Friday, February 22, 2013

Lets start back at the begining...

OK, So I am soooo very behind on posting I thought I would start by posting the posting I have been wanting to post for a long we are going to time travel a little.
Back before my world got a little crazy, before now...way back in October I went to the LA Printers Fair. This is a fair for all things printmaking, I am in a personal geek heaven and amongst my people.
Thankfully, I am not the only one taking photos of machines, presses and printmaking type.
In fact I am only one in a crowd doing the exact same thing.
 I would go as far as to say it is expected to take pictures!
Linotype printer at work, the sounds of the machine makes me cry from sheer beauty.
Linotype makes lead slugs of lines of print, the operator types it out and the machine casts the type as he types!
Many of these machines were melted down post WWII
See one at work HERE
The Printmaking Museum opens its doors annually for this fair and shows off its amazing collection of old and still working presses. Believe it or not, I first heard of this museum in Carson via Huell Howser on one of his whats great about California shows...(pat on the back Huell, rest in peace)
I have made the trek to lovely downtown Carson twice now and it is a whole day event.
I go with a graphic design friend and she and I pack snacks and slather sunscreen and head out around 7:30am to get there by 10am when they open the gates. Not only can you see how ALL the presses work, but a far number of them are hands on demonstrations! So last year I got to print off a field press from the civil war. SOOOOOO COOLIO

This year it was even more packed and I am proud to say the crowd was 75% women printers!
The museum itself is only one part of the fair, there is also the vendor sections that run through the museum and into the back of the building and then into a large warehouse that stores, sad and forgotten presses (many are for sale at the fair) and then you file into the book arts building.
my girlfriend
Which houses "my girlfriend" the letterpress that I would tackle someone for.
This is one of the hands on demonstration stops and I got to print my own poster to take home...and figure out where to put.
This years fair had an amazing collection of printers making stationary and my pockets were lighter by the end of the day, but really, this was hardly bad, as I met some amazing fellow printmakers, introduced myself to people I was exhibiting with but had never met and got a bag full of lovely little gifts for myself, and maybe a friend or two.

Fugu Fugu press's booth
One of the many highlights was seeing and meeting Krank Press. I had spied their cards in the William Sonoma in Santa Barbara and was able to find out what I job like that really looks like. Owner/printmaker Elinor was very generous with describing the reality of this monumental job, the contract and a few tips on where to source a letterpress when I was ready to make the leap and had the space.
Chandler and Price floor letter presses

wooden type for sale
Another great inspiration was talking with Monique from Metal Doily Press she had attended the fair the year before and was so inspired she promised herself she would try and be a vendor the following year...she met her goal and in order to not overtax herself in the effort, she shared a table with a friend. Very inspiring and put that little bee in my ear and brain for this years fair.

Backwards and upside down,
I knew this skill from elementary school would come in handy someday!
(Learn, Print, Play)

1850's Proof Press
I have my eye on you my pretty!

All in all I was overjoyed once again after leaving, inspired and felt like I had found my tribe.
I might not be making a living yet as a printmaker, but it is for sure in my blood,
as I can not imagine a life without it.

There were too many AWESOME printmakers to mention in this post, so I invite you to check out the list of vendors and check them out one by one.
I was thrilled to meet The Library press, and Pup and Pony press, as well as get the point.


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