesy of www.printcan.com)

And for fun, an amusing story about an alleged haunted Washington Model printing press in Toronto Canada. in the home of a newspaper editor.  Perhaps he has a deadline to meet.

From Rebecca:  Graphene is a technological marvel to watch out for as it is on the fast-track to revolutionize the medical, construction & safety, and art realms. This material has been documented as being 200 times stronger than steel, yet lighter than paper. Here’s a fascinating “how it’s made” video to pique the mind and jump-start new ways of utilizing this material. Maybe one day the mighty graphene will affect the way printers of all disciplines use their machines in new creative ways?

Next, we’ve been following letterpress printer Tristan Rodman for quite a while on his experiments with letterpress printing and creating playable paper records. Tristan has been keeping a log of his experiments and perhaps with a few more tweaks, letterpress can pave a way for a new way of sharing and collecting musical masterpieces.

Bonus: Although a few years old, listening to the first 3-d printed record album still gives us goosebumps as the needle hits the plastic. We find it a fine choice to honor Nirvana with this intriguing new way to braid new 3-d printing technologies with old school craftsmanship.

We hope you explore some of our links and perhaps learn a little bit more about what interests us here at Boxcar Press.  Email us at info@boxcarpress.com the things that delight you also!

Top 14 Valentine’s Day Letterpress Gift Guide-2018

Specially chosen with care, we tally up 14 beautiful, heartfelt, and humorous 2018 Valentine’s Day letterpress gifts, including cards, prints, and letterpress classes (date night, anyone?).  Let us know what you are getting your printing paramour this year in the comments below!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2018 - featuring classes, cards, and beautiful letterpress prints.

1. Tinder Love card by Steel Petal Press  |  2. Trap Valentines card by Bench Pressed |  3. Letterpress Valentine’s Day Card Making workshop (February 13th, 2018 – Pittsford, NY)  |  4. Personalized letterpress notecards by Inclosed Letterpress Co.  | 5. You & Me Letterpress Love Greeting Card by Paisley Dog Press

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2018 - featuring classes, cards, and beautiful letterpress prints.

6. Personalized large primary notepads by Haute Papier   |  7. Main Squeeze letterpress card by Inclosed Letterpress Co. | 8. James Joyce Letterpress Quotation Valentine Card by LarryOrlandoDesign  |  9.  Tear & Share letterpress valentines perforated cards by Igloo Letterpress |  10.  Introduction to Letterpress class by Igloo Letterpress (date night anyone?)

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2018 - featuring classes, cards, and beautiful letterpress prints.

11. e.e. cummings lettterpress print by Thimblepress  |  12. Cheers to Us – Valentine Love Lobsters letterpress card by darlinpress  | 13. Letterpress Valentines Cards class (February 11th, 2018 – Fort Lauderdale, FL)  |  14. Anywhere With You letterpress card by Permanent Collection

2017 Letterpress Holiday Gift Guide

We are counting down the Top 17 Gift Picks for the letterpress lover in your life in our 2017 Letterpress Holiday Gift Guide. From vintage printed goodies, to essential pressroom must-haves, our list is sure to please the printer in your life! Let us know what’s on your wish list in the comments section below.

The 2017 Boxcar Press letterpress gift guide has gift ideas for the type-loving letterpress printer in your life - including letterpress t-shirts and more.

1. Letterpress Printing, A Manual for Modern Fine Press Printers book, by Paul Maravelas from Boxcar Press   |  2.  Babies of Letterpress onesie  from Ladies of Letterpress | 3. Letterpress Trail Set  from Firecracker Press | 4. Set of wood type (box of ampersand dots) from Moore Wood Type  | 5. Holiday Kitty Ornaments from Chandler O’Leary / Anagram Press   | 6. “Upper and Lower Case” fine art print of printshop from Fine Art America  

The 2017 Boxcar Press letterpress gift guide has gift ideas for the type-loving letterpress printer in your life - including letterpress t-shirts and more.

