I've neglected my blog.
It's shameful, I know. I bet my 5 faithful readers have abandoned ship, and I don't blame them. I'll cross my fingers that we can move on from this experience and I'll try my best to recap some highlights from the past month as best I can remember, but it may take several posts.
I finally acquired my very own letterpress. After years of working with shared community presses I finally have this big beast, the Craftsmen Monarch. Here it is with my linoleum block carving of some swifts:
The first disappointment came when I realized the beautifully custom-made feed board wasn't going to work --- it was too big and my little arm couldn't reach the lever with it on. The feed board is a little shelf that allows you to keep your prints in order. So we removed the feed board and the two metal arms that extended out to hold it in place --- only to discover one of the arms holds the spring for the grippers that allows them to move forward from the platen. Are you still with me here? I made a little diagram for some help. Ok so we had to put the metal arm back on. Now I have to keep myself from walking into the extended metal arm and injuring my torso every two seconds. This is a minor problem as we think we can fabricate something out of wood to take its place and connect the spring to the press and keep the grippers in tact and functional. Phew!
However, the major set back is that I don't have a proper chase. The chase is crucial, it's a metal frame that holds the stuff you're printing all neat and tidy with quoins and furniture so that the rollers can easily pass over it all and you can be a happy printer. The chase I'm currently borrowing is a Chandler & Price 8x12" sized chase and it's just a wee bit too wide. I was able to print, however it's murder trying to get the thing in and out of the press. I think maybe a machinist could sand down the sides and make it fit, but for now I stare at my press with sad puppy dog eyes. We're so close...
Speaking of letterpress, I have an upcoming show with my fellow printing friend Carye Bye of Red Bat Press at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, the place that we call home for printing. Please find details to the right --- more info coming!