Re: anything else on new presses?
We will always be uncool. Mainly because, as a lot, we don't care
about anything other than our own thing. That is the problem with
contemporary studio letterpress. I lived through the disappearance of
the type foundries. I can understand the older folks not caring so
much anymore, but what's up with the newer generation? If you won't
invest in letterpress's future, there is no future for letterpress, or
you in letterpress. How long will the concept of "saving letterpress"
continue to be the salvaging of trinkets from the past rather than
thinking about, and doing something about, its continuation into the
> Daniel Morris made a comment that if you can't find a press you
> aren't looking. I think that if you can't find a press you either
> don't have enough money or you haven't spent the requisite time
> learning the craft in the community you practice the craft. If you
> don't have enough money for a used press you don't have it for a new
> press. But in my experience there's plenty of presses already out
> there. In my small town I know of two places with 5+ presses, where
> you can go and set type and print for free; one at a school supported
> press/museum, one a working printer/publisher. Both take unpaid
> apprentices and welcome all. There are two private letterpress
> studios. There are at least three hobby printers. There's a guy with
> three windmills in his garage that only does numbering jobs and
> refused to let me come and see them. There's an art professor who was
> happy to give me my UNI I, has begged me for years to take the 325
> (which i'll get soon), and will probably give me the UNI 3 and a load
> of type-cabinets. There's a house downtown with a colts armory, two
> SP-15's (one motorized, one non-motorized) and a washington-style
> press in the basement - the owner claims the presses go with the
> house after he dies, but he doesn't use them and i'm sure the right
> price would get them out of the basement. I've been offered a 14x C&P
> in an old smokehouse, a 12x C&P in an old printshop, and as many 8x's
> as I could take. I know all this because i've been here for the past
> eight years and i've been printing and talking to other printers the
> whole time. Printers like young people who are dedicated and work
> hard and learn the craft. Printers want to see printing furthered.
> They don't like people who show up knowing next to nothing and say -
> "why can't i find an SP-15?"
> if there's six or seven Vandercooks in a town of 300,000, how many
> are there in your town?
> A Vandercook has all the features I need. Any new printmaking-style
> press wouldn't allow me to do what I do. The only other press i'd
> want would be a NOS Vandercook (doesn't exist) or a used FAG or
> Heidleberg (couldn't afford either).
> An alternative solution would be to professionally rebuild
> Vandercooks, like in the company's last manufacturing days. This
> would return like-new presses to the market at a fraction of the cost.
> maybe i just found myself a career (until the bubble bursts and we
> all become uncool again)
> -alex (grumpy)
> press eight seventeen
> lexington, kentucky