7. Heidelberg decal from Heidelberg University  |   8. Henry Gage Pins from Boxcar Press  | 9. Original Heidelberg Windmill History & Handbook by Jim Daggs / Ackley Publishing  |  10.  PANTONE Note pad from Pantone   |  11.  Big Caslon Ampersand Cufflinks by Ampersand & Co.

The 2017 Boxcar Press letterpress gift guide has gift ideas for the type-loving letterpress printer in your life - including letterpress t-shirts and more.

12. Keys&Quoins&Furniture&Registration Helvetica T-Shirt by Swell Press Paper   |   13. Heidelberg Safety First – Enamel Pin by Skylab Letterpress  |   14. Squintani Model letterpress poster by Briarpress  |   15.  Happy Holidays letterpress printed ornament card pack from JillyJackDesigns  |   16. Boxcar Press printing apron from Boxcar Press  |   17. 1957 Original Heidelberg T-Shirt from TEEPUBLIC

Fresh Impressions: Ladies of Letterpress 2017

The Ladies of Letterpress annual conference never fails to deliver an amazing week of printing, creating, and inky, hands-on, up to your elbows fun.  Add to that two letterpress movies, and the time in St. Louis, Missouri was pretty much letterpress supreme delight. 

Cathy Smith I often find it hard to describe to other printers what the conference experience is like and to give it justice.  You are in a bubble for five days where conversations center around printing and antique presses and it’s never boring. The energy is great and I usually end up saying, “you have to go there next year”.

This year’s conference was in Saint Louis and was a collaboration with StL Print Week which is offered through Firecracker Press and Central Print.  St. Louis itself has a lot going on in terms of attractions, housing renovations, and pockets of strong community sustainability projects.

Boxcar Press has printing fun at Ladies of Letterpress conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Our activities centered around Firecracker Press and Central Print which share a wonderful joint storefront space.  The neighborhood has little “pocket parks” on many of the blocks, and is on the cusp of bursting into a vital place to live and work.  That just added to the appeal of our conference headquarters.

Boxcar Press has printing fun at Ladies of Letterpress conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

It was easy to get excited about our printing space because of the many vintage presses, the aisles of type cabinets, the retro and bohemian décor, and so much natural light.  With the help of Peter Fraterdeus, I gained a larger appreciation for wood type as we learned to look at the letters as art forms of negative and positive spaces,  I tried my hand at linoleum block carving taught by Rachel Kroh and have a new passion for this.  I love the endless possibilities of photopolymer plates; however, it was freeing to work with other tools to create printed projects.

Boxcar Press has printing fun at Ladies of Letterpress conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

What I really love is meeting fellow printers as we talk about all things letterpress.  I revel in the information sharing and passion of panel discussions, and can highly recommend Pressing On: the Letterpress Film.  

Boxcar Press has printing fun at Ladies of Letterpress conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

If you have an opportunity to see it, do so, and then watch it again.  This year, I was joined by three of our printers from Boxcar Press, plus owner Harold Kyle, and it was great to share with them the experience and value of a Ladies of Letterpress conference.

Samantha Peck Samantha is one of our windmill printers here at Boxcar Press and she agreed that being able to attend the event this year was an unforgettable time.

The opportunity to learn letterpress printing from the most advanced printers in the industry left me with a wealth of new knowledge, tips, and tricks to incorporate into my daily printing at Boxcar. Thanks to the great workshops offered, I now own my very first press that I built from household materials!

I also was able to use a variety of different presses and type to create unique prints that I turned into the covers of my handmade journals. I even got to try out linoleum block carving.

Boxcar Press has printing fun at Ladies of Letterpress conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

Through hands on learning and expert printers’ shared stories and advice, I gained some absolutely invaluable experience and memories. It was very rewarding to see so many inspired and creative printers all in one place carrying on the art of letterpress printing together.

