Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm all right, I'M ALL RIGHT!

Ned cleaned, oiled and ready to print!
I have been away from my blog since we installed "Ned" my new 8x12 Challenge Gordon Press in the studio.  The final part of the installation is adjusting the rollers and platen. For these tasks I need a roller gauge, a tool I do not have in my studio. Fortunately, John Fallstrom in New England, The Gordon Press Curator for The Museum of Printing in North Andover, MA, has created a new tool that helps the printer to adjust both the rollers and the platen. The photos below illustrate how this tool works. I am hoping to have mine in hand by midweek so I can set the press and get printing!

The complete tool on the left; the "lollypop" for rollers; the platen height gauges.

You can email John through the email link in his name above. He has posted detailed instructions on how to use this handy little tool on Briar Press, click here to see this discussion. It is made of brass and delrin so there is nothing to rust or corrode. I am very thankful that John has created this tool and is willing to sell them to people who need them! My first printing project is my new "Prop Card" for Ducks In A Row Press.

Tony Kris, Paul, Irma, Emma, Anne, Emily
Christmas Holidays were full of praise for the incarnation and joy of family from the states with us for the first time in over a year. I made 6 pies on Christmas Day and thought of my mother, Ruthie, who died n 1994.  Emma came from Ottawa on Christmas Eve, my daughters Emily and Kris, and Kristin's boyfriend Tony drove up from New Hampshire on Christmas Day. On "Boxing Day" Paul and Anne arrived with their parents, Gord and Denise, and Fran├žois' mom Irma. We had a marvelous dinner together and shared stories and board games.

Prior to the Christmas Holidays I was busy in the studio working on a couple of large broadsides for friends who wanted to give them as gifts to loved ones. This is one, "Alpha and Omega" that includes both brush and pen calligraphy work as well as gold leaf, Hebrew stamps, and Chinese "Chops" images.

My Roman Brush writing of the Trajan Alphabet needs a great deal of work. It is my hope in the coming months to spend part of my studio day working on perfecting Trajan again as I prepare to make slate inscriptions.

Library corner of my studio
As I putter in the studio this morning, I am conscious of the need  to arrange my space again, prepare the nest for a creative surge. My life in the last month or more has been consumed with housewifery and family duties, which I enjoyed. Now however, I feel the grotto calling with even more urgency that when we were installing Ned in his new home. I have two artist's books editions that need attention for sewing and binding. And of course, there is Ned to tend to and adjust, and get printing again.

I am filled with great joy and thanksgiving for the abundance in our lives. We have a wonderful home with a warm fire each day, beautiful snow draped trees and shrubbery around us, and a magnificent studio, filled with all the tools, supplies, and equipment I could ever ask for, that is calling to me each day. My mind reaches back to the movie "It's A Wonderful Life," a family favorite over the holidays. In one scene a rather intoxicated Uncle Billy heads home and runs into a few garbage cans, but calls out " I'm all right, I'M ALL RIGHT!".

This morning as I think about my creative verve, and all that God has given to me, I know that I'm all right, I'M ALL RIGHT! and that all will be well, and all will be well, and with the peace and grace of God's incarnation in our lives, all will be well.