Inquisitive Printers Want To Know: Even More

This week’s Inquisitive Printer focuses on a new chapter for a letterpress printer, the cool printing history of Basel, Switzerland and a creative idea for sketch-booking in the summer.

REBECCA: 

It’s wonderful to see our letterpress friends grow and be on the move. Earlier this month, a cool Chicago-based letterpress printer, A Favorite Design, did just that. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Amber Favorite & her husband have been able to move into their own brick-and-mortar store in the Albany park area. Way to go and congratulations!

A. Favorite Design letterpress print shop Chicago

(photography courtesy of blockclubchicago.com / afavoritedesign.com )

JAKE:

A significant other’s trip to Europe became an occasion for me to do a little poking into the history of Basel, Switzerland. I couldn’t — and really, still can’t — put my finger on any one reason why Basel feels significant to me, as prominent as it has been in the back of mind. Perhaps it’s some subconscious awareness that many of my cultural heroes are alumni of the old university, like Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Gustav Jung, and Herman Hesse.

In the Renaissance, it was home to father of pharmacology, the astrologer and alchemist Paracelsus; in the modern era, it was the site of chemist Albert Hoffman’s famous bicycle ride over the course of which he became aware of the effects of the lysergic acid diethylamide he’d just invented. What a cute set of Basel historical bookends marking either end of the modern era of hard science, between magical herblore on one side and psychedelic cybernetics on the other.

At the University of Basel’s Museum of Pharmacy is yet another intriguing and world-changing artifact: the printing press owed by Amerbach & Froben. 

(Source: wikipedia.org and the BEIC digital library)

Amerbach is noted as the first printer to make the switch to Roman typefaces! If that ain’t notable, I couldn’t tell you what is.

MADDIE:

It is summer time, Ya’ll. 

This is the time when I just want to be active and outside. Taking in as much sunlight and warm weather as possible before the next season arrives. I relish these moments, yet have the feeling that I am not focused on my studio work. This little bit of guilt follows me around, but WAIT!!! I have dissolved this worry by combining my two favorite things: drawing and playing outdoors. 

Wherever I go on adventures, I make sure to always have space in my bag for a small notebook and a set for drawing tools. Pens, fine tipped markers and a handmade notebook. 

The sketchbooks are simple to make and can be constructed in a pinch. Yay bookbinding skills!!! Any found and recycled materials such as copy paper, string or staples are used to bind together this booklet. And there you are, ready for summer action and capturing your favorite moments. 

Above are images I have included are from a 2015 sketchbook. These were made while spending the weekend in a remote cabin in central New York. Below are this year’s (2019) sketches of some recent adventures. 

I can captures new experiences and practice my artistic skills all in this small item. I have even asked my friends to contribute to some pages. These become great collection pieces over time. I can look back at these works and enjoy my artistic practice through the summer months.  

Have something that you find intriguing? Let us know in the comments below!

Inquisitive Printers: Another Round Of Things That Caught Our Eye

Our focus has been drawn lately to a Goudy typeface, re-invigorating studio visits, and being up-close with dinosaurs. We hope you delight in what has captured our attention in this installment of the Inquisitive Printers!

From Cathy:  

Recently I was running amok on a good search about typefaces. Naturally, Frederic Goudy had his share of references to explore.  One, in particular, caught my eye because it was a video that was linking our Syracuse University here with Goudy.  As Syracuse based printers, we have some hometown pride and to have a tie-in to this very prolific font designer was a neat surprise.  Enjoy this video called Goudy & Syracuse: The Tale of A Typeface found.

From Maddie:

Hello Print Friends! I would like to share with ya’ll my favorite aspect to my artistic practice. Do you have find yourself in your workspace not knowing what to do with your projects? You do? Okay. Great! I suggest you have a studio visit.

This has been extremely valuable to growing as an artist and developing my work since leaving my fine art studies back in 2016. Similarly, I like to receive feedback and miss having a community to work within now that I am done with school.

Have a friend stop by your space. Show them what you are currently working on. Share your artistic process with them. Invite them over while you are working on a print run—more hands make less work. Let your visitor ask questions and get to know what you do as a maker.

Don’t forget the SNACKS! I have some things to eat or drink and enjoy simply hanging out. For instance, I like to invite people over during lunchtime for a 45-minute visit and I also encourage my guest to hang out & draw with me. Sketching and sharing ideas is great!

Think about what you want to get out of a studio visit. Or alternatively, this doesn’t need to have an objective. See where the conversation leads. Discuss everything and nothing. This dialogue may influence your work in return.

Afterward, reflect on what was talked about. do you see your work with a new perspective? I typically feel energized after a studio visit. The feedback allows me to return to working on my projects with fresh ideas. I am delighted that I get to share what I love to do and really appreciate how receptive my visitors are to my work and creative space. I see this as vital to my artistic practice and will continue doing this. FOREVER. Hope you give it a whirl.

Maddie-studio-visit-artist-studio

My dear friends, Shelby and Brian are looking through a box of my small drawings (July 2018).

Here is a great link that offers very honest and helpful suggestions about studio visits and making the most out of them!

