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Re: letterpress

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Hi, Thanks bunches!!
Yeah, I like the letterpress look - I'm fast becoming aware of the
<grin>  I did however see a few for sale on EBay - a friend sent me the
My 'dream' , rather than owning one myself (due to cost and space
issues)  is to
see a letterpress 'working' and perhaps collaborate with someone who has

letterpress equipment in my area??!  So I'll have to keep digging!!

I do currently create my books using the computer (Quark, Photoshop and
Illustrator etc.).  I've, in the past, done the service bureau route you
Lately, I've used xerographic methods.  Also I do wood-block print
editions etc.
on handmade paper (that I make myself).  Its all fun!   However, I've
seen some
really beautiful letterpress work and well.... what can I say... <smile>

Recently, a friend and I took a road trip to Estes Park, Colorado.
While we
were there we visited a used book store and in that store I saw a
limited edition (only 25 made) hand-bound, letterpress printed on Rives
paper with tipped-in black and white photographs.
It was truly awesome! (I wrote down the artists name and etc. - but
right this
second I can't find the notes)  Anyway, I was sorely tempted to buy that
book -
I very nearly did - but it would have taken the last of my vacation
money to do it
- and well, I still needed gasoline to make it back to Oklahoma and a
motel, not
to mention food.  But still I just almost bought the book anyway!!
So now I tell this story - very much in the manner of fishermen's 'the
one that got
away' stories.

Ah well.  So, I became enamored of letterpress....

Sue Clancy

LemonTreePress@aol.com wrote:

  Sue...I've read the very good replies you've
  recieved and notice that no one has addressed  the
  question of where to buy letterpress equipment
  etc. I'm a book artist who fell in love with the way
  letterpress looks and just HAD TO HAVE the
  ability to do it in my own studio,so I can speak to
  the point of acquiring stuff! As far as I know there
  aren't any companies making presses for this
  process at this time, although there may be.  It's
  been an "obsolete" form of printing for 70 years.
  But the way to go is to buy used equipment from
  an old-time printer who is retiring or the estate of
  one. You would need to familiarize yourself with
  the kinds of presses to know what kind of press
  you want. I started with a small platen press which
  could print 6" by 10" of text on a page.  The pages
  can be larger. It cost $250 and was in perfect
  running order with new rollers. But that's just the
  beginning because you need drawers and drawers
  of metal type to make the text which you are going
  to print. I have  55 drawers now full of type. First
  I picked a letter form I loved after reading type
  books and learning about different faces.  Then
  you need different sizes of that face.  Each size
  takes a whole drawer. Then you need caps as well
  as lower case, and something called "Small Caps."
  PLus any fabulous types for titles etc.  Then you
  need cabinets to put the type in! I am not sorry I
  have done it.  But it is a very tedious
  procedure,setting type into the form, proofing it
  etc etc. before you even begin to print and mix ink
  and adjust rollers etc etc. so you must try it and be
  sure that it's something you'd enjoy doing. But this
  said, I love it. I got some very good deals  buying
  type from the widow of a man who died, and I
  was well advised by printer friends. My press
  room, separate from my studio, cost several
  thousand of dollars and takes alot of room. So it's
  expensive and space consuming.  I was lucky to
  have a barn and no longer any horses....
  Now, for the alternative.  I may be wrong,BTW
  about no new companies making letterpresses, but
  they would be much more expensive than buying
  old stuff.  Sometimes it's given away because it's
  hard to sell, and when someone dies or retires,
  they just want to get rid of it and offer it free if
  you will pick it up.  Too heavy to ship, usually.
  THEN there is a new process using a polymer
  plate that doesn't require you to buy /have type at
  your disposal.  This new process involves
  composing your book on the computer where you
  have access to lots of fonts and sizes. You need a
  layout program on your computer, like Adobe In
  Design, Quark ,Pagemaker etc. After you've
  composed your book, you get it photographed at a
  service center and send it to someone who makes
  polymer plates.  They send back the plates, and
  you put them on your press and print with them.
  So there's another alternative.
  You've gotten alot of information from several
  Good Luck, whatever you decide to do!
  Nancy Bloch
  San Diego

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