Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Ottawa Letterpress Gang Meets Again!

Some of The Ottawa Letterpress Gang!
On May 19 I was blessed to travel to Ottawa to meet with members of The Ottawa Letterpress Gang.  We meet at The Lieutenant's Pump in Ottawa to break bread and keep each other up to date. This group of letterpress enthusiasts and book artists meet quarterly to share information, discuss projects we are working on in our studios, and also to share technical expertise with each other.  The group's members regularly work with novices to printing and book arts, helping folks to find equipment, classes, and supplies to complete their own projects.

In addition, we take on "group projects" where each member of the group completes a part of the project that is then brought together into one.  Our most recent project was a "type sampler." Each member completed a signature of type and cut samples from their studios. We have different levels of press expertise from novice (myself) to more expert levels (Weathervane Press). These signatures were then gathered and bound together into a finished book. Gayle and Stephen Quick of Weathervane Press in Ottawa helped the group complete the binding. Below are a few photos of the book.

Cover and title page, 2 of my spreads, other samples.

It has been amazing for me to meet and share time with this group. Living in Deep River is wonderful, but I am a bit isolated from the "book arts world" except when I travel to Ottawa to meet with this group. Their willingness to share their time and their treasure of information has been invaluable to me!  It was through this group that I met Britt Quinlan, The Paperwright, who helped supply me for my recent paper making and paper marbling workshops.

I am also moving tentatively into selling items directly from my blog. On the right hand side of the page you can see a link to my ONLINE DIRECT shop. This page will sell unique items hand made here in Deep River in my studio. The items I sell through my regular ONLINE CAFE PRESS shop are mass produced with my art work placed on them.

On this rainy Sunday, as I prepare to leave my electronic world to join my faith community, I am struck by the thinness that this electronic age has brought to our creative world. With the touch of a button we can communicate with other book artisans and letterpress printers to share information and learn about their own challenges in their studios. What used to involve months of letters, phone calls, and trips to visit folks has now evolved into online chats and blogs such as mine that allow us to make the vast space between us become very thin.

My heart soars like a hawk when I work in my studio and know that I can call upon the expertise of others such as the "Gang" through my computer for sharing ideas or solving technical problems. This sharing of our 'talent and our treasure" makes our arts community strong in the same way our faith community is strengthened at St. Barnabas.  I know that in the weeks ahead, as I tackle some very difficult projects, that if I need assistance, I will be able to reach out to both, through the thinness of the air, for guidance, support, and encouragement.

And I know that by the Grace of God, in the fullness of time, that all will be well, and all will be well, and with the wisdom of God  and the sharing of our talents, all will be well.