From Rebecca:   

Want to get up-close to dinosaur bones without leaving your computer chair? Photographer Christian Voigt does just that as he captured the delicate beauty of the London Natural History Museum’s dinosaur skeleton collection. Come take a look! 

(c) Christian Voigt Tyrannosaurus

(photography credit: Christian Voigt and WIRED.com)

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

Inquisitive Printers: Even More Things That Caught Our Eye

We remain on the look-out for all things creative, fascinating and colorful. Check out a few of the intriguing items, events, and cool happenings that recently caught our eye.

From Cathy:  

I have always enjoyed the CBS Sunday Morning program as it has introduced me to many fascinating creative people and stories over the years.  On the March 10th broadcast, they focused on fine press books from the printing to the binding.  It is always exciting to see a letterpress print shop on network news.  Enjoy the segment if you haven’t already viewed it.

Larkspur Press Bookmaking Bookbinding Letterpress, Inquisitive Printers

(photo courtesy of cbsnews.com)

From Maddie: 

Whew! BOY HOWDY! Anyone in need of a podcast recommendation? Yes!? OKAY. Let me tell you about my favorite podcast OLOGIES, hosted by Alie Ward. This show is all about asking smart people dumb questions.

Alie sits down with a specialist in a different field of study in every episode. For example: Entomology (Insects), Selenology (the Moon), and Tuethology (Squids!!!). This podcast series does not disappoint. You will be giddy with excitement to learn all there is to know about each episode’s topic and an added bonus: delightful side notes of fact checking or defining fancy scientific words. Also worth mentioning, if you listen to the very end of each episode Alie will share a secret with the listeners. 

Inquisitive Printers : Alie Ward Ologies

(photo courtesy of allieward.com)

I listen to this show while printing. Yyou can tell when I am listening to this podcast as I am laughing out loud and smiling. OLOGIES is a delight and I hope you give it a listen…then proceed to tell all your friends about the wondrous information you just learned about Entomophagy Anthropology (eating bugs), Mixology (cocktails), or Somnology (sleep). Enjoy! 

From Rebecca:   

Everyday there are more than 12,000+ planes travelling around the world at any given time. Want to see just how populated the skies are? Check out this nifty website, flightrader24.com, that shows in real-time who could be flying above you!

Inquisitive Printers

(photo courtesy of flightrader.com)

Glass meet metal.  UK-based  Heriot-Watt University has some interesting news for welders, fabricators, and artisans. They’ve been able to weld together certain types of glass and metal using a specialized ultrafast infrared laser systems. The University’s scientists and partnering research labs are still working on perfecting the method. Hopefully, this could lead to some interesting developments in both the manufacturing and art realms.

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!

Inquisitive Printers Want to Know: Extra Things That Caught Our Eye

This month’s installment of the Inquisitive Printers Want to Know showcases an enjoyable animated video short “Typesetter Blues” and today’s Mars-bound InSight probe. Read on to learn more!

From Cathy: How can you not love a title like Typesetter Blues?  Enjoy this short animated video about the fickleness of love in a print shop (Fun Fact: the printer in the video is named “Harold”).

Typesetter-blues-letterpress-printing - inquisitive(photography courtesy of TOGETHER/Pahzit Cahlon)

From Rebecca:  Seven months ago, NASA sent up the Mars-bound InSight probe. Today, the probe is schedule to land on the surface of Mars. The cool little probe has the job of collecting data of Mars’ surface and drilling a hole 5 meters (16.4 feet) down.

Mars_insight_probe-NASA(photography credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The data will be able to help scientists understand the creation of Mars and its geological landscape evolution.

Inquisitive Printers Want to Know: More Extra Things That Caught Our Eye

Keeping our eagle eyes on the look-out for intriguing and cool things, this month’s installment of the Inquisitive Printers Want to Know highlights Lori Schneider (a woman with Multiple Sclerosis who has scaled  the “Seven Summits”), the wealth of information at letterpresscommons.com,  as well as a very beautiful look at global weather patterns. Read on to learn more!

From Cathy: Recently, I was fortunate enough to hear a talk by Lori Schneider, the first woman with Multiple Sclerosis to climb the “Seven Summits” of the world.  Here she is in a Ted Talk at TedXGrandRapids.

The Seven Summits are the highest peaks of the seven continents.

Listening to her describe her Mount Everest climb sparked a strong curiosity about this particular mountain and sent me searching for all sorts of information.  What I learned was equal parts awe-inspiring, eye-opening and a little beyond belief.  You can Google and find hundreds of articles but this How Stuff Works article is a good introduction to how daunting it is.

Next, I paid a recent visit to Letterpress Commons, specifically to view any of the new videos added since my last look (and to view some of the others again).  There is a wealth of info shared by others on “The Commons”, so it’s highly recommended that folks putter around at the site every few months to see what treasures have been added.  And if you have a tidbit or more to share, check out how to be a contributor.

From Rebecca Taking global weather pattern views to a whole new level is the Earth.Nullschool.net website. This handy website displays in real time the current wind, temperature, and CO2 levels. You can zoom in and twirl the globe to different locations worldwide to see how different weather patterns are moving.

It’s very fascinating (and beautiful!) to see how the Earth’s oceans and landforms effect one another.

Have something nifty or cool that you’d like to share with us? Let us know what it is in the comments below!

Inquisitive Printers Want to Know: More Things That Caught Our Eye

Always scanning the horizons (and our internet browsers) for intriguing and cool things to bookmark, this week’s installment of the Inquisitive Printers Want to Know showcases the Austin Center for the Book’s amazing workshop offerings, horse-riding librarians in the Great Depression era, and two handy websites that help identify that mysterious typefaces & fonts. Read on to learn more!

From Cathy: I have been enjoying a little stroll through the pages of the Austin Book Arts Center website.  The Center has only been around in its official state since 2015 but was a growing idea since the 1980’s through a group of enthusiastic book workers.  They offer an amazing wide variety of workshops every week and I am drawn to the ones for teachers and kids.

Combine women, books, and horses into one bundle and you get the Pack Horse Librarians.  Started in 1934, over 50,000 families in Appalachia were served with books delivered on horseback.  This program was started as part of the New Deal’s WPA and books and magazines were donated.  When they became too worn, they were repaired or turned into scrapbooks and circulated again. Here are two websites with fascinating stories and photographs. In this age of E-books, it is neat to read about a time when books were scarce treasures.

From Jake:  The printshop offers many wonders when wandering through on a daily basis. The photography captured here shows the light spectrum in all its rainbow glory in the wash-out unit in one of our platemakers. 

Jake-inquisitive-printers-platemaker

From Rebecca: Ever come across a design with such a gorgeous typeface or font….but you don’t know what the name of it is? For both computer and mobile,  WhatTheFont is a great starting point to demystifying that font that’s been on your mind for ages. WhatTheFont is a site where you can snap a photo (or upload one if you are working on your computer) and the online program will start identifying what it may be.If you are into a more answer-questions-type-of-mood, a secondary good website is Indentifont.

Have something awesome or cool that you’d like to share with us? Share with us what it is in the comments below!

Inquisitive Printers Want To Know – Even More Eye-catching Things

Keeping sharp eye on the lookout for more cool things & intriguing “must-bookmark-this!” items, this week’s installment of the Inquisitive Printers Want to Know features a Wisconsin-based printer and bookmaker, a new specialized coating that is the “blackest of the blacks”, and a celebration for a book series that inspires one of our printers. Read on to learn more!

Cathy:   I recently found a website with a blog that pleased me.  It is called Letterpress Book Publishing and it belongs to Mike Coughlin of Superior Letterpress of Cornucopia Wisconsin. He calls himself a Printer and Book Maker and his blog reflects on his love of his profession. His posts are comfortable and friendly.  He hasn’t posted since December 2017 so I am hoping some new visitors to his page will prompt him to give us something new to read.

He is at the tip of Wisconsin before it drops into Lake Superior so come “chat” with the rest of us, Mike, and let us know what is on your mind or on your press.

Rebecca Miller: While we do love a good, deep rich printing black (a printer’s bread and butter), we often wonder about Vantablack.

(Photography credit: Surrey Nanosystems)

Hailed as the “blackest of blacks”, this is borderline cartoonish-ly black coating is neither really a pigment nor paint per se. Instead, the specialized coating (made by Surrey Nanosystems) is made up of series of long, extremely tightly packed (and quite microscopically thin) carbon tubes. So dense is this “forest of carbon nanotubes” that any light shined onto it is immediately absorbed (99.96% to be exact). 

The very precise need for those densely packed carbon nano tubes to be laid in a certain way limits how the coating can be applied. Currently in the works is a not-as-dark version in a spray variety aimed at the STEM community (and it will set you back a pretty penny).

Bonus: The “Vanta” in Vantablack stands for “Vertically Aligned Nanotube Array”.

Leanna: Happy Birthday, Harry (July 31st)!  I have been a huge Harry Potter fan since it was introduced to me by my fourth grade teacher. It was subsequently banned from the school a couple months later, so I had to sneak it in my lunchbox to read during break. Over the years since last book and film were released, I took to mainly searching Pinterest for fan art and periodically listening to the audiobooks while I work in the shop (and people wonder why I’m tearing up at the press, it’s cause I’m listening to Snape die for the 100th time!).

(Photography courtesy of monsieurmonsteur.co.uk)

Did you know that 2018 is one of the years in which the book ‘The Cursed Child’ takes place? According to the timeline, Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is 1991. The Battle of Hogwarts is in 1998 making the “19 years later” of the epilogue of ‘The Cursed Child’ to be in 2017. Weird right? Now imagine the movies taking place in the early 90’s instead of the 2000’s!

In honor of Harry’s and J.K. Rowling’s birthday today, here are a few of my favorite Harry Potter things to inspire a bit of “magic” for their next print project! 

Artists to Check Out:

Wonderful Potter-related Articles and Exhibits:

Do you have a cool thing you’d like to share with us or see something that tickles your printing fancy? Email us at info@boxcarpress.com as we’d love to hear from you! We’re always on the look-out for fun + wonderful things!

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!

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!