Madeline Bartley Another one of our windmill printers recalls that her best moment from Ladies of Letterpress was during her workshop, Advanced Windmill with Graham Judd.

During a demo we became curious about the condition of the windmill’s impression lever. Why doesn’t the lever release back to its usual position? The red ball lever didn’t move back far enough. The lead to Graham and I pulling out old die cut scraps from the base. Together we pulled out two waste baskets of oily paper detritus. 40 years worth!  It was like an archeological dig into letterpress history.

Boxcar Press has printing fun at Ladies of Letterpress conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Boxcar Press has printing fun at Ladies of Letterpress conference 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

This Boxcar Lady had a wonderful time attending the conference and is looking forward to more in the future!

Leanna Barlow My experience at Ladies of Letterpress/ Print Week was absolutely amazing.  Spending time in another city surrounded by people who love the same thing you do is surreal. I have only worked at Boxcar press for about 2 years. At Boxcar we don’t set type, so this was my first time seeing such a vast collection of type! And actually getting to use it. Firecracker Press has such a great space and the staff was so talented and passionate about printing. I think what I took away from the experience overall was the willingness to teach and be taught, particularly by some who have been printing substantially longer than me. It was nice to see that there was no “generation gap,” as they call it. The older generation of printers was genuinely excited to be with the new and up-and-coming printers like myself. For me, making my own press out of everyday supplies, along with the advanced windmill class, has helped me develop as a working printer and an artist.

A huge shout-out to all the amazing participants at the Ladies of Letterpress conference this year! Have a fun story or cool thing you learned at this year’s meet-up? Let us know in the comments below!

Printing Community Spirit: Ladies of Letterpress

With the upcoming Ladies of Letterpress conference plus Print Week happening just around the corner (September 28, 2017-October 1, 2017) in St. Louis, Missouri, we catch up with Kseniya Thomas on the Ladies of Letterpress’ excellent camaraderie, fun, and cool happenings (and don’t worry fellas, Ladies of Letterpress is happily open to men as well!). The Ladies of Letterpress conference features more than a dozen workshops, panels, printers’ market, as well as a must-see showing of “Pressing On: The Letterpress Film“.

When Jessica C. White and I started Ladies of Letterpress nearly ten years ago, our goal was pretty simple: make it easier for new printers to figure out what they were doing, and why. It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but it wasn’t easy in the aughts to get good info on how to operate letterpress presses with a minimum of frustration. And the letterpress community was localized and largely offline.

A lot has changed in the ensuing near-decade. Help is readily at hand online no matter what the letterpress problem, Wayzgeese abound coast-to- coast, and our own conference has grown to include workshops, business talks, technical instruction, and more. You never have to print alone, unless you want to! Ladies of Letterpress has grown and changed, and its mission now includes community cultivation, conference planning, trade-show wrangling, group projects . . .

It’s been interesting and rewarding for me to see how letterpress and printing have changed since we started LOLP. Seeing people struggle and succeed in the service of letterpress is inspiring; letterpress isn’t the easiest gig out there, but people fall hard for it and make printing work for them, and keep the art and craft of printing growing and evolving. This evolution inspires me to print my own work when I take a break from my regular jobs.

Though two people started LOLP, many, many people and organizations keep it going with their generosity, enthusiasm, and continued interest. The creative helpfulness of our fellow printers has only increased, and keeps growing as our numbers grow. LOLP represents one thing printers can make when they come together.

Boxcar Press salutes the Ladies of Letterpress and all the other organizations and clubs who are the mentors, tutors, trailblazers, and backbone of the art of letterpress.

www.briarpress.org
www.collegebookart.org
http://printinghistory.org/
http://www.apa-letterpress.com/
www.letterpresscommons.com
http://woodtype.org/
http://vandercookpress.info/
https://listserv.unb.ca
www.penland.org
http://www.thearmnyc.com/
http://www.fpba.com/
http://thebeautyofletterpress.com/
The more than dozen Book Arts Centers across the world