|Stephen and Gayle with Ned|
I have been having a wonderful time learning about my press since they left. It inks up beautifully. The rails had to be taped, as most older presses, in order to get 3/32 stripe on the roller gauge. After about 10 strips of tape I had the 3/32 stripe and was ready to try and pull some prints. My good friend Rhonda came over to check out the press and arrived just in time to take some photos!
|My old prop card form|
|Type form on composing stone|
I am very pleased with the impression I am getting with the press. I have adjusted the packing several times for different cuts I have in house and have had no difficulty getting clear even prints. It is early days yet, and I have so very much to learn, but it is WONDERFUL to have the press working at last. My head is swimming with ideas for projects! I will be patient and gentle on myself, however, and try to learn the proper composing procedure. I am working at keeping my press room tidy-makes it easier to find tools and materials when you need them.
Hand Cleaner and a good stainless steel garbage can, and found one on sale! The hand cleaner is amazing for getting ink and grease completely off your hands at the end of the printing day. It is going to take a while, but I am starting to feel like an apprentice printer again! I have this small poster hanging in my studio that came from The Museum of Printing in North Andover, MA. My goals for being able to print are not to be a truly "fine letterpress printer" but rather to use the type and the press creatively to produce collage printed images of the alphabet for my books. It is going to be a spectacular journey, and I am enjoying the first steps!
My press is nicknamed Ned in honor of my teacher, and my friend, the late Father Edward Michael Catich, the world renown expert on Trajan Letters. Before Father was a priest, he was a signwriter and sometimes trumpet player in Chicago, where he picked up the nickname. He game me my nickname, Sadie, when I studied with him. I thought since he too was a letterpress printer early in his career I would name my first standing floor press after him.
It has been an amazing week here in the Grotto Studio. The snow is starting to melt, we have had some rain, and the flowering bushes that surround our home are beginning to show the tiniest of spring buds. Life is returning to the land. The air smells sweet and damp in the mornings and the redwing blackbirds are signing their song. My heart soars like a hawk when I think about the abundance that has come into my studio with all the materials and equipment that has been brought to me. My creative verve is soaring high, looking towards the sunrise, ready for the new day, with new challenges and work to complete. I look to celebrate this creativity by opening my heart and my hand to those around me who also wish to create and to share.
I know in my heart that through God's great gift of creativity and joy, my understanding of UBUNTO (I am a human being because belong. I participate. I share.) will grow stronger, and that all will be well, and all will be well, and with the grace of God's holy spirit within us, all will be well.
ADDENUM MARCH 22, 2012 - MY NEW PROP CARDS!!!