January 20, 2011

Letterpress makes me feel home again

When I first began working at Blue Barnhouse back in Spring 2009 I knew nothing of Letterpress and only a little about printmaking in general. After a few crash sessions on the Vandercook and the C&P, a little hanging around the shop, and a modicum of historical letterpress education, I fell in love.
It was the smell of the ink, the clankety-clack of the C&P and the side-stepping necessary while operating the Vandercook. The feel of the different grains of paper and how they accepted ink. The little bit of fear that gripped my heart every time I fed the motorized C&P and the exhaustion of my body after operating the foot-pedal C&P.
Around the time I began working at the shop, Brandon began the process of compiling submissions for Adventures in Letterpress. It wasn't long before he realized he had a Photographer apprenticing in the shop, and I started shooting some of the submissions we were receiving. Over the next several months, we set up a makeshift studio (versions 1-7) and I was able to learn more than I ever wanted to know about shooting paper. Trust me, Paper is not easy or fun to shoot until you get the hang of it. Which took about 2 months.
Then I moved to Massachusetts.
There was a hole in my heart where a press used to be.

In the summer of 2010 Brandon came to pick me up in Boston (after visiting a few presses on his journey), and we hustled down to NY for Renegade Brooklyn and some fun with the folks at Mark Batty Publisher. (read B's renegade post here.. it's a hoot!)
While in NY we also visited PressNY and the Arm, two of our fav presses run by some really lovely individuals. I got to shoot the shops and drool over type. My love for letterpress was compounded.

the Arm, photographed by lydia see June 2010:

























Press NY, photographed by lydia see June 2010:

























So now it's January 2011, I am visiting Asheville, and I couldn't stay out of the shop. In fact, I have spent more time here since I've been back for a limited 5-day run than I have spent anywhere else. I've been scoring "Stupid Fucking Lovebirds" both clean and dirty, I've been shooting the shop and filling wholesale orders. I've been taking it all in..
I even made this video of me Operating the foot pedal C&P Wednesday night. So when I get lonely in the cold, white North, I can watch it and remember how warm Letterpress makes me. and how I feel Home again when I'm here.

video