Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Letterpress Tidbits

My interest in printing has been leaning increasingly back to the 1800s lately. Although you couldn't call me a purist (one who would never dream of using anything besides wooden or metal type), I am entranced by beautiful impressions on soft paper, something a laser printer or offset press can never duplicate outside of extra embossing.

I hope to soon be among the letterpressers of the world, and, by combining today's technology (photopolymer plates) with yesterday's methods and equipment, creating modern vintage pieces of stationery and even, maybe, booklets and books.

For more information on this gorgeous method of communication, check out these sites:

"Wood Type Rising: The ressurection of letterpress arts" This is an article from last year by Michael Neault for Rochester's alternative weekly, the City Paper.

Briar Press THE one-stop online resource for letterpress enthusiasts.

Bosshard's Printing Primer for beginners like me.

Yee-Haw Industries, East Tennessee's own world-famous letterpress shop in Downtown Knoxville. Very cool. I've been there several times! This link is to their description of the process of their craft.

Hatch Show Print, another world-famous Tennessee letterpress print shop, still operational since its beginnings in 1879, although now under the wing of Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. Though I used to live in Nashville, I have not yet had the privilege of visiting this venerated print shop.

I love this art form--for it is art--so much that I am determined to learn it soon. Very soon. In fact, soon enough for me to start a product line that I have been developing of late ... a product line that I've named and gotten one of my websites for. But if I can not print them myself this year, I will hire it out to an already operational print shop who can, because the idea is HOT! (And cold ... and starched. But more on that later!)

Meanwhile, I need to register the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

And you'd better keep tuned. Because Ruby Red is gearing up this year to take off.

Start the Presses